Jays come into WDA tourney on hot streak
When Kameron Selvig took over as the setter, or quarterback, of the Jamestown High School volleyball team this season, there was bound to be some growing pains.
The 2018 campaign marked the first time in four seasons that someone other than Megan Gaffaney, a four-year starter at JHS and the school's all-time assists leader, would be setting volleyballs for the Blue Jays.
But after overcoming some up-and-down struggles, Selvig and the rest of the Jamestown crew has flourished, winning nine of their last 11 games. The Blue Jays (19-12) received the fifth seed for the West Region tournament and will play Bismarck High (24-9) in today's quarterfinals at 3 p.m. in Williston.
"We've gotten so much better, it's unbelievable," Selvig said. "I knew we had a bunch of potential this year and we're so underrated. We have the belief we can do anything."
The Blue Jays started off winning six of their first eight WDA games, but then the competition started revving up. Jamestown lost three straight contests to Mandan, Bismarck High and Legacy.
Hegerle moved outside hitter Courtney Peterson on a slide to the right, which helped the Blue Jays snap the losing streak and produced a formidable 1-2 punch between Selvig and Peterson in the process.
"I started jump setting, which is a big thing because it does a lot with drawing blockers, so the hitters can get more kills," Selvig said. "(Coach Hegerle) has been super good to me and knows that I'm not super experienced, but I've been working really hard."
The Blue Jays began figuring things out after upsetting Mandan in four sets and going 5-1 at the Fargo Scheels Invite on Oct. 5-6, which included wins over Bismarck High and Legacy. Jamestown was swept by Bismarck Century the following week but has now won four matches in a row.
"We did well at the Fargo tournament and that set the tone," Selvig said. "Obviously we played Century the next week and got swept but other than that we've been playing so well."
Qualifying for a third consecutive Class A state volleyball tournament starts today for the Jays facing Bismarck High. Hegerle and her side are mainly concerned with Bismarck's serving threat Macy Wetsch, who has produced 75 aces this season.
The coach brought in University of Jamestown's top volleyball server Kori Buchanan to practice on Monday and Tuesday to help with the challenge. Buchanan currently leads the Jimmies, who are awaiting a potential at-large bid into the NAIA national tournament, with 37 ace serves.
"They know what it takes to get better and be challenged," Hegerle said of her team. "So Kori came in and challenged our kids with 10 minutes of serving each day."
Wetsch also leads the Demons in kills with 168, Madysen Mosolf is the team's setter (475 assists) and BreAnn Sullivan leads the back row (329 digs).
Top-seeded Bismarck Century (19-1 WDA, 28-5) and No. 9 Williston (4-16, 9-26) are the two other teams in Jamestown's half of the bracket. The winners and losers of the two respective matchups would face each other in the next round.
"We're the one team that nobody wants to play," Hegerle said. "We caught some fire the last month-and a-half of our season. Teams don't like playing the unpredictable and that's us right now.
"We know what we're capable of and I think other teams are starting to figure out this team can be something."