The seniors on the Blue Jay volleyball team described their final season as the following:

A rollercoaster. Hectic. Having a lot of ups and downs. And, the best one.

"I am a firm believer that finishing is from the Lord," JHS head coach Sara Hegerle said. "I have been praying for this team before all this started that we'd have a season.

"The gratitude is overwhelming."

The Blue Jays placed fourth at the Class A state volleyball tournament Saturday, falling to Fargo Davies to end the tumultuous 2020 season at 14-5.

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Thoughts of COVID-19 left the Blue Jays' minds when they entered the Fargodome, indicated by the team's fierce battle with West Fargo Sheyenne on Thursday to open play. The Jays' topped the Mustangs 3-2.

"Volleyball has gotten to be our escape, kind of," JHS senior outside hitter Grace Hegerle said. "When you are at home you think about Covid and everything is just about Covid and when you are on the court we can forget about it a little bit."

They forgot for at least three hours this weekend.

The Jays hit some bumps in Friday's semis, falling to top-seeded West Fargo in straight sets. But despite mental blocks and added pressure, Hegerle and her squad were determined to play Blue Jay volleyball until the final whistle blew.

That style of volleyball involves a whole lot of hustle, cheering and pure heart.

"I talked about how the Blue Jays play with their heart in a timeout," Hegerle said. "We have to play with our heart because we love the sport."

After dropping the first set and being down 22-16 in set No. 2 on Saturday facing Davies, the Blue Jays clawed back to within three at 23-20. Hegerle subbed in sophomore defensive specialist Rylee Joseph and freshman setter Makenna Nold to give the team a different look. The two new subs helped the Blue Jays rally and to within 24-23 but the Eagles prevailed 25-23.

"They were doing a good job," Hegerle said. "That was just a burst of renewed excitement. The future is bright."

Joseph recorded two digs and Nold posted four assists in their first state tournament appearances.

Rachel Schiele had some impressive stats of her own in her fourth-state tournament.

The senior and third-year libero for the Blue Jays was busy sprinting all over the court, covering back corners and the gaps behind the block. Schiele ended Saturday's match with 21 digs.

Schiele was not the only Blue Jay diving for balls as Hegerle had 17 digs. Schiele and Hegerle went crashing into tables and way beyond the court lines to keep balls in play.

The hustle Schiele, Hegerle and the other three Blue Jay seniors -- Ella Roaldson, Addi Douty and Kaylee Panchot -- showcased is something the five seniors want to pass down to the flock of younger Jays.

"No matter (if) it's the beginning of the season, the middle of the season, or the end of the season, play like it's the end," Roaldson said. "Play like you want to win a championship in any game."

Roaldson's advice was something the group of 16 Blue Jays took to heart.

The score was 21-15 Davies and while the Jays weren't able to get the win, the five seniors led the charge fighting and rallying for each of their remaining three points.

"I am proud of the seniors," Hegerle said. "I am so impressed with how they worked through this year and finished together with smiles on their face."

Jamestown's Haylie Hakanson hits against West Fargo Sheyenne during their N.D. Class A state quarterfinal volleyball match, Thursday, Nov. 19, in the Fargodome. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor
Jamestown's Haylie Hakanson hits against West Fargo Sheyenne during their N.D. Class A state quarterfinal volleyball match, Thursday, Nov. 19, in the Fargodome. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

Fargo Davies 3, Jamestown 0

JHS 21 23 18

FD 25 25 25

JHS -- Kills: Roaldson 14, Hegerle 10, Hunter Petersen 4, Katie Falk 3, Katie Trumbauer 1. Assists: Trumbauer 13, Nold 4, Haylie Hakanson 1, Douty 1, Schiele 1. Digs: Schiele 21, Hegerle 17, Jenna Fischer 11, Douty 5, Panchot 5, Joseph 2, Falk 1, Trumbauer 1. Blocks Roaldson 4, Hakanson 3, Petersen 2.

FD -- Kills: Grace Solberg 14, Ava Wild 13, Olivia Marcil 6, Maggie Krueger 3, Amy Kringlie 2, Mia Miller 1, Cayla Sailer 1, Julia Libner 1. Assists: Krueger 27, Taylor Safranski 6, Ellie Krenz 2, Justice Thilges 1. Digs: Thliges 19, Marcil 17, Solberg 9, Krueger 8, Wild 5, Krenz 2, Sidney Amerman 2, Kringlie 1, Kaia Davidson 1, McKenzie Sauvageau 1. Aces: Sauvageau 3, Wild 2, Marcil 2, Solberg 1. Blocks Libner 2, Kringlie 1, Krueger 1, Taylor Fey 1.

North Dakota High School Coaches Association Awards

Class A Senior Athlete of the Year: Grace Hegerle, Jamestown.

Class B Senior Athlete of the Year: Sadie Hansen, Oakes.

Class A Coach of the Year: Jamie Zastoupil, Bismarck Century.

Class B Coach of the Year: Jamie Richter, Linton/HMB.




NOV. 19

G1: Bismarck Century 3, Valley City 0 (25-15, 25-9, 25-18)

G2: Fargo Davies 3, Mandan 2 (25-21, 23-25, 25-11, 20-25, 16-14)

G3: West Fargo 3, Bismarck Legacy 1 (21-25, 25-15, 25-20, 26-24)

G4: Jamestown 3, W.F. Sheyenne 2 (25-16, 14-25, 25-14, 19-25, 15-8)

NOV. 20

G5: Mandan 3, Valley City 1 (25-19, 25-16, 20-25, 25-21)

G6: Legacy 3, West Fargo Sheyenne 0 (25-22, 26-24, 25-22)

G7: Century 3, Fargo Davies 0 (27-25, 25-22, 25-23)

G8: West Fargo 3, Jamestown 0 (26-24, 25-6, 25-19)

NOV. 21

Seventh place: West Fargo Sheyenne 3, Valley City 0 (25-21, 25-20, 27-25)

Fifth place: Mandan 3, Legacy 2 (25-19, 16-25, 21-25, 27-25, 15-8)

Third place: Fargo Davies 3, Jamestown 0 (25-21, 25-23, 25-18)

Championship: Century 3, West Fargo 1 (16-25, 29-27, 25-17, 25-19)



NOV. 19

G1: Thompson 3, Flasher 0 (25-12, 25-20, 25-20)

G2: Langdon/EM 3, Kenmare 0 (25-19, 25-17, 25-22)

G3: Linton/HMB 3, Our Redeemer's 0 (25-15, 25-17, 25-12)

G4: Northern Cass 3, Dickinson Trinity 0 (25-12, 25-23, 25-15)

NOV. 20

G5: Flasher 3, Kenmare 2 (25-22,16-25, 25-20, 26-28,15-11)

G6: Dickinson Trinity 3, Our Redeemers 0 (27-25, 26-24, 25-8)

G7: Langdon/EM 3, Thompson 0 (25-18, 25-22, 25-15)

G8: Linton/HMB 3, Northern Cass 0 (25-22, 25-27, 25-21)

NOV. 21

Seventh place: Kenmare 3, Our Redeemers 1 (25-22, 25-20, 21-25, 25-11)

Fifth place: Dickinson Trinity 3, Flasher 0 (25-12, 25-19, 25-13)

Third place: Thompson 3, Northern Cass 2 (25-23, 25-18, 23-25, 13-25, 15-12)

Championship: Linton/HMB 3, Langdon/EM 0 (27-25, 25-20, 26-24)