Jayhawks Roll To Win Over Genesee CC

From the top, Jamestown Community College’s Jenna Caskey, Alexys Marsh and Jennah Starkweather celebrate a point during Tuesday’s NJCAA Region 3 Division III volleyball match against Genesee CC at the Physical Education Complex. P-J photo by Scott Kindberg

Jamestown Community College continued to show offensive progress during Tuesday night’s NJCAA Division III volleyball match with Genesee CC at the Physical Education Complex.

The Jayhawks rolled to a 25-17, 25-15, 25-9 win over the Cougars (1-1), improving to 4-4 on the year behind a strong performance from freshman Karleigh Haines, and will now welcome Mercyhurst Northeast on Thursday at 6 p.m.

Haines was in on four straight points during the first set of play, after Jennah Starkweather got things started with a tip winner.

Following that hot series by Haines, sophomore Jenna Caskey hit a kill and sent another overhand off the arms of a defender to give the Jayhawks a 13-5 lead in the early going.

Both sides would trade errors back and forth before Haines got back into the action with a one-handed push, which was followed up by a strong defensive effort from Starkweather to maintain the Jamestown CC lead.

Jamestown Community College’s Emma Wirsen sets a ball during Tuesday’s NJCAA Region 3 Division III volleyball match against Genesee CC at the Physical Education Complex. P-J photo by Scott Kindberg

“She’s still growing as a hitter,” Jamestown CC coach Ashley Lund said of Haines. “(She is) trying to hit her angles and change things up and be able to mix (it up) during the game. She’s growing defensively. She’s going to be big and the region is going to have trouble with her if she stays on top of everything.”

Haines would end her evening with two aces, two assists, 12 kills and seven digs.

Starkweather would pick up a pair of points down the stretch, taking advantage of a well-set ball by Alexys Marsh, to give the Jayhawks the opening frame on the way to eight kills, one dig and two blocks.

The Cougars would pick up some momentum at the start of the second game, as Neely Abrams finished off a push and Clarice Misiak grabbed a tip at the net.

Jamestown CC would hang close through the first series as Genesee CC was able to get its offense in sync, with the hosts eventually taking a 13-10 lead when Haines was able to find an opening for an overhand that was not returned. The freshman would add a service ace on top of that winner, as the Jayhawks opened up another big lead, rolling all the way to a 22-13 margin.

Caskey would fire home a winner on a soft ball, Maddy Russo would pick up a service ace, while an overhand from Starkweather would finish things off in the final points.

“We really needed to focus on passing and serve receive,” said Lund. “That’s where we’ve really been struggling lately and we did that. That’s pretty much been our focus in every single practice we’ve had lately. Today we actually executed on that. When we can execute that we can actually run our offense, which is pretty dominant most of the time. We’ve worked on everything and the growth on that aspect of the game really came through today.”

Caskey would pick up a block and a service ace in the final set, finishing the day with an ace, seven kills, 13 digs and one block.

While Lund still expects the sophomore to be a focal point of her offense, Caskey will play just as large a role defensively this season.

“Her defense is growing,” said Lund. “Her role has not changed and she’s still a dominant force. We’ll get her more attempts as we go on, I expect her to do the same things that she was doing last year.”

Meanwhile, Russo continues to drive the majority of offensive possessions for the Jayhawks, finishing with one ace, 30 assists, one kill and six digs.

Cameryn Hawkins would end her day with two aces, two kills and ten digs.

“When Karly is up front, Jenna, Cameryn and Emma (Wirsen), our strongest defensive people, are in the back, so they are providing her a lot more opportunities,” said Lund.

Megan Gominiak would add seven kills, two digs and a block for the winners, who will travel to Niagara County CC on Sunday for their first pod action of the year.