SDSU Volleyball snaps four-match skid with win over UND

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BROOKINGS, S.D. (SDSU) — The South Dakota State women’s volleyball team defeated North Dakota, 3-1 (25-17, 15-25, 25-22, 25-22), on Sunday afternoon at Frost Arena.

The Jackrabbits improved to 5-13 overall and 2-4 in Summit League play, while the Fighting Hawks fell to 9-10 overall with a 1-4 mark in Summit League action.

“I’m really happy with how we played in sets one, three and four,” said head coach Nicole Cirillo. “The way we played in the second set is still a bit of a concern, but on the flipside, we were able to work through it and come back to finish it. They’re a very good team so we had to really fight for it today.”

Pacing the Jackrabbits was Crystal Burk who recorded 18 kills, just one shy of her career best. Burk also tabbed her fourth double-double of the season as she added 13 digs. Ashlynn Smith posted her first double-double of the season with 11 kill and 11 digs. Makenzie Hennen added 10 kills, while Anna Nerad recorded two service aces. Madison Fay and Carly Wedel supported the offense with 27 and 17 assists, respectively.

Tatum Pickar led the back-row defense with 23 digs, just one shy of her career best of 24 digs. Tori Thompson and Nerad tied for a team-high four blocks, while Smith added three.

North Dakota held a 7-6 edge early in the opening set when a 12-2 run gave the Jackrabbits a significant advantage. The deficit was too much for the Fighting Hawks to overcome as a kill by Tori Thompson capped a 25-17 first set win for SDSU.

UND gained a 14-6 lead midway through the second set in which it only continued to build upon. SDSU was unable to comeback as the Fighting Hawks won the second set, 25-15, to tie the match, 1-1.

The Jacks trailed 7-2 early into set three, but three-straight kills by Burk, one from Thompson and a Fighting Hawk error evened the score at 7-all. The score reached a tie on eight more occasions until it sat locked once again at 21-21. The Jackrabbits recorded four of the final five points as a kill by Nerad sealed the third set, 25-22, for SDSU.

Much like the first three sets, the Jackrabbits found themselves down 11-8 early in the fourth. However, after three kills from Hennen, one by Smith and two Fighting Hawk errors, State took an 11-14 lead. The teams alternated short runs until the score was tied at 18-all. SDSU scored seven of the final 11 points as a big swing from Smith capped the Jackrabbits 3-1 win with a 25-22 fourth set victory.

Game Notes

  • The Jackrabbits are now 53-31 all-time against North Dakota.
  • Ashlynn Smith recorded her first double-double of the season, while Crystal Burk registered her fourth.
  • South Dakota State hit .164 on the match compared to the Fighting Hawks at .119.

Up Next
The Jackrabbits conclude their three-game homestand on Friday as they take on Purdue Fort Wayne in a 7 p.m. matchup at Frost Arena.

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