South Dakota State bests Western Illinois in four sets


BROOKINGS, S.D. (SDSU) — South Dakota State volleyball picked up a Summit League win Thursday night with a 3-1 (25-23, 25-23, 21-25, 25-17) victory over Western Illinois at Frost Arena. SDSU won sets one and two, stumbled in set three, then bounced back to take the match in set four.

The Jacks started the match hot with a 5-0 lead and extended that margin to 7-1. Three straight errors by the Jacks, however, put Western Illinois back within reach at 8-6. The Leathernecks went ahead 19-18 for their first lead of the set but SDSU battled back to a 22-22 tie. Chloe Stitt notched a timely service ace to finish off set one 25-23 in favor of the home team.

The Jacks struggled to put the Leathernecks away again in set two. Tatum Pickar notched three straight service aces to push the Jacks to a a 20-13 advantage but a 5-1 stretch for WIU made it a 21-18 game in favor of South Dakota State. The Leathernecks closed in on the SDSU lead and held off two set points before the Jacks took the 25-23 win.

SDSU looked on its way to a sweep in set three with a 15-10 lead. Western Illinois went on a 8-1 tear out of a timeout, however, to go ahead 18-16 and force a Jackrabbit timeout. Ella Thompson tallied a kill and teamed up with Jasmine Weidemann for a block to tie the set back up at 18 apiece, then a WIU error gave the Jacks the lead back. WIU ended the set on another run, however, outscoring the Jacks 7-2 to take set three.

The final set went back-and-forth until 11-11. The Jacks used a timeout to regroup and came out of the break looking like a different team. Tatum Pickar notched her sixth ace of the contest to give SDSU a 14-11 lead. SDSU pushed the advantage to 19-13 and let WIU as close as 20-17 before closing out the match with five straight points.

Weidemann notched 48 assists for the Jackrabbits her first career start. The freshman nearly recorded a double-double with nine digs. Chloe Stitt’s 18 kills paced the SDSU offense and Sydney Andrews attacked at a .400 clip with nine kills.

Crystal Burk had 11 kills and 12 digs for her eighth double-double of her senior campaign. Pickar contributed 24 digs to go with her stellar performance from the serving line. Andrews and Thompson took part in four blocks each.

The Jackrabbits improve to 10-6 overall and move to 2-3 in the Summit League.


  • Jasmine Weidemann’s 48 assists is the fourth most by an SDSU setter this season
  • Tatum Pickar’s six ace serves is two shy of the SDSU single-match record
  • Andrews (.400), Elyse Winter (.318) and Stitt (.286) had the top three attack rates for either team
  • The Jackrabbits are 6-1 at home in 2021

The Jