Tioga Sports

Jays’ volleyball season closes with 8th-place finish at state

Posted 11/24/15 (Tue)

By Jody Michael
The Ray volleyball team’s season came to a close Saturday morning in Minot as the Jays fell in four sets to Shiloh Christian (25-12, 25-13, 20-25, 26-24) at the Minot State University Dome in the seventh-place match.
Marissa Veach hit for 13 kills to lead the Jays (22-18) against the Skyhawks (33-7), while fellow junior Maari Dolan and senior Hayden Slikker each posted eight kills toward Ray’s efforts.
The 25-20 third set proved to be the only one the Jays would win all weekend, though they followed it up with a nailbiter of a loss in the fourth, 26-24. Ray fell behind by large margins in the first set of all three tournament matches.
Junior Kelsey Perdue led the defense with 25 digs, but the Skyhawk attackers proved too dominant. Krista Ulmer finished with 23 kills for Shiloh, and Jenalee Reynolds added another 16, guided by Brianna Erickson’s 46 assists.
Slikker (11 digs), Perdue (12 assists) and senior Allison Ziebarth (12 digs) reached double-digits Friday against consolation semifinal opponent Finley-Sharon-Hope-Page, in which the Spartans propelled to a straight-set win, 25-13, 25-15, 25-16.
The Jays yet again struggled out of the gate, as Finley jumped to a 9-1 lead in the first set and held a 13-point advantage in the second.
Jessica Lee pestered the Jays with nine aces and eight kills, while Mikayla Larson added 11 kills, four blocks and two aces.
The Jays’ quarterfinal match ended much like last year’s, with another 3-0 loss to Our Redeemer’s. The Knights were in cruise control for much of the 25-17, 25-16, 25-14 match.
Our Redeemer’s has a state tournament victory over Ray in each of the Jays’ past three appearances, having also played them in the 2012 consolation semifinals.
Slikker dropped a team-high five kills on the Knights, while adding 11 digs, two behind Perdue’s 13. Perdue led the Jays in assists, with eight. Dolan added four kills and nine digs.
Thursday’s match was a slow start for the Jays just like Friday’s, and it ended with another drawn-out Our Redeemer’s run as well.
The Knights led by 16 points at one point in the first set until Ray narrowed the final margin to eight.
Ray’s best set was the third, in which the Jays led by as many as seven, at 13-6, before the Knights sealed the contest with a 19-1 run.