Corina Huff has been around Jimmie volleyball for half a decade and in that time, the middle blocker -- and the Jimmies -- just keep getting better.
"From the years I have been a part of it, we've always been consistent in who the Jimmies are," Huff said. "We've always been a high-energy team but I think our skills and discipline on the court has really improved throughout the years to where our skill level keeps going up."
There was massive energy and skill plays happening on the Newman Arena floor Saturday evening.
The UJ women's volleyball team cruised to their 16th straight win and fourth straight sweep, beating Morningside University 25-13, 25-17, 25-12 to improve to a perfect 16-0 and 6-0 in the GPAC. Morningside dropped to 10-10 overall and 1-5 in conference play.
UJ will be back at the Newman Tuesday hosting Presentation College. First serve is slated for 7 p.m.
The last time UJ faced Morningside University was three weeks ago at the Mustangs' home gym. Jimmie head coach Jon Hegerle said the squad came out firing at about 80% that match, a stat he saw improved upon on Saturday.
The Jimmies jumped out to an 11-4 lead in the first, thanks to explosive and dynamic hitting at the net. UJ kept finding the gaps in Morningside's defense, and the Mustangs' starting six could just not recover from hits put down within the 10-foot line.
"I really thought that we were ready to play," Hegerle said. "The match felt light but focused and our team was pretty excited. I was pleased with every facet of the game today."
Kalli Hegerle and Huff combined for nine kills in the first, helping the Jimmies to a 0.625 hitting percentage in the opening game. As a team, the Jimmies hit .429 compared to Morningside's 0.012. Huff ended the first with a mid-court cut to the right-sideline.
"She is so savvy at the net," Hegerle said of his fifth-year senior. "She sees the block so well and is so efficient -- it's just so fun. She keeps hitting balls and it's like, oh my goodness. She's always been a really good blocker but her offense is way above where it was last year -- she's really difficult for a team to stop.
"If she had enough attempts per set, she'd be maybe top-two in the country in hitting percentage so it's wonderful to have her on our side."
Huff's perfect 6-for-6 at the net, was not all her doing.
"Every kill is awesome but it's not just me, it's also the passing and the set," Huff said. "Really I have to give it to the setters because they are the ones who put in all the hard work to get a good set."
Gaffaney was the Jimmies' assist leader for the night, passing out 19 balls to the front three. Meiklejohn recorded another 14 to help fuel the Jimmie offense. Meiklejohn was also the team's ace leader with four.
When Morningside did manage to pop up a ball off a Jimmie attack, Hegerle said he was impressed with the Mustangs' efforts offensively.
"Down there they were really tipping a lot of balls and rolling shots but I thought they did a good job tonight of hitting some deep corner shots,' Hegerle said. "They also had some purposeful dumps over the net that were intentional."
Jamestown native Hannah Schiele took control of the UJ back row, popping up eight balls for Gaffaney and Meiklejohn. Freshman libero Ellie Holen and Mieiklejohn combined for 14 more digs. The Jimmies recorded just two receiving errors while Morningside shanked six balls.
After a dominant first set win, Morningside did a nice job of staying tough mentally and worked to contain the Jimmies.
Hegerle said he thought the Mustangs defended better than when the two teams met in Iowa. Morningside was led by Payton Shoquist in the back with 10 digs while Sydney Marlow added five to the team's collective 23.
The two teams were in a deadlock for much of the match -- with seven ties and five lead changes in just the first nine points. Morningside capitalized on some Jimmie errors and sent eight balls rolling past the back three. Meredith Hoffman and Marlow each came away with six kills.
A 4-0 run by the Jimmies gave the home team a 15-11 lead and signaled the Jimmies' final pull away. Morningside did not come closer than three points the rest of the match.
Momentum was swinging in the Jimmies' favor in set No. 3, which began with a 5-0 run. Morningside's passes were off the net, making it harder for the Mustangs to deliver a non-returnable ball. The Jimmies soon found themselves up 19-5 and while the Mustangs were able to conjure up seven more before the set was out, it wasn't enough to slow down UJ.
"Tonight we were really good at staying loose, staying lighthearted, having good energy but also being really disciplined with what we do,' Huff said. "There wasn't a major lull, the consistency is good right now."
University of Jamestown 3, Morningside University 0
MOR 13 17 12
UJ 25 25 25
MOR -- Kills: Hoffman 6, Marlow 6, Claire Wilson 3. Assists: Sabrina Creason 13. Digs: Shoquiest 10, Marlow 5, Creason 4. Aces: Ryley Rolls 2. Blocks: Marlow 1, Kenna Howard 1.
UJ -- Kills: Kalli Hegerle 8, Jayla Ritter 8, Anna Holen 7, Huff 6, Aleah Zieske 6, Taylor Sabinash 3, Logan Sherman 2, Meiklejohn 1, Gaffaney 1. Assists: Gaffaney 19, Meiklejohn 14. Digs: Schiele 8, E. Holen 7, Meiklejohn 7, Gaffaney 3, Sabinash 3, Averi Beyer 2. Aces: Meiklejohn 4, A. Holen 1, Beyer 1. Blocks: Ritter 3, A. Holen 1.
Records: Morningside University 10-10, 1-5. University of Jamestown 16-0, 6-0