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No. 13 Dakota Wesleyan volleyball falls at No. 1 Jamestown in GPAC tourney semifinals

Tigers finish at 23-9, await national tournament news on Nov. 15

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The Dakota Wesleyan University's Mariah Gloe makes a pass during a GPAC tournament match on Saturday, November 5, 2021 against Northwestern at the Christen Family Athletic Center. (Matt Gade / Republic)
Matt Gade

JAMESTOWN, N.D. — Dakota Wesleyan's desires to spoil No. 1 Jamestown's perfect season and secure a spot in the Great Plains Athletic Conference volleyball tournament championship were ended Wednesday night, with the Jimmies earning a three-set sweep on their home court in the tournament semifinals. Set scores were 25-19, 25-23 and 25-18.

Despite the loss, the Tigers (23-9) seem well-positioned to earn a spot in the 48-team NAIA national volleyball tournament bracket when it is announced Nov. 15. The Tigers moved up two spots in the final NAIA coaches top-25 poll of the regular season, which was announced Tuesday. The opening round of national tournament matches is Saturday, Nov. 20 at campus sites.

In the match, which marked the second time in eight days the two teams have played, DWU managed to slow down Jamestown's offense from the blistering .434 hitting percentage UJ displayed in the regular-season finale on Nov. 2. The Jimmies hit .219 in Wednesday's match but still had 51 kills to DWU's 30.

The Tigers were led by Ady Dwight and Abby Brunsing, who each had eight kills. Jadie DeLange had five kills, while Madeline Else had 23 assists. Hanna Reiff had a team-high 17 digs, with 12 from Mariah Gloe and 11 from Callie Slagter, who added two aces. Gloe had a team-best three total blocks.

Jamestown's bevy of hitters was led by Anna Holen, who had 10 kills, 16 digs and six blocks. Taylor Sabinash, Aleah Zieske and Kalli Hegerle each had nine kills and Ellie Holen had a match-best 23 digs.

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Jamestown improved to 30-0 and will host the GPAC tournament championship match on Saturday, Nov. 13 against sixth-seeded Concordia, which upset No. 2 College of St. Mary's (Neb.) in five sets on Wednesday.

Because the GPAC gets two automatic bids to the NAIA tournament, with one going to the regular-season champion Jamestown and the other going to the tournament champion or runner-up (if the regular-season champion wins the tournament), Concordia is assured of a bid to the NAIA tournament.

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“Women’s athletics at South Dakota State has always been valued and supported,” SDSU women's basketball coach Aaron Johnston said. “We’re lucky to have people that invest in women’s athletics here.”
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“She's going to help be a leader to develop that sense of family to really make our environment and our culture an enjoyable place,” DWU head coach John Lynch said of Olivia Smith.
The Tigers got 19 points, placing them behind Hastings and Briar Cliff. Defending regular-season champion Midland was tabbed to repeat, receiving 119 points and 10 first-place votes.
With 21 points, DWU slotted in ahead of Hastings and behind Dordt in the rankings. Concordia was picked to win the conference, receiving 98 points and eight first-place votes.