South Dakota State entered the night tied with both Oakland and North Dakota State for fourth place in TheSummit League standings, but a career night from Kelli Fiegen put the Jackrabbits alone in third place, as the senior led the Jacks to a 3-1 win over Oakland on Friday night in Frost Arena.
“It’s great to get back in Frost Arena in front of such an energetic crowd, and I think our team fed off that energy early in the match,” head coach Phil McDaniel said. “Offensively we transitioned very quickly tonight and our backcourt defense was solid. Our focus now shifts to IPFW, we’ll enjoy the win tonight and be ready to go tomorrow.”
The Jackrabbits, who won by the set scores of 25-19, 17-25, 25-21 and 25-21, improve to 15-9 on the season overall and to 7-5 in the league heading into Saturday’s match with league-leader IPFW, who downed NDSU on Friday 3-2 in Fargo.
Oakland, who travels to Fargo on Saturday, falls to 13-11 overall, and to an even 6-6 in league play.
SDSU also got help from an unlikely source, when South Dakota beat UMKC on Friday in Kansas City, Mo.,which drops the Kangaroos to 7-6 in the league, a half game behind the Jackrabbits.
Fiegen’s night included a team-high 17 kills and a career-high 10 block assists, which gives her a third career double-double and second of the season.
Lexi Fowler tallied her team-high eighth double-double of the season, posting 17 assists and 11 digs on the night. Shay Birath led the defense with 31 digs, which leaves her just 61 digs shy of the SDSU career digs record of 1,929 with five regular season matches left to play.
Kelly Herrmann and Lizzie Palmer both finished with 13 digs, which marks a new career best of Palmer.
Margit Hansing pitched in with 13 kills and nine digs in the win.
Oakland’s Meghan Bray led all players with 19 kills in the match on 60 swings. Brittany Holbrook added 14 and Taylor Humm 12 kills in the loss. Bray also added 16 digs to complete her double-double.
Alli Kirk led the Golden Grizzlies with 33 digs.
The Jackrabbits return to action on Saturday, Hobo Day, at 7 p.m., when they look to snap a 10-match skid against IPFW.
Courtesy: Ryan Sweeter, SDSU SID