They were all in, all the time, and it was part of the reason they were named to the All-WDA volleyball team.
Ella Roaldson, Rachel Schiele and Grace Hegerle, all Jamestown High School seniors, finished out their high school volleyball careers as all-conference athletes. This year's West Region teams highlighted the top-19 athletes, as voted on by area coaches.
Schiele was named to the second-team squad, while Roaldson and Hegerle earned first-team honors.
"This award means the world," said Schiele, a three-year starting libero. "The fact that the season was the way it was, just being able to get noticed is an honor. It was a goal of mine -- it has been since freshman year."
Schiele finished the season eighth in the WDA in total digs, recording 265 saves in her 56 sets played. Schiele averaged 16.5 digs per set and scored a dozen aces.
Schiele's stats came in spite of a few days spent at Jamestown Regional Medical Center. After experiencing sudden abdominal pains on Halloween, Schiele was later diagnosed with appendicitis and was forced to miss the Jays' final match of the regular season -- a 3-0 loss to Mandan.
Schiele returned to the court on Nov. 10 -- the same day she was cleared to play -- to help the Blue Jays earn an opening-round WDA tournament win over Bismarck St. Mary’s at Jerry Meyer Arena.
"The special thing about this season is that no matter how tough things got, everyone supported each other," Schiele said. "Having games be canceled really sucked, but I think it made us appreciate every game that we did have and work harder to make those games count."
Hegerle did her best to make each game of her senior season count.
"Through all the uncertainties and stress about whether we would finish or even have a year, the awards weren’t on my mind," Hegerle said. "I was definitely more focused on playing and enjoying every day just because we never knew what would happen due to COVID."
Hegerle was first named all-conference as a junior, and while she said earning titles and awards wasn't a dominating thought, she was still eager to prove herself in her final season.
During the 12 weeks of conference play, Hegerle put up 196 kills -- second only to Bismarck Legacy's Camryn Beasley. The 5-foot-10 outside also served up more than 20 aces from the backline.
During WDA tournament play, Hegerle racked up another 31 kills, 40 digs and four aces, en route to her team's fifth consecutive trip to the state volleyball tournament held in Fargo Nov. 19-21.
"We all just decided that no matter what happens with Covid, we will always put it aside once we stepped on the court," Hegerle said. "It was hard at times because ... I was constantly afraid something would happen and the season would be over just like that."
Thankfully, for Hegerle and the Blue Jays, the season didn't end until the team's last match at the Fargodome. JHS placed fourth with Hegerle recording 32 kills, 43 digs and three aces in Fargo.
The senior, along with Roaldson, also left Fargo with first-team all-state honors. Hegerle was also named NDHSCA POWERade Outstanding Senior Athlete of the Year.
The all-state honor was Roaldson's first of her high school career.
"The award is more special to me because at the beginning of the season I had lost a lot of confidence in myself, so knowing that I was able to get out of that low time is rewarding," Roaldson said. "My goal this season was to make it the best season I could with everything that is happening."
Roaldson, a 5-foot-8 middle, suffered a broken leg during the summer, calling into question her ability to suit up for a final season. The senior experienced no setbacks due to the break and was right where the Jays wanted her for the entire season -- front and center.
"The best part of playing Blue Jay volleyball is the positive, competitive atmosphere, and the friends you become so close with along the years," Roaldson said.
Roaldson tallied 175 kills and 25 blocks during regular-season play. The middle topped the kill charts in all six of the Jays' postseason contests, recording 89 kills and 13.5 blocks at the net.
"I'm so thankful for all my teammates and coaches that have helped me become the player I am today," Roaldson said. "I will miss putting on that Blue Jay jersey and I can’t wait to see how the team does in the seasons to come."
The two trees and a bush, as the three call themselves, said they are grateful to have been a part of the Blue Jay volleyball program and to have met some of their best friends in the process.
"The bond we have is definitely unbreakable," Hegerle said of her friendship with Roaldson, Schiele and seniors Kaylee Panchot and Addi Douty. "There are no other girls I would rather finish my high school career with."
2020 CLASS A VOLLEYBALL ALL-STATE TEAM
Jamestown: Grace Hegerle, Ella Roaldson; West Fargo: Erin Binstock, Halle Erickson; West Fargo Sheyenne: Jadyn Feist; Bismarck Century: Julia Fitterer, Logan Nissley; Mandan: Piper Harris, Taylor Leingang; Grand Forks: Red River Kaylee Lancaster, Alex Page; Fargo Davies: Grace Solberg.
Bismarck Legacy: Camaryn Beasley; Fargo Shanley Lander Friederichs, Olivia Vetter; Bismarck High: McKenzie Moser; Fargo North: Emily Skalicky; Minot: Morgan Wheeler.
NDHSCA POWERade Outstanding Senior Athlete -Grace Hegerle, Jamestown.
NDHSCA SUBWAY Coach of the Year - Jamie Zastoupil, Bismarck Century.