EDINBURG, Texas (SDSU) — The South Dakota State volleyball team came out on top of a five-set battle with Louisiana Friday in the opening round of the National Invitational Volleyball Championship.
Down 2-1 in the match, the Jackrabbits rallied to win sets four and five and pick up the program’s first national postseason victory in the Division I era. Set scores against the Ragin’ Cajuns went 25-19, 19-25, 23-25, 25-20, 16-14.
South Dakota State (18-14) was led by outside hitters Crystal Burk and Masa Scheierman, who both had outstanding nights for the Jacks. Burk put down 25 kills, two shy of her career high, and tallied 12 digs and three blocks. Scheierman recorded 18 kills, her career best, to go with nine digs and two ace serves.
Five Jackrabbits notched double-digit dig totals. Reilly and Jadyn Makovicka had 16 digs apiece , followed by Burk and Alia Schlimgen with 12 each and Katie Van Egdom with 10 digs. Burk also took part in three blocks (one solo, two assists).
The opening set was tightly contested with neither side leading by more than two until a three-point run pushed SDSU ahead 15-12. The Jacks maintained the advantage until three straight points from the Ragin’ Cajuns tied the set at 19. A Scheierman kill and Scheierman ace bookended a 6-0 Jackrabbit run to end set one 25-19.
Louisiana took a 6-3 lead early in set two. The Jackrabbits battled back to tie the set at six and again at nine but could not regain the lead. After Louisiana took a five-point lead at 20-15, SDSU came back within three at 22-19 before the Cajuns tied the match at 1-1 with three straight points.
SDSU trailed by only one in the third set, 14-13, before Louisiana used a pair of kills and an SDSU error to go up by four points. The sides traded points until two kills from Scheierman and a Louisiana error brought SDSU back within one, 23-22. A service error made it 24-22 for the Cajuns. Scheierman got one more kill in before a kill ended it for Louisiana.
The Jackrabbits pushed their way out to a 14-9 advantage in set four behind three straight kills from Scheierman, then three straight kills from Burk. After Louisiana made it a two-point game following two SDSU attack errors, the Jacks went up by five with a 4-1 stretch (18-13). Burk and Scheierman notched two more kills each over the rest of the set to help the Jacks win 25-20.
Burk put down three kills in the Jacks’ 6-3 run to open set five. SDSU led 10-6 before a four-point run brought the Cajuns back to a 10-all tie. Another Burk kill made it 13-11 for the Jackrabbits, but Louisiana came back again to tie the set at 13-all and then 14-all. Louisiana committed a serving error before Scheierman ended the match with a kill.
- The Jackrabbits have played 11 five-set matches this season. They are 6-5 in five-setters.
- Crystal Burk has now played in 134 matches in her Jackrabbit career, moving her into second place on SDSU’s all-time list.
South Dakota State will take on the winner of UTRGV and Houston Christian Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. on the campus of UTRGV.