There was a slew of former Class B volleyball talent at the net for the Jimmies Friday night.
The UJ women's volleyball team survived a four-set battle at the Corn Palace to defeat Dakota Wesleyan 25-21, 22-25, 25-19, 25-23. With the win the Jimmies improved to 7-0 overall and 5-0 in the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC). Dakota Wesleyan dropped to 7-5 and 4-5 in the GPAC.
The Jimmies will be looking to push their win streak to 8-0 as the team will face the College of St. Mary (NE) Saturday at 3 p.m.
"It was a battle," UJ head coach Jon Hegerle said. of the GPAC matchup "Every time we went on a roll they called a timeout and then they would go on a run. It was really back and forth the whole time. That was something new that we haven't faced this season where a team keeps coming and coming."
The two teams were evenly matched in all skill positions. The Jimmies racked up 68 kills off of 188 attack attempts while the Tigers ended up with 51 balls smashed off 178 tries.
UJ's 0.250 hitting average was led by a crew of former Class B volleyball athletes.
Anna Holen, a junior out of LaMoure/Litchville-Marion once again topped the kill charts for the Jimmies drilling 17 balls past the Tigers' defense. Holen, the 2017 Class B senior volleyball athlete of the year, has swung for 77 kills in her third season on the Jimmies' varsity roster. Holen has led the Jimmies in hitting in five of the team's seven matches.
Taylor Sabinash, a second-year varsity team member, was another beacon of local talent Friday night. The junior middle out of Pingree-Buchanan cracked into the double digits smashing 10 balls down within the ten-foot line.
"In my 12 seasons of coaching the volleyball has really improved," Hegerle said of the talent coming to the Jimmies from Class B programs. "We're fortunate to get a number of those (players) come to UJ and compete with us."
The Jimmies' roster boasts seven athletes out of Class B high school volleyball programs -- one of whom has caught Hegerle's eye of late.
"I thought Nicole (Schmitz) had a really good match and scored some important points for us," Hegerle said. "She has such a great arm swing and great contact and can contact the ball so high.
"She's really athletic so she just hits a different ball than a lot of other players. It has a tremendous amount of top-spin so she can hit hard and it drives down."
Schmitz, a freshman out of Oakes, put down nine spinners on the outside for the Jimmies.
While the Jimmies managed to outswing the host team for three of the four sets, Hegerle said the team made its fair share of errors that allowed the Tigers to claw their way back into the game.
"They really played well - it was a good match," Hegerle said of Dakota Wesleyan. "They weren't as dynamic offensively as we were but in the same token, they managed things a little bit better in playing error-free."
The Jimmies defense, captained by Langdon native Sydney Ellingson racked up a triple-digit dig total. Ellingson, Holen and Jamestown native Hannah Schiele combined for 71 of the Jimmies' 100 passes. While the team only made five reception errors Hegerle said he would like to see his team post more consistent passing averages against the College of Saint Mary.
"College of Saint Mary is a really good team - they are consistent," Hegerle said. "We're going to have to play at a high level."
University of Jamestown 3, Dakota Wesleyan 1
UJ 25 22 25 25
DW 21 25 19 23
UJ -- Kills: Anna Holen 17, Kalli Hegerle 17, Taylor Sabinash 10, Nicole Schmitz 9, Jayla Ritter 6, Corina Huff 5, Megan Gaffaney 2, Jackie Meiklejohn 1, Sydney Ellingson 1. Assists: Meiklejohn 35, Megan Gaffaney 25. Digs: Ellingson 29, Holen 26, Schiele 16, Meiklejohn 10, Gaffaney 7, Schmitz 5, Ellie Holen 5, Hegerle 1, Sabinash 1.
DW -- Kills: Ady Dwight 14, McKenzie Buisker 11, Mackenzie Miller 10, Jadie DeLange 7, Mariah Gloe 7, Chadon Metzger 1, Madeline Else 1. Assists: Else 46, Dannielle Burns 1, Gloe 1, Miller 1. Digs: Gloe 20, Hanna Reiff 20, Else 12, Sara Herman 10, Burns 9, Miller 5, Allison Jamison 2, DeLange 2, Dwight 1. Aces: Jamison 2, Burns 2, Reiff 1.