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Morningside at Briar Cliff volleyball

Morningside's Jayde Bergmann spikes as Briar Cliff's Toni Beck defends.

SIOUX CITY – The long volleyball journey for Jayde Bergmann will be coming to an end this week at the NAIA National Championships.

Bergmann, one of five Morningside seniors, will don the college uniform one final week as competition gets under way on Tuesday at the Tyson Events Center.

“It’s really a great honor to even be playing at Morningside, especially with my whole team,” said Bergmann. “They are all great supporters, it’s going to be hard to finish the season and be completely done.

“They push me to be my best and I push them to be their best. I’m really proud of being able to be a part of this team.”

Bergmann, a local product from Dakota Valley High School, leads the Mustangs (18-12) with 275 kills while the all-rotation player adds 166 digs.

Bergmann did not see the floor as a freshman, but has played in every match the last three seasons, all under coach Beth Donnelly.

She’s been part of a turnaround that has seen the Mustangs improve from 10th in the Great Plains Athletic Conference as a freshman to eighth to sixth and this season’s fifth-place finish.

“I think as a team we have all been really pushing ourselves to be the best that we can be and for the five of us seniors that are here we have to push as hard as we can so others are pushed as well.”

Bergmann enjoyed a similar rise during her high school career as a Panther, having two different head coaches and ultimately being part of the beginning of the school’s current six-year state tournament streak.

She played on two state tournament teams as a prep, winning a state title as a senior in 2013 and as a Mustang will be playing in her second straight NAIA national tournament.

“Building one another, my first two years (at Dakota Valley) was kind of rough, having each other work hard for each other really helped us want to be where we were at in high school,” she said. “Everyone wants the best for everyone, you want to be as good as you can be for other people because they’re working just as hard.

“Coming from a good competitive high school kind of helped come into a good, competitive GPAC conference. Just trying to progress from high school to college can kind of be difficult, a lot of us girls have been able to transfer into college volleyball really well.”

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