BROOKINGS, S.D. (SDSU) — The South Dakota State women’s volleyball team came up short against Denver, 3-1 (15-25, 20-25, 26-24, 25-17), on Friday evening at Frost Arena. With her ninth kill of the match, Makenzie Hennen became the 12th Jackrabbit all-time to reach 1,000 career kills.
The Jackrabbits fell to 5-18 on the season with a 2-9 mark in Summit League matches. Denver improved to 17-6, 9-2, good for second in the Summit League standings.
“We took a set off of one of the top teams in the conference and we’ve done that both times we’ve played them,” said head coach Nicole Cirillo. “We did a lot of good things and at the end of the day, Denver is a good team. I thought we did a good job of slowing them down, but they are extremely offensive and you could see that throughout the match. Overall, I’m happy with how we came out.”
Hennen led the offense with 13 kills, while Crystal Burk added 12 kills and Ashlynn Smith posted 10. The setting duo of Maddie Fay and Carly Wedel aided the offense with 18 and 14 assists, respectively. Tatum Pickar held a team-high 14 digs and Anna Nerad recorded six blocks.
Denver began the match scoring seven unanswered points. Although the Jackrabbits went on a 7-2 run of their own to come within two, the Pioneers controlled the remainder of the set, capturing it by a score of 25-15.
Kills from Burk and Hennen in addition to a pair of Pioneer service errors gave the Jacks an early 4-3 edge to open the second set. A 9-2 run gave Denver a six-point advantage. Several short runs put the Jackrabbits within two (21-19), but Denver earned four of the final five points to take set two, 25-20.
The Jacks posted five straight kills, including three in a row from Hennen, to take a 5-4 advantage in the third. SDSU maintained the lead at 18-16 lead when a 5-1 run gave Denver their first lead since the first point of the set. The Jackrabbits came back to tie the set at 24-24 as a kill by Tori Thompson and a Pioneer attacking error kept SDSU alive with a 26-24 third set win.
State trailed Denver 13-7 midway through the fourth set when three consecutive kills from Burk, Nerad and Hennen made it 13-10. Denver answered with a 6-2 run to build its lead back up to 19-12 en route to solidifying the match with a 25-17 fourth set victory.