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Eric Peterson, Published September 18 2009

College notebook: Jimmies set for DAC

Jamestown College opens its conference volleyball season today with a sub-.500 record, which could be a bit deceiving.

Picked second in the Dakota Athletic Conference preseason coaches’ poll, the Jimmies (6-7) played seven NAIA Top 25 teams in their nonconference schedule.

The Jimmies also played Concordia, ranked No. 17 in NCAA Division III.

“We’ve been thrown in the fire and some impurities have been melted out,” said first-year Jimmies coach Jon Hegerle. “We’ve also been hardened a little bit. I think that is all going to come into play when we get into conference play.”

The Jimmies play host to Mayville State at 7 tonight, having played just one home game in their first 13 matches.

“I think it’s good any time you can play the best,” said Hegerle, whose team won a set in a loss against No.1-ranked Fresno Pacific in early September. “It gives you a bench mark of where we’re at that’s realistic.

“It was good for us to stand toe-to-toe with the best in the nation. We certainly didn’t knock them out, but we certain bloodied some noses.”

Senior Ali Edwards, from West Fargo, has been on the top players for the Jimmies. The 5-foot-11 outside hitter leads the team with 3.7 kills per set. She is second on the team with 3.1 digs per set.

“She does everything for us,” Hegerle said.

Junior outside hitter Shannon Fee and senior setter Kayla Fee, both from Williston, N.D., have also been key contributors. Shannon is second on the team with 3.1 kills per set. Kayla is averaging 9.4 assists per set.

Samantha Revering, from Fergus Falls, Minn., has been solid since a move to libero. The junior was an outside hitter last season, but shifted to libero this fall after she was slowed by a shoulder injury in the preseason.

“That kind of fell in our lap,” Hegerle said. “We’re not sure we’ll end the season like that, but right now it’s working for us.”

Cobbers make history with national rankings

Concordia has three teams ranked in the Top 25 in Division III in three sports this week – football (No. 23), volleyball (No. 17) and women’s soccer (No. 22). It marks the first time the school has had three teams ranked in the Top 25 in the same sports season.

“When something like this happens, my thought is, ‘Look at the great coaches we have,’ because I know how hard they work,” said Concordia athletic director Larry Papenfuss. “They are just great role models. … It makes me very proud.”

Papenfuss said the feat also reflects highly on the quality of area talent.

“Here we have three teams that are largely made up of student-athletes within a 150- to 200-mile radius of Fargo-Moorhead,” Papenfuss said. “It speaks highly of the student-athletes we have in this area.”

Dragons looking

to keep ‘Battle Axe’

Minnesota State Moorhead is hoping to retain the “Battle Axe,” Saturday when it plays at Bemidji State in a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference football game.

The Dragons (1-2, 0-2 NSIC) won traveling trophy from the Beavers last fall with a 27-2 victory.

Bemidji State (2-1, 1-1) had won the eight previous meetings in the series. Since 1999, the winner of the game has earned the “Battle Axe.”

“We have a nice board for that trophy now in order to hang it in the team room, which is kind of cool,” Dragons coach Damon Tomeo said. “We won last year, which was a great game. … To get consecutive wins against Bemidji would be a big stand for our team to show.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.