It always seems to come down to five when Bismarck Century visits Jerry Meyer Arena.
Tuesday was no different.
The now 5-1 Jamestown High School volleyball team fell to Bismarck Century in a five-set thriller (25-20, 15-25, 25-18, 19-25, 11-15). The Jays and Pats are still in a battle for the top spot in the WDA as Jamestown is one game ahead of Century who is now the only remaining undefeated team in the conference at 5-0.
"I guess they are just supposed to go to five every time between Century and Jamestown," Blue Jay head coach Sara Hegerle said. "It was a good match - definitely disappointing but our kids are tough. We'll go back to the gym tomorrow and we're excited about our next match."
Jamestown will host Mandan on Sept. 22.
If either team was expecting an easy coast to 15 - they had another thing coming.
The race to 15 began with three big hits from Century's front row shifting all momentum to the team in red. Hattie Fitterer and Julia Fitterer, both Century seniors, combined for 26 kills while sophomore outside Logan Nissley led her team with 18 balls smashed.
"I think we just pieced it together and got on some runs but hats off to Jamestown, they took us out of the runs," Century head coach Jamie Zastoupil said. "I think we have two really good programs. A nice combination of experience and newness to the floor that makes just a little bit of a new dynamic for your team."
Experience is what got Jamestown back into the fifth set.
Blue Jay senior Grace Hegerle found a pair of gaps in the Patriots' defense and sent the ball spinning to the floor off assists from junior setter Katie Trumbauer to make it a one-point game. Varsity veteran Ella Roaldson followed suit sending a ball into the stands to tie up the set at three apiece. Hegerle sent 13 balls to bed over the five sets while Roaldson was the team leader with 16.
"I think we did really well and probably played our hardest honestly," Trumbauer said. "I think we did well (and) we'll get better too."
Trumbauer, a first-year varsity setter came away from 36 assists, the highest so far of her junior season.
"It's kind of nervewracking coming into a new environment and you really notice a difference in the intensity level against Century but it was really fun," Trumbauer said of her first career start against the Pats. "It was nice to have everyone back, it just brought a calming sense to (the game)."
The Jays might have been calm but they were far from relaxing their level of play.
"It gets to be really exciting," Zastoupil said. "The girls know each other and there's something about Jamestown that it always turns into this. It's fun to see the girls fight it out. The rallies that each side had tonight were unbelievable."
The fifth set saw five tied scores until the Pats made a four-point run to make it 11-7. There were 16 tied scores throughout the five sets. The Jays had some bobbles penetrating the blocks at the net put up by Megan Klein, the Fitterer sisters and Nissley. The four members of the 2019 Class A state runner-up team averaged a height of 5-foot-10.
Fortunately for the Jays, Rachel Schiele helped to keep the rallies alive by diving, bending, twisting and running all over the back half of the court for the Jays.
"I really thought we defended well," Hegerle said. "(Rachel) was spectacular in the back row. She's gotten better every year. She's our captain in the back row so to speak and she defended really well today.
"I really thought we all did - Grace defended well, Addi (Douty) defended well - we can't ask more out of those kids."
Schiele popped up 23 balls in the back row while Hegerle added 13 to the Jays' final dig count of 49.
Things were clicking up front and in the back for the Jays late in the fifth. The team capped off a four-point run with a kill from sophomore outside Katie Falk. Falk's 10th kill of the night pulled the Jays to within one to make it 11-12 Patriots. The one point gap was all the visitors needed as they scored three quick points to finish up the match.
"This is going to be a competition all season long," Zastoupil said. "We'll face them again. It's two good programs just battling it out."
Century 3, Jamestown 2
BC 20 25 18 25 15
J 25 15 25 19 11
BC - Kills: Nissley 18, J. Fitterer 16, H. Fitterer 10. Assists: Clarke 29, Abby Fletcher 19. Digs: Jocelyn Julson 26, J. Fitterer 24, Nissley 17. Aces: Megan Klein 2. Blocks: Klein 2, Macy Fridgen 2, H. Fitterer 1, Nissley 1, Camryn Harter 1.
J - Kills: Roaldson 16, Hegerle 13, Falk 10, Hunter Petersen 10, Haylie Hakanson 3, Trumbauer 1. Trumbauer 36. Digs: Schiele 23, Hegerle 13, Addi Douty 4, Jenna Fischer 3, Kaylee Panchot 2, Trumbauer 2, Roaldson 1, Aspyn Peterson 1. Aces: Schiele 2, Douty 1, Roaldson 1, Fischer 1. Blocks: Roaldson 4, Petersen 2, Hakanson 1, Trumbauer 1, Falk 1, Hegerle 1.
Records: Bismarck Century 5-0, Jamestown 5-1.