Tall task: Blue Jays fall to West Fargo in state semifinals

JHS VB 2020 state Hegerle WF.jpeg
Jamestown's Grace Hegerle hits against West Fargo during their N.D. Class A state volleyball semifinal match Friday, Nov. 20, in the Fargodome.Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

FARGO -- Friday night's Class A state volleyball semifinal between the Blue Jays and the Packers at the Fargodome was a game where height came in handy.

Jamestown fell to top-seeded West Fargo in straight sets, 26-24, 25-6, 25-19. West Fargo advances to Saturday's championship where Bismarck Century will be waiting at 7 p.m.

The Patriots swept Fargo Davies in Friday's first semifinal to remain undefeated. Jamestown will face Davies in Saturday's third-place game at 4 p.m.

"I know that's the best volleyball we've played all season," West Fargo head coach Kelsey Gibbons said. "We literally pushed for 75 points.

"We were on a business trip and we didn't let down."


Instead, the Packers built a seven-foot wall at the net.

West Fargo has nine players on the active roster that measure 5-foot-8 or taller. Jamestown has two: Grace Hegerle (5-11) and Ella Roaldson (5-8).

"That's a big team we played," JHS head coach Sara Hegerle said. "That's the tallest, most blocking team we've played. They jump out of the gym."

JHS VB state 2020 WF.jpeg
Jamestown's Haylie Hakanson hits against West Fargo during their N.D. Class A state volleyball semifinal match Friday, Nov. 20, in the Fargodome.Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

Jamestown was able to battle bigger than their size in the first set, establishing an early 12-7 lead that Jenna Fischer kicked off with an ace.

"Honestly, I didn't think it was going to go over but it was a good way to start the game," said Fischer, a junior defensive specialist/right-side hitter. "I am glad that I could contribute that part."

Fischer and third-year libero Rachel Schiele anchored the back half of the court with 27 digs between them, while Grace Hegerle dove for 11 more saves. The trio fought hard against big attacks from West Fargo hitters Halle Erickson and Erin Binstock.


Fischer sprinted after a ball Schiele had deflected toward the stands and managing to pass it up to Schiele. Schiele used her entire 5-1 frame to launch a free ball over the net for a Blue Jay point.

"I thought our defense was really good," Fischer said. "In the back row we're very tight, so we always communicate well with each other and have each others' backs. It's always nice to know that they are there when you are not."

Unfortunately for the Jays, the Packers found the spots they weren't.

West Fargo put up 43 kills compared to the Blue Jays' 27 and cracked into double digits in the blocking column.

Even with odds stacked high, Fischer and the Blue Jays continued to push the ball out to first-year setter Katie Trumbauer, who recorded 10 assists, many of which were between her and Roaldson.

Roaldson smashed her fair share of balls but the fourth-year varsity team member, along with Hegerle, zoned in on the team's short game and located some spots right behind West Fargo's formidable block.

Roaldson ended the second day of the state tourney with nine balls drilled to the deep corners and dumped short.

Even with Roaldson pounding the ball, West Fargo was able to pull itself out of the five-point deficit to tie the game in the first set. Chloe Pfau helped the Packers take the lead with a kill drilled off Trumbauer to make the score 14-13.


The Blue Jays forced extra points, tying the game 10 times before West Fargo ended it 26-24.

"Ending the first set that way just took the wind out of our sails for sure," Hegerle said. "We had a hard time recovering from that."

Set No. 2 was all Packers, as the team established an early 13-1 lead. West Fargo continued the run, scoring the set-deciding 25 before the Jays hit double digits. Erickson, a 6-1 outside and setter, was hard to stop and the net racking up a game-high of 15 kills.

The final set began much the same way with the Blue Jays down, but if Sara Hegerle's team knows how to do one thing it's how to battle.

West Fargo established an early 15-6 lead relying heavily on 5-10 Binstock and Erickson, who smashed the ball right at Schiele and Jamestown defensive specialists Kaylee Panchot and Addi Douty. But where one Blue Jay faltered, another stepped in.

