Jimmies volleyball sweep Rocky Mountain in pool play opener

Nov. 30—SIOUX CITY, Iowa. — The No. 2-ranked University of Jamestown and senior Anna Holen have continued to show their comfortability in Sioux City, with Holen making her fifth consecutive trip down to Sioux City. The Jimmies swept Rocky Mountain College (25-21, 25-19, 25-18) on Wednesday, Nov. 30, at the Tyson Events Center.

"Obviously we've had a lot of experience here, being here all that time they've gotten fairly comfortable playing here," Jimmies head coach Jon Hegerle said. "A big part of it too is we're staying at the same hotel that we stay at when we travel here during the regular season. It really feels like one of our away trips, which is part of the purpose of staying at the same place. So, I think that's really helping us be here for the right reasons."

In her five trips deep into the NAIA tournament, Holen has helped her team make it to the semifinals three times. Holen gives the credit to the success to Hegerle and the other coaches she has had during her time in the program.

"I think Jimmie volleyball isn't a product of the players but the players are a product of Jimmie volleyball," Holen said.

After the Battlin' Bears (21-15) started the first set off on fire, taking an early 5-1 lead, the Jimmies fought back to take a 7-5 lead. The teams traded runs after that with the Battlin' Bears taking a 13-10 lead. The Jimmies (33-2) responded with a 7-0 run to take a 17-13 lead. The Jimmies' bench exploded later in the set when Darienne Johnson got a kill to push the lead out to 24-19. The Jimmies put the set away when Holen blocked one off a Battlin' Bear to make it 25-21.

The Jimmies started the second set with a purpose going up 3-1 before the Battlin' Bears clawed back to make it 5-5. After the teams were tied at 13, the Jimmies went on a run to take a 19-15 lead. The Battlin' Bears got called for a double-hit violation to give the Jimmies the 25-19 second set win.

The third set was all Jimmies as they sprinted out an early 5-0 lead, drawing a Battlin' Bears timeout. The stoppage did little to slow the Jimmies down as they were able to stretch the lead out to 20-5, with multiple Jimmies getting in on the action. The Jimmies' Kalli Hegerle dropped one right in between multiple Battlin' Bears to push the Jimmies' lead out to 23-13. The Battlin' Bears responded with a run to cut the deficit to 24-18, but it proved to be too little too late as Holen smashed one down the line to give the Jimmies the 25-18 third-set win.

"They didn't make a lot of hitting errors, the first two sets, I think that was noticeable just with the closest scoring," Holen said. "I think in that third set they broke down a little bit. I think it was what we were doing too, we served tough, we were passing well, and stayed in system and got to utilize all of our hitters so their blockers didn't know what to do."

The two teams played earlier this season on Sept. 3, with the Jimmies sweeping the Battlin' Bears.

"They're a little bit more experienced than they were last time we played them," Hegerle said. "They have a little bit better understanding of who they are and they had a great run at the end of the season."

The Jimmies are back in action at 10 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 2, when they take on the College of Saint Mary.

RMC 0, UJ 3

RMC: 21 19 18 — 0

UJ: 25 25 25—3

Kills leaders:

RMC: Kyra Oakland 11, Makenna Bushman 7, Bella Bryan 4

UJ: Kalli Hegerle 15, Anna Holen 9, Lexi Olson 6, Logan Sherman 6

Assists leaders:

RMC: Blythe Sealey 25, Ayla Embry 2, Bryan 1, Oakland 1

UJ: Hegerle 22, Paige Oswald 13, Tenley Buddenhagen 5

Aces leaders:

RMC: Hayley Bretz 1

UJ: Ellie Holen 2, A. Holen 1, Hegerle 1, Buddenhagen 1