FARGO — Jamestown volleyball head coach Sara Hegerle said her team was just happy to make an appearance at the Class A state volleyball tournament, and it showed.
The Blue Jays have a roster filled with a lot of young players who hadn’t been to the Fargodome before, but they didn’t let the youth show as they retained both their composure and momentum to defeat West Fargo Sheyenne in five sets (25-16, 14-25, 25-14, 19-25, 15-8).
Second-seeded Jamestown (17-5) advances to Friday’s semifinals against top-seeded West Fargo (27-2) at 7 p.m. at the Fargodome. The Mustangs (18-9) will play Bismarck Legacy (11-9) in the consolation semifinals at 1 p.m. Friday.
“This is a good feeling for our kids. We’re just happy to be here, honestly. That was a good match,” Hegerle said. “We don’t even know these teams from the East really well, we haven’t played them. It’s just kind of tough to know what to expect when you get here. We have kids who have never played in this facility, let alone win in here.”
That eagerness to be on the court was apparent Thursday. The Blue Jays got down to business right away, putting up five quick unanswered points. Jamestown had deep runs that controlled the first set, making it difficult for Sheyenne to shift any momentum.
The second set, however, was a different story. Fueled by Jadyn Feist’s five kills and a block in the second frame alone, Sheyenne came back to clinch the frame 25-14 on a Cally Tungseth kill.
Jamestown took back the upper hand in the third set, scoring in a multitude of ways. The Blue Jays got into a groove, growing their advantage to 22-9 and maintaining it through set point.
The Mustangs weren’t going to make it easy for the Blue Jays. Trailing by three, four straight points gave Sheyenne a narrow 19-18 lead. The Mustangs continued scoring, just as Feist continued to dominate the court. The 5-foot-11 senior outside hitter pushed the match to five, grabbing the fourth set with an ace.
Jamestown had played to five sets just two other times this season, so Hegerle wasn’t sure how her players would respond.
They showed her she didn’t have anything to worry about. The Blue Jays didn’t waste any time getting out to a 7-2 lead. Four unanswered Sheyenne points closed the gap, but Jamestown didn’t stop swinging.
“Our kids are tougher than we are. They have a lot more resilience than we do that we don’t give them enough credit for,” Hegerle said. “I’m happy with the way they came out and performed in that fifth set and I’m really hoping that they bring the same amount of energy tomorrow.”