The Jays kept inching closer to the Packers putting up a pair of 4-0 runs to come within five. Roaldson kept the Packers from ending the game on match point with a rejection at the net, but Fargo would get the ball past on the following play to end it 25-19.

"That's a good team we got beat by," Hegerle said. "It's just disappointing that these seniors won't experience a championship. They really deserve it.

"When you are shooting for (No.) 1, No. 3 doesn't sound so good but it will. Top-three in the state, that's a good goal."


West Fargo, Jamestown 0

JHS 24 6 19

WF 26 25 25

JHS -- Kills: Roaldson 9, Hegerle 6, Katie Falk 4, Trumbauer 3, Hunter Petersen 3, Haylie Hakanson 1, Fischer 1. Assists: Trumbauer 10, Schiele 2, Hegerle, Petersen 1. Digs: Schiele 18, Hegerle 11, Fischer 9, Panchot 4, Douty 3, Petersen 2, Bernie Newman 2, Roaldson 1, Trumbauer 1, Hakanson 1. Aces: Fischer 1, Douty 1, Trumbauer 1. Blocks: Roaldson 3, Petersen 1, Hakanson 1, Trumbauer 1, Hegerle 1, Falk 1.

WF -- Kills: Erickson 15, Binstock 14, Nadia Chwialkowski 9, Chloe Pfau 3, Madison McKinnon 2. Assists: Olivia Soine 19, Erickson 12, Maddie Waldera 7, Binstock 1, Pfau 1, Mary Schnell 1. Digs: Waldera 26, Binstock 17, Soine 15, Emily Larsen 13, Erickson 8, Chwialkowski 7, Brynn Giesen 4, Madison McKinnon 2, Pfau 1. Aces: Soine 2, Erickson 1, Binstock 1. Blocks: Erickson 3, Pfau 3, McKinnon 2, Schnell 1, Chwialkowski 1.





NOV. 19

G1: Bismarck Century 3, Valley City 0 (25-15, 25-9, 25-18)

G2: Fargo Davies 3, Mandan 2 (25-21, 23-25, 25-11, 20-25, 16-14)

G3: West Fargo 3, Bismarck Legacy 1 (21-25, 25-15, 25-20, 26-24)

G4: Jamestown 3, W.F. Sheyenne 2 (25-16, 14-25, 25-14, 19-25, 15-8)

NOV. 20

G5: Mandan 3, Valley City 1 (25-19, 25-16, 20-25, 25-21)

G6: Legacy 3, West Fargo Sheyenne 0 (25-22 26-24 25-22)


G7: Century 3, Fargo Davies 0 (27-25, 25-22. 25-23)

G8: West Fargo 3, Jamestown 0 (26-24, 25-6, 25-19)

NOV. 21

Seventh place: Valley City vs. West Fargo Sheyenne, 10 a.m.

Fifth place: Mandan vs. Legacy, 1 p.m.

Third place: Fargo Davies vs. Jamestown, 4 p.m.

Championship: Century vs. West Fargo, 7 p.m.



NOV. 19

G1: Thompson 3, Flasher 0 (25-12, 25-20, 25-20)

G2: Langdon/EM 3, Kenmare 0 (25-19, 25-17, 25-22)

G3: Linton/HMB 3, Our Redeemer's 0 (25-15, 25-17, 25-12)

G4: Northern Cass 3, Dickinson Trinity 0 (25-12, 25-23, 25-15)

NOV. 20

G5: Flasher 3, Kenmare 2 (25-22, 16-25, 25-20, 26-28, 15-11)

G6: Dickinson Trinity 3, Our Redeemers 0 (27-25, 26-24, 25-8)

G7: Langdon/EM 3, Thompson 0 (25-18, 25-22, 25-15)

G8: Linton/HMB 3, Northern Cass 0 (25-22, 25-17, 25-21)

NOV. 21

Seventh place: Kenmare vs. Our Redeemers, 10 a.m.

Fifth place: Flasher vs. Dickinson Trinity, 1 p.m.

Third place: Thompson vs. Northern Cass, 4 p.m.

Championship: Langdon/EM vs. Linton/HMB, 7 p.m.

Gerber is a sports writer for the Jamestown Sun.
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