Two thoughts went through Rachel Schiele's mind when she was admitted to Jamestown Regional Medical Center (JRMC) Saturday night.
The Jamestown High School senior experienced sudden abdominal pains Saturday and was later diagnosed with appendicitis. As a result, Schiele was forced to miss the last regular-season volleyball game of her high school career.
Mandan swept the Jays 25-21, 27-25, 25-17 Tuesday at the Braves' home venue. The Blue Jays and Mandan both finished the regular season at 14-4.
"I looked to my mom and said, 'Can I live without my appendix?' And, the second thing was, 'Can I still play volleyball? Schiele said. "So you could say I was pretty scared."
A timeline for Schiele's return is still to be established, but the libero is anxious to get out of her hospital bed and back on the court with her team.
Schiele is a conference leader in digs with 265 -- an average of 17.6 per match. In her Blue Jay career, Schiele has saved more than 500 balls from the floor.
"The doctor said I should have no activity for two weeks," Schiele said. "I’m hoping it’s sooner than that. I’m hoping to get back for some of WDA and state (tournament)."
The West Region tournament will begin Thursday. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, all matches will be held at the venue of higher seeds over the course of the next two weeks. The Class A state volleyball tournament will be held at the Fargodome from Nov. 19-21.
"We will have to play like we always do and have lots of energy," Schiele said of the game plan for the rest of the season. "Going forward (we have to) stay positive and work hard to get better every day. We are capable of doing anything we put our minds to."
Those capabilities just fell a little shy of Mandan's pace of play Tuesday.
Without Schiele in the back row, senior defensive specialist (DS) Kaylee Panchot assumed the role of interim libero. JHS head coach Sara Hegerle commended the DS on her performance as a first-time libero
"I think she has done a good job," Hegerle said. "She played really well at Century and I thought she did a good job tonight. That's a lot of pressure for someone who has never played libero. That was a bold move by her to step in there and take leadership and embrace it. She's a good teammate, she's a good leader, she's a good defender.
"Mandan just didn't make a lot of errors, our first ball contact was not always what we wanted it to be."
Mandan hitters Taylor Leingang and Olivia Leingang tested the atypical Blue Jay back row even more. The duo drilled a series of balls past Panchot and defensive specialist Aspyn Peterson.
The Blue Jays had a chance late in the second to force a fourth set. The Blue Jays were down 23-21 when senior Ella Roaldson smashed a few balls in the face of Mandan libero Piper Harris. Roaldson's dynamic net play tied the score at 24, forcing the two teams to go into extra points.
"She has the big shoulders and she wants to put the team on her shoulders and she can make the plays to do that," Hegerle said. "She's solid. She's worked so hard to be a successful player in the front row.
"She wants people to look to her to make the big plays, she wants to make the big plays at the end of the match, she wants to get the ball and she does something good with it. She's a very good player."
The Jays ended up losing the second 27-25, but the momentum of the tight battle swung over to the first part of the third set.
Mandan trailed Jamestown before going on a run to make it 14-9. The five-point lead soon grew to 11, putting the third and final set out of the Blue Jays' reach.
"Tonight it just didn't come together for us," Hegerle said. "The problem is that we are not confident in some of the stuff we are doing and if you question yourself just a little bit, then you don't make the big plays at the end like you need to.
"We need to get off the bus, get some sleep, go back to the drawing board, get in the gym and work our butts off this week. That's my plan."
Mandan 3, Jamestown 0
JHS 21 25 17
MAN 25 27 25
JHS -- Roaldson 13, Hegerle 12, Katie Falk 3, Trumbauer 2, Haylie Hakanson 2, Hunter Petersen 2. Assists: Trumbauer 18. Digs: Hegerle 16, Panchot 16, Aspyn Peterson 9, Jenna Fischer 5, Roaldson 4, Falk 2, Trumbauer 2. Aces: Fischer 2, Panchot 2, Trumbauer 2, Hegerle 1. Blocks: Trumbauer 2, Roaldson 1, Falk 1.
Records: Jamestown 14-4, 14-4 WDA; Mandan 14-4, 14-4