The University of Jamestown women’s volleyball team has proven defense wins championships and conference games.
The defending Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) tournament champions swept Presentation College 25-15, 25-19, 25-13 Tuesday evening. The win was the Jimmies' third sweep of the season, having previously bested Valley City State University in three on Sept. 30 and Briar Cliff University on Oct. 3.
“I think it felt good,” UJ head coach Jon Hegerle said of the Jimmies’ sixth win. “It’s always difficult coming down and playing on a week night but I think we took care of business fairly well.”
Hegerle said the Jimmies’ offense took a few points to get going, hindered in part by the Saints’ defense who racked up 47 digs off UJ’s 110 attack attempts. Taylor Sabinash and Anna Holen led Jamestown at the net, each tallying eight kills while senior middle Corina Huff and Logan Sherman combined for 12 more of Jamestown’s 43 kills.
While the front three were putting the ball on the ground, the back row crew was busy keeping the ball in the air.
“I think our back row did a good job,” Hegerle said. “Our serving and passing were pretty strong and that is the first battle that we try to win.”
Holen topped the dig charts posting 17, three ahead of senior libero Sydney Ellingson. Former Jamestown High School Blue Jay Hannah Schiele was also in the mix for the Jays, popping up four for setters Megan Gaffaney and Jackie Meiklejohn.
“We think that we have one of the best back rows in the country with those three,” Hegerle said. "They keep proving it night in and night out and will always give us a chance to win.”
Holen, a three-year varsity team member and the team’s starting outside plays every position on the court for the Jimmies. Holen, a LaMoure/Litchville-Marion graduate was a part of the Loboes' state tournament championship team during her high school career.
Ellingson, a senior out of Langdon/AEM, has been with Hegerle and the varsity squad since her sophomore season. In those three years, Ellingson has racked up more than 950 digs.
Schiele adds two more years of experience for the 2020 team after graduating from JHS and the instruction of Blue Jay head coach Sara Hegerle.
“They’ve been a mainstay all year so far and we expect them to keep getting better,” Hegerle said.
The trio combined for 35 of the team’s 59 digs and three of the team’s seven aces.
UJ will be back in action on Friday as the team will travel to Mitchell, South Dakota, to take on Dakota Wesleyan. The match is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.
“That will be a good test for us to go down to the Corn Palace in Mitchell and play a worthy opponent," Hegerle said. "I’m looking forward to that.”
University of Jamestown 3, Presentation College 0
UJ 25 25 25
PC 15 19 13
UJ -- Kills: Sabinash 8, Holen 8, Huff 6, Sherman 6. Assists: Gaffaney 15, Meiklejohn 13. Digs: Holen 17, Ellingson 14, Meiklejohn 7, Gaffaney 6. Aces: Holen 2, Ellingson 1, Schiele 1.
PC -- Kills: Constence Rollins 6, Kayla Wolfe 6, Morgan Moelter 5. Assists: Rebecca Allen 13, Sydney Miller 8, Digs: Laura Babcock 17, Kenzie Kuxhaus 8, Miller 6. Aces: Babcock 1.