Bismarck's Hannah Steckler (8) sets the ball against West Fargo Sheyenne on Saturday. In back is teammate Kiaya Schwab (16).


 No surprises here.

 The two volleyball teams that were the focus of the preseason buzz debuted in dominant fashion at the Bismarck Invitational tournament.

 Jamestown, which finished atop the West Region preseason coaches poll, breezed through the tournament with a 7-0 mark, losing just one game in the process.

 West Fargo, expected in some quarters to be the toast of the East Region, won all six of its matches, dropping only two games along the way.

 Jamestown placed seventh at the 2016 state Class A volleyball tournament, a step behind sixth-place West Fargo. Both teams have substantial foundations of returning athletes around which to build.

  Jamestown blanked Fargo North, Grand Forks Central, West Fargo Sheyenne, Wahpeton, Grand Forks Red River and Fargo Shanley over the weekend and downed Fargo Davies 2-1.

 West Fargo went 3-0 against Dickinson, Bismarck, Williston and Legacy. The Packers defeated Mandan and Century 2-1.

 Century, which has won the last two state Class A championships, was playing without 6-foot-4 sophomore Lauren Ware, who is sidelined with an ankle sprain. Bismarck was last year's runner-up.

 Davies, fifth in the state last season, placed third in the season opener, which was played at Bismarck and Century. The Eagles went 5-1, losing only to Jamestown.

 Bismarck and Fargo Shanley, both 5-2, rounded out the top five in the tournament standings. BHS lost to West Fargo and Shanley. Shanley fell victim to Century and Jamestown.

 Jamestown trimmed the Deacons 25-22, 25-15, 15-4 in the final match of the tournament.

  Sara Hegerle, who led Jamestown to the 2013 state tournament title, said August is a little bit early to get excited about what may lie ahead in November.

 "It's a long season. You can't make too much of anything, good or bad," she said.

 However, she said her team performed as a veteran team should play early in the season.

 "We really controlled most of the matches that we played. We didn't get too far down in any of them. It's encouraging to be in-system so early in the season," she said.

 "I don't know if you expect (a strong start), but you hope for it," she added. "These kids have played together a lot of years. We returned eight varsity players and there are nine (athletes) playing now. ... It's nice that we don't have to start all over."

  However, Hegerle noted the Blue Jays aren't in mid-season form just yet.

 "There's a lot of work to be done. ... There's a list in my head right now of things we could work on -- things we need to get better at," she said.

 Hegerle said the Blue Jays won't be able to waltz through the early stages of the West Region schedule. Their first three matches are with Legacy, Bismarck and Century. Jamestown plays host to Legacy on Tuesday in its regional opener.

 Like Hegerle, West Fargo coach Kelsey Peterson was trying to keep things on an even keel after the impressive shakedown cruise.

 "Yesterday we had a little slow start, but when they stepped up I was proud of what I saw in our kids," she said.

  "What was especially great was seeing the senior leadership step up," she continued. "That allowed our younger kids to move into their roles."

 Peterson said it was encouraging to see growth in her team throughout the weekend.

 "Throughout the whole weekend I saw a lot of pieces coming together. It was reaffirming is the way I'd put it," she noted.

 The Packers open East Region play on Tuesday at Valley City.