Grace Hegerle has been playing volleyball since before she could walk.

"Grace's first volleyball tournament was when we left the hospital after she was born and went straight to a gym in Minneapolis," Grace's mother and Jamestown High School volleyball coach Sara Hegerle said. "My team was playing and we went to watch. Grace's car seat was an inch from getting hit by a ball."

The mother-daughter duo's last few volleyball games as coach and athlete are slated to begin Thursday. The Blue Jays will kick off their fifth consecutive state tournament trip against West Fargo Sheyenne at 7 p.m. at the Fargodome.

"It's going to make me cry just thinking about it," Hegerle said. "I could say it's been a great four years but actually it's really been since (Grace has) been seven years old when she put her first pair of kneepads on. We had her passing a volleyball when it was a balloon because the ball was heavier than her arms.

"We've been playing balloon volleyball in our house since the kids could walk."

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Grace, along with senior teammates Ella Roaldson and Rachel Schiele, has suited up for the Blue Jays' varsity squad since 2017. The 5-foot-10 outside earned a starting spot in 2018 and was named to the 2019 All-State volleyball team.

In her final regular season with the Jays, Grace was the second-leading attacker in the WDA with 196 kills at the net and 21 aces. She was also named the conference's outstanding senior athlete.

"I think it's a well-deserved honor," Hegerle said. "I'm very, very proud of her as a mom and as a coach and we're a volleyball family, but we have a lot of things going on in our lives. She has committed herself to getting better at the sport of volleyball. She plays in the offseason, she's constantly in the gym or watching film."

Hegerle said that when the coronavirus pandemic forced a quarantine last March, Grace was watching past Blue Jay volleyball matches from before her time as a Blue Jay.

"She just loves the sport," Hegerle said "She loves everything about it. We are proud of her. Hard work and just even having a good attitude and being a good teammate is part of the reason that she got the award."

Grace has not made any commitments to play collegiate volleyball at this time.

"I can't even imagine how many tournaments or how many games we've watched her play," Hegerle said. "It's been a great run with her. She's so easy to coach and I will miss having her alongside me in the gym."

Grace feels the same way.

"Easily the best part about having her as my coach is being able to walk into the gym every day and just know she will be there," Grace said. "Moms have such a comforting thing about them and when I come from a long day of school it’s so comforting to know I get to go and play the sport I love with my mom there.

"Every person that walks into that gym, she makes them feels wanted and that inspires me to want to do the same thing."

Hegerle will be right alongside Grace and the rest of the Blue Jays as they "Finish in Fargo" a mantra the whole team has adopted since the start of the season.

"We have to go in and compete with a little more discipline in things we did defensively (against Century)," Hegerle said. "Sheyenne is a different kind of team that we haven't seen at all. It's a whole new season really."

The Mustangs are entering their third consecutive state tourney. Head coach Leah Newton coached her squad to a regular-season finish of 19-10 overall and 17-3 in the Eastern Dakota Conference (EDC).

"(We are) very appreciative that we are still playing and trying to enjoy every opportunity we have to play together as a team," Newton said."

Jadyn Feist will be testing Schiele and the Blue Jays' back row having racked up more than 250 kills this season, while Makenzie Urbanec has sent 39 aces sailing past the opposing team's defenses. Alexis Burke has been busy in the back half of the Mustangs' court popping of 441 digs.

"It's going to be who comes in with more confidence, grit and fight," Hegerle said. "No matter what we are happy to be there. We're grateful for our season, we're grateful for the postseason but we would like to do something more there."

HIGH SCHOOL VOLLEYBALL

CLASS A STATE TOURNAMENT

AT FARGODOME

NOV. 19

G1: Bismarck Century vs. Valley City, 10 a.m.

G2: Fargo Davies vs. Mandan, 1 p.m.

G3: West Fargo vs. Bismarck Legacy, 4 p.m.

G4: Jamestown vs. W.F. Sheyenne, 7 p.m.

NOV. 20

G5: Loser G1 vs. Loser G2, 10 a.m.

G6: Loser G3 vs. Loser G4, 1 p.m.

G7: Winner G1 vs. Winner G2, 4 p.m.

G8: Winner G3 vs. Winner G4, 7 p.m.

NOV. 21

Seventh place: Loser G5 vs. Loser G6, 10 a.m.

Fifth place: Winner G5 vs. Winner G6, 10 a.m.

Third place: Loser G7 vs. Loser G8, 4 p.m.

Championship: Winner G7 vs. Winner G8, 7 p.m.

CLASS B STATE TOURNAMENT

AT FARGODOME

NOV. 19

G1: Thompson vs. Flasher, 10 a.m.

G2: Langdon/EM vs. Kenmare, 1 p.m.

G3: Linton/HMB vs. Our Redeemer's, 4 p.m.

G4: Dickinson Trinity vs. Northern Cass, 7 p.m.

NOV. 20

G5: Loser G1 vs. Loser G2, 10 a.m.

G6: Loser G3 vs. Loser G4, 1 p.m.

G7: Winner G1 vs. Winner G2, 4 p.m.

G8: Winner G3 vs. Winner G4, 7 p.m.

NOV. 21

Seventh place: Loser G5 vs. Loser G6, 10 a.m.

Fifth place: Winner G5 vs. Winner G6, 10 a.m.

Third place: Loser G7 vs. Loser G8, 4 p.m.

Championship: Winner G7 vs. Winner G8, 7 p.m.