Everyone was getting excited at Jerry Meyer Arena Thursday night - especially the Blue Jay bench.
The Blue Jays swept the visiting Majettes to improve to 7-2 and claim the No. 2 spot in the West behind 10-0 Bismarck Century. Minot is now split at 5-5 in the West Region standings.
The Jays will be on the road next weekend visiting Watford City on Friday (Oct. 16) and Williston on Saturday (Oct. 17).
Game No. 1 was all Jamestown.
The home team took control early in the first holding the Majettes to single digits. Jamestown put up a dominating 9-1 run led by big swings from senior outside Grace Hegerle. Hegerle put 14 balls down on Minot’s side of the court posting a .650 hitting percentage. The senior averages 13 kills per match and has racked up 104 so far this season, the most by any player in the WDA.
Kills from Hegerle and senior middle Ella Raoldson, as well as newcomers Haylie Hakkanson and Hunter Petersen, got the Blue Jays on the sidelines awfully excited. The Jays tallied 29 collective kills compared to Minot’s 13.
“Makenna Nold and Jenna Fischer really know how to make it a fun time on the bench," said senior captain Kaylee Panchot. "I think when those on the court see us cheering, it just brings a whole new energy to the court.
Set. No. 2 was more of the same with the Jays starting things off with a 7-1 run. The dominating kills from the Jays’ front three and a solid defense anchored by second-year libero Rachel Schiele made a lot of things possible for the Jays.
“We are such a tight-knit group and once we start believing in each other and in ourselves we are able to click together and become one," Panchot said.
Roaldson, generally a middle for the Jays, tried her luck on the outside and the right side, while first-year setter Katie Trumbauer sent a couple of chutes out to Hegerle and sophomore Katie Falk. Hakkanson, a sophomore middle, posted one of the Jays' 19 assists.
"We did change our lineup a little bit and gave Ella a chance to be a little more versatile," JHS head coach Sara Hegerle said. "She likes to hit on the outside and she does a pretty nice job of it.
"It gives a little different look to our team that maybe teams we haven't played can't prepare for."
All the things happening on the court made the Blue Jay bench pretty animated.
“I think we have had so few games lately that they are not worn out by game fun," Hegerle said of her team's energy. "It's like the first match of the year every time we play almost."
Minot got animated midway through the third set.
The Majettes started finding their offensive rhythm when senior outside Morgan Wheeler went back to the line to serve. Wheeler helped the Majettes on a 6-0 run to come within one of the leading Blue Jays. The visitors tied the game at 14 apiece before a defensive bobble by the Jays gave Minot the lead.
"We started making our plays on offense," Minot assistant coach Jesse Goertzen said. "We started getting some blocks - started getting some momentum - and it just built and built. We had a server who went on a good run for us to bring us back into it and sometimes that's all you need."
Unfortunately for the visitors, the good serving was not all the team needed. Minot dropped the third 25-19.
"Our kids are just happy and grateful to be playing," Hegerle said. "They take care of what they need to take care of."
Jamestown 3, Minot 0
MIN 9 12 19
JHS 25 25 25
MIN -- Kills: Wheeler 4, Preslie Everson 4, Mariah Evenson 2, Paige Ackerman 1, Cambry Frantsvog 1, Ana Morelli 1. Assists: Frantsvog 6, Ackerman 4. Digs: Wheeler 7, Reese Terrel 6, Ackerman 6, Melayna Strand 2, Jenna Hardy 1, Evenson 1. Aces: Wheeler 1.
JHS -- Kills: Hegerle 14, Roaldson 9, Petersen 3, Hakkanson 1, Katie Falk 1. Assists: Trumbauer 17, Hakkanson 1, Nold 1. Digs: Schiele 15, Aspyn Peterson 8, Hegerle 5, Addi Douty 4, Trumbauer 4, Fischer 3, Petersen 1, Panchot 1. Aces: Fischer 7, Douty 4, Trumbauer 2, Peterson 2. Blocks: Roaldson 2, Hegerle 1, Trumbauer 1, Falk 1, Petersen 1, Hakkanson 1.
Records: Jamestown 7-2, Minot 5-5