Veteran women's volleyball coach Jon Hegerle couldn't single out one player to highlight following Univesity of Jamestown's successful weekend in Sioux City, Iowa.
He would've had to recite the names of every athlete who made the trip.
"I just thought the whole team played really well, from every facet of the game," Hegerle explained. "We served tough, we passed well, we defended really well. Offensively we mixed it up ... We had a great team effort both nights."
One night after topping Briar Cliff 3-1, the No. 11 Jimmies hung a .308 hitting percentage on the stat sheet in a 3-0 sweep over No. 25 Morningside College. Hegerle had six players register six or more kills, as the Jimmies rolled 25-16, 25-21, 25-20 to claim victory No. 20 for a 14th consecutive season.
Jamestown sits in sole possession of second place in the Great Plains Athletic Conference standings at 8-1, behind the unbeaten and No. 2-ranked Northwestern College Red Raiders (22-0, 10-0 GPAC). The Red Raiders will be in town to face the Jimmies tomorrow (Oct. 21).
"We're trying to compete for a conference championship and it was our first chance to play a team from the south, so that was certainly important to come out and get a win," Hegerle said. "To do that after playing a receiving votes team (Briar Cliff) the night before and playing back-to-back matches on the road, that's difficult to do."
UJ outside hitter Jordan Thomas continued her standout senior season against the Mustangs, leading the Jimmies with nine kills and a hitting percentage of .471. The 5-foot-8 Thomas is up to 143 kills on the season.
Senior Britta Knudson, now one of the NAIA's leading middle blockers over the better part of two seasons, leads UJ with 208 kills and 109 total blocks. Knudson turned in seven kills and seven total blocks (three solo) on Saturday and is ranked 10th in the country in blocks per set (1.28) and 14th in both hitting percentage (.341) and total blocks.
Ellie Michaletz (8 kills), Isabel Wedell (8), Corina Ruud (7) and Taylor Sabinash (6) also figured heavily into the mix. Setters Jackie Meiklejohn and Miranda Lowman combined for 40 assists, and Sydney Ellingson and Hannah Schiele combined for 20 digs in the back row.
"We're trying to develop our momentum as a team and try to establish ourselves at a higher level, and to go out and play like we did today was really promising," Hegerle said. "We just had great energy and effort during the whole match. I guess for a lack of a better word, we just had a really good can-do attitude about everything that we did."
Morningside's All-GPAC hitters Emma Gerber and Krista Zenk led the Mustangs with 13 and 10 kills, respectively.
Monday's home matchup with conference-leading Northwestern begins at 6 p.m. The Red Raiders possess an embarrassment of riches, led by All-Americans Lacey Wacker (setter), A.J. Kacmarynski (outside) and Anna Wedel (outside), and all-conference performers Makenzie Fink (right side), Emily Van Ginkel (middle) and Bekah Horstman (middle).
All six athletes listed, except for Wacker, measure at least 6 feet in height, and all six athletes, expect for Horstman, is in their junior year of eligibility. Horstman is a sophomore and was last season's GPAC freshman of the year.
Northwestern dealt UJ its only defeat via sweep this season back on Sept. 28 in Orange City, Iowa, and is coming off back-to-back 3-2 victories over No. 22 Dordt and No. 8 Midland.
Monday's matchup is also Parent's Night for the Jimmies.
"Serve tough, pass well and just compete hard and not give them points," Hegerle said. "They're tough."
(11) University of Jamestown 3, (25) Morningside College 0
UJ 25 25 25
MC 16 21 20
UJ -- Kills: Jordan Thomas 9, Ellie Michaletz 8, Isabel Wedell 8, Britta Knudson 7, Corina Ruud 7, Taylor Sabinash 6, Miranda Lowman 2. Assists: Jackie Meiklejohn 21, Lowman 19. Aces: Hannah Schiele, Wedell, Meiklejohn. Digs: Sydney Ellingson 16, Schiele 14, Anna Holen 7, Lowman 5, Michaletz 4, Meikeljohn 3, Thomas 2. Blocks: Knudson 7, Sabinash 3, Wedell 2.
MC -- Kills: Emma Gerber 13, Krista Zenk 10, Brittni Olson 6, Caitlin Makovicka 4. Assists: Callie Alberico 27. Digs: Kayla Harris 13, Alberico 9, Ashley Boer 9. Blocks: Gerber 3, Olson 3.
Records: Jamestown 20-3, 8-1 GPAC. Morningside 14-8. 6-6.