Jamestown CC Knocks Off Monroe CC In Four Sets

Jamestown Community College’s Kendyl Austin puts down a spike during NJCAA Region 3 Division III volleyball action against Monroe CC on Tuesday at the Physical Education Complex.
P-J photo by Lisa Monacelli

Jamestown Community College’s Kendyl Austin puts down a spike during NJCAA Region 3 Division III volleyball action against Monroe CC on Tuesday at the Physical Education Complex. P-J photo by Lisa Monacelli

A slow start to the night did nothing to hinder Jamestown Community College, as the Jayhawks maintained their unblemished record with a 24-26, 25-13, 25-19, 25-12 NJCAA Region 3 Division III women’s volleyball win over Western New York Athletic Conference foe Monroe CC on Tuesday night at the Physical Education Complex.

While a string of errors saw the opening game go to the visiting Tribunes (17-4), Jamestown CC showed no signs of its opening troubles in the later sets on the way to improving to 15-0 overall, 11-0 in Region 3 and 5-0 in the WNYAC.

“It’s still day-by-day. I know we are undefeated but we don’t talk about it,” head coach Ashley Lund said after the win. “It doesn’t come up in our conversations and we just play day-by-day and hope the wins keep coming.”

Any thoughts of playing with a perfect record did not stop Lund’s team from climbing out of their early hole, which was largely the result of unforced errors.

The Jayhawks were able to gather small leads in the opening frame behind the early serving of Tara Sweeney, who had a pair of service aces to pull Jamestown CC even with the Tribunes at 7-7.

Jamestown Community College’s SallyAnne Rudny puts down a spike during the Jayhawks NJCAA Region 3 Division III match against Monroe CC on Tuesday at the Physical Education Complex.
P-J photo by Lisa Monacelli

Jamestown Community College’s SallyAnne Rudny puts down a spike during the Jayhawks NJCAA Region 3 Division III match against Monroe CC on Tuesday at the Physical Education Complex. P-J photo by Lisa Monacelli

Try as they might to pick up leads, the Jayhawks were unable to open up a margin due to the sheer number of errors that piled up.

“We made a lot of errors, we had 18,” Lund said of the opening game. “You can’t have 18 errors in a game and hope to win. The other set that we lost to Erie too, same thing, we beat ourselves up. It’s not the other team putting the ball away and earning it, its us giving the points to them. So we just need to really minimize the errors and not create so many, 18 — you cannot come back from that. If we had it would have been a miracle.”

That miracle was nearly pulled off thanks to a spike winner by Kaylin Brumagin and a kill by SallyAnne Rudny to pull the Jayhawks within two points of the visitors, but in the end a missed serve and a lost point due to a carry sealed the opener for Monroe CC.

The misstep to begin the night may have ended up invigorating Lund’s team, as the Jayhawks entered the second game with something to prove and set to work with a service ace by MacKenzie Marsh and another kill by Rudny, before Kendyl Austin got on the board defensively with a tipped block.

After Tessa Engel sent an overhand flying long and Austin recorded another point off a block, the Tribunes were forced to call a timeout with Jamestown CC holding an 11-5 lead.

The Jayhawks’ Tara Sweeney serves.
P-J photo by Lisa Monacelli

The Jayhawks’ Tara Sweeney serves. P-J photo by Lisa Monacelli

That pause in the action did little to aid Monroe CC, which returned to the court with a missed return of serve and a mishit serve on offense to give the Jayhawks a commanding lead.

A Rudny kill, Austin block and finally an unreturnable spike by Marsh put Jamestown CC back in the driver’s seat with a 25-13 set.

“They work really hard and they play really well together. You know the team gets along well, which is half the battle usually,” Lund said of her small, but close-knit team. “They really enjoy playing together and they all have the same goals, they want to win, and that helps. They work hard in practice. I push them hard for two hours and they come every day and put in the time, and it shows on the court. They don’t mind it so much when you are putting out the wins on the court, it’s not so bad. They are just friends, and they go out there and they have a passion and a love for the game and to win, so it’s just nice.”

The chemistry that has led the Jayhawks to 15 wins so far this year was on full display to open the third game of the night, which began with two service aces by Sierra Wells and a kill by Rudny to put Jamestown CC right back out in front. A failed block by the hosts and a service ace from Jala McFadden looked as though they might provide some hope to the Tribunes as things pulled back to even at 8-8, but the Jayhawks were able to get right back on the gas and pull out to an eight-point lead with a pair of aces from Sweeney leading the way.

For a team that has placed a premium on strong serving, the Panama freshman was the best of the bunch on Tuesday night, finishing with a team-high seven aces. A fantastic save by Sweeney gave Jamestown CC a chance to finish things off in the third set, and another kill by Rudny ended any hope of a comeback at 25-19.

Jamestown CC continued the dominance in the final frame of the night, which included a run of points made possible by kills from Austin, Rudny and Sweeney.

The Jayhawks will look to continue their unbeaten streak as they travel to take on University of Pittsburgh at Bradford in an exhibition match on Thursday at 7 p.m.

NOTES: Leading the Jayhawks was Wells with three aces, 41 assists, two kills, 25 digs and two blocks. … Rudny had two aces, 20 kills, 10 digs and two blocks. … Sweeney added seven aces, five assists, seven kills and nine digs. … Austin chipped in an ace, six kills, six digs and seven blocks. … Marsh finished with an ace, nine kills, 10 digs and one block.

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