The Gjallahorn, or “Battle Horn”

As the calendar flips to April, Jefferson College Athletics finishes it’s busiest month of activity on record. With Fall semester sports sidelined until this year, the Hillsboro campus saw no fewer than four Viking teams competing in the month of March. Volleyball, basketball, baseball, and softball kept the Field House and adjoining sports complex buzzing with activity. As basketball and volleyball conclude their schedules, men’s and women’s soccer begin April 3rd, joining the baseball and softball teams midway through their respective seasons. The fact that games/matches have been able to played at all is a credit to the hard work of the players, coaches, and administrators. Let’s take a look at how the teams have fared thus far:

Volleyball
The Viking Volleyball team finished a challenging season with an overall record of 8 – 11, 3 -3 in conference play. The Vikings were a young team with only 3 sophomores on the roster. Even with the losing record, there were several bright spots. Freshman Outside Hitter Nina Janjic (Serbia) led the team in kills with 151 while freshman Setter Taylor Duncan (Imperial, MO) was 1st with 314 assists. Duncan also led the team with 24 service aces and sophomore Outside Hitter Magdalena Bostal (Argentina) collected 419 digs. Freshman Middle Blocker Kyndia Smith (St. Louis), sophomore Middle Blocker Vanessa Moreira (Brazil), and Nina Janjic were all among the nation’s leaders in hitting percentage. Head Coach Aida Steiger’s young roster gained plenty of game-time experience this season, which should bode well for next Fall.

Kyndia Smith (Top), Vanessa Moreira (Left), and Nina Janjic (Right) were all among the NJCAA leaders in hitting percentage
(Photos courtesy of Jefferson College)

Basketball

Head Coach Ashley McGee’s hardwood squad currently has a 6 – 14 overall record and is 2- 6 in the conference, with two games remaining. The basketball Vikings have faced the same challenges that the volleyball team had, with only three sophomores on this year’s roster. There is much to be optimistic about for next year, however. Freshman Forward Jayrissa Grayson (St. Louis) is among the tops in the nation in rebounding and leads the Vikings in scoring, assists, and steals. The Vikings should return 9 players next season with plenty of JUCO experience.

The Region 16 playoffs begin April 6th.

Freshman Forward Jayrissa Grayson, St. Louis (Miller Career Academy)
(Photo courtesy of Jefferson College)

Baseball

The Jefferson College Baseball team is just past the midway point in their schedule. First year Head Coach Zac Bone has guided his Vikings to an overall record of 9-11 but are 4-2 in conference play. Freshman Outfielder Gideon Antle (Licking, Mo) has led the way on offense, slashing .383/.483/.851. He’s joined at the top of the stat sheet by:

  • Freshman Infielder Matt Schark (St. Charles, MO) .336/.442/.578
  • Freshman Outfielder Payton Howard (Sikeston, Mo, St. Louis U.) .319/.407/.426
  • Freshman Infielder/Pitcher Jordan Duncan (Herculaneum, MO) .311/.414.444

So far this season, the top hurlers for the Vikings include:

  • Redshirt Sophomore Trevor Tietz (Watertown, WI) – 2.12 ERA, 26 Ks, 4 BBs
  • Freshman Hesston Gray (Mansfield, MO) – 2.61 ERA, 16 Ks, 6 BBs
  • Redshirt Freshman Charlie Pratt (Festus, Mo) – 3.64 ERA, 23 Ks, 16 BBs

The Vikings have 21 regular season games remaining before the Sub-Regional Tournament begins on May 7th. The bulk of remaining games are Conference and Region 16 matchups. Now is the time the Vikings will look to gain momentum over their rivals and position themselves favorably for the postseason. They next play at home on the road against St. Charles CC, for a doubleheader beginning at 1PM.

The Baseball Vikings hope to continue their tradition of excellence

Softball

The Jefferson College Softball team has a tradition of excellence all their own. This season, the Vikings have jumped to a 15-8 overall record and are a perfect 4-0 in conference play. Like the baseball team, they are a little past the halfway mark in the season. Head Coach Tony Cook usually fields a very competitive team and this year is no exception.

Kristina Bettis stares down a batter
(Photo courtesy of
Jefferson College)

Sophomore Pitcher Kristina Bettis (Swansea, IL, Belleville East) has once again proven dominant in the circle. She is among the nation’s leaders in wins (9-1), strikeouts 129 (2nd), and ranks 9th with a sizzling 1.02 ERA. Bettis is coming off a perfect game performance against State Fair.

The “Vikes in Spikes” have several dangerous hitters in the lineup, including:

  • Freshman Shortstop Riley Eagan (Wentzville, Holt) – .429/.525/.755
  • Sophomore First Baseman Lauren Duff (Arnold, MO, Fox) – .396/.418/.717
  • Freshman Catcher Danielle Lindsey (O’Fallon, MO, Francis Howell) – .375/.375/.833
“Murder’s Row”, Viking style
(Photo courtesy of Jefferson College)

The Vikings have 19 games remaining in the regular season. They next face East Central College in Union, Mo., for a doubleheader on the 6th.

As mentioned above, the men and women’s soccer teams gear up for action on April 3rd.

Whether it’s soccer, baseball, or softball, come on out to Hillsboro to see some great competition. These student-athletes give their very best efforts, game in and game out!

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