JAMESTOWN, N.D. – In a pivotal matchup of GPAC championship contenders, host Jamestown showed why it remains undefeated in 2020. The Jimmies continued their dominance inside Newman Arena while sending the Concordia University Volleyball team away by a 25-22, 25-22, 25-18, decision on Friday (Oct. 16) night. The Bulldogs hung tight with Jamestown in the first two sets before letting the third one get away from them.
Third-year Head Coach Ben Boldt’s program had hoped to close the deal this time against Jamestown, a foe that twice beat Concordia in five sets in 2019. At 7-2 in the GPAC, the Bulldogs are looking up at Jamestown (9-0, 7-0 GPAC) and Northwestern (9-1, 7-1 GPAC) in the league standings.
Said Boldt, “Jamestown played a clean game. Their middles and right sides were able to put the ball away. I thought we took some good swings, but we made too many mistakes on out-of-system plays.”
The Jimmies actually graduated a couple of top-flight attackers from last year’s NAIA national semifinal team. They have clearly reloaded quite nicely with a core that includes North Dakota State University transfer Kalli Hagerle. There isn’t just one star that has to do it all for Jamestown, which got six or more kills from Corina Huff (10), Hegerle (nine), Taylor Sabinash (seven) and Anna Holen (six) on Friday. The Jimmies outhit Concordia, .235 – .091.
An opportunity slipped away from the Bulldogs in the second set when they led 19-17. The 7-0 run that followed by Jamestown represented the most significant sequence of the night. Three of those points came courtesy of kills by Huff. A kill later on from Camryn Opfer got Concordia within 24-22 before Hegerle responded to make it a commanding 2-0 lead for the home team.
Arleigh Costello kept up a nice string of matches for her by pacing the Bulldogs with 10 kills on 25 swings. Opfer and Kara Stark were close behind with nine apiece. Freshman Gabi Nordaker (six kills, three blocks) was hot early on with four of her kills coming in the first set. Additionally, Tara Callahan collected 28 assists and three Concordia players notched at least 13 digs: Tristin Mason (14), Opfer (14) and Marissa Hoerman (13). Hoerman added a pair of aces.
Head Coach Jon Hegerle’s program is 18-1 over its last 19 home matches. Jamestown put away 42 kills compared to 37 for the Bulldogs. The Jimmies, who will host Midland on Saturday, entered the weekend ranked third nationally with an average of 14.25 kills per set.
The weekend road trip continues on Saturday with a matchup at Dakota Wesleyan (8-6, 4-6 GPAC). First serve of the varsity match is set for 5 p.m. CT from Mitchell, S.D. In their most recent outing, the Tigers fell in four sets at Northwestern.