FREMONT, Neb. – In a battle of Top 25 teams, No. 24 Midland University came up just short of pulling off the upset of No. 8 University of Jamestown on Friday night in Fremont. After taking a 2-1 lead the Warriors fell to the Jimmies in five sets (24-26, 25-18, 16-25, 25-17, 15-10). Midland falls to 16-9 on the year, 8-6 in conference play while Jamestown improves to 24-4 and 12-2 in the Great Plains Athletic Conference.
Things looked good early for the Warriors as they took the opening set while hitting .234 from the attack line. Defensively they dug up 30 attempts by the Jimmies and held the visitors from North Dakota to a .125 attack percentage.
Things cooled off though in the second as the Warriors could only register 11 kills while committing 5 errors from the attack line. On the other side of the net things began to heat up for the Jimmies. They hit .333 in the set to even the match heading into the extended set break.
Out of the locker room Midland jumped out to a 12-7 lead forcing Jamestown to take a quick timeout. They would extend it to 22-13 as they rolled the Jimmies to take a 2-1 lead. The Warriors once again hit over the .200 mark, hitting .231 with 16 kills against 7 errors. The Jimmies hit their lowest percentage of the night, .103 with only 7 kills and 4 errors.
In the fourth and fifth sets Jamestown would find their way again, hitting .300 and .364 to close out the set for a five set win. Midland hit their lowest of the match in the final sets, hitting .051 in the fourth and .095 in the fifth.
“I thought the girls played some very high-level volleyball tonight. I’m just disappointed that in the end they don’t get rewarded for a great effort,” said head coach Paul Giesselmann after the tough loss. “They played toe-to-toe with the number eight team in the country but the problem is in the fifth game we played a little more timid than Jamestown did and they end up going out and getting the win. We’ve got to learn from the fifth game so that the next time we’re in this position we can find a way to get the job done.”
Midland was led by setters Hope Leimbach and Bree Burtwistle who coordinated the attack and finished with 27 and 26 assists respectively.
At the net Brooke Fredrickson, Maddie Wieseler and Shelby Bretschneider all finished with double-digit kills. Fredrickson had a team-high 16 kills while Wieseler floored 11 and Bretschneider finished with 14. Sydney Morehouse was one kill shy of joining them, finishing with nine kills while hitting a team best .421 from the middle.
Defensively Taliyah Flores dug up 30 balls from her libero position while defensive specialist Jaisa Russell finished with 10. Fredrickson added 11 digs to complete her fifth double-double of the season.
When asked about adjustments and what the team can take away, Coach Giesselmann responded. “We’ve got to play more aggressive from the serving line, from the attacking line, and defensively. We’ve got to be better everywhere. One thing you can’t fault is the girls’ effort. It was a high-level match tonight. We’ll get to get back in the gym tomorrow and try to play consistently and find a way to get a win.”
Midland (16-9, 8-6 GPAC) will return to the court inside Wikert Event Center on Saturday, November 2 as they host Dakota Wesleyan University (20-9, 4-9 GPAC) in the final regular season home match. First serve between the Warriors and Tigers is set for 3:00 p.m. Prior to the match Midland will honor their 2019 senior class.