JAMESTOWN – The top-ranked University of Jamestown women’s volleyball team capped off its third straight GPAC postseason championship Saturday night, defeating No. 19 Concordia (Neb.) University 3-0 at Harold Newman Arena.
The Jimmies improve to 31-0 and will host one of 24 NAIA National Volleyball Tournament opening round matches. UJ will find out its opponent on Monday.
Concordia, the GPAC tournament’s sixth seed, was looking for its third upset in a row, having defeated Midland and College of Saint Mary to reach the final. However, Jamestown was not about to let the Bulldogs get comfortable in Newman Arena.
UJ hit a resounding .432 in the opening set, and turned a slim 17-16 lead into a comfortable 22-17 edge after an Anna Holen (SR/LaMoure, N.D.) kill. Holen, Kalli Hegerle (SR/West Fargo, N.D.), and Aleah Zieske (FR/Spicer, Minn.) accounted for the final three Jimmie points and a 1-0 match lead.
Even better than the first set, UJ’s second frame resulted in a .462 hitting percentage with just one error on 39 attacks. Nineteen of Jamestown’s 25 points came on the kill, and the home crowd began to come alive as the Jimmies went ahead 2-0 in the match.
Nine attack errors might have been the only negative in the final set for UJ, but a rally from 7-6 down to up 17-10 put the Jimmies in command and they never looked back. Holen and Jayla Ritter (SR/Forest Lake, Minn.) put back-to-back balls to the floor, then an ace by Jackie Meiklejohn (SR/Dickey, N.D.) sealed the deal.
Holen had 14 kills while Corina Huff (SR/Pequot Lakes, Minn.) added nine. Ritter and Zieske both had eight and Hegerle ended with seven.
Meiklejohn passed out 23 assists and Megan Gaffaney (SR/Jamestown, N.D.) had 21 to go along with six digs. Ellie Holen (SO/LaMoure, N.D.) had a team-high 15 digs and Anna Holen recorded a double-double with 14 digs. Hannah Schiele (SR/Jamestown, N.D.) was also in double figures with 10 digs. Huff had four block assists among her five total blocks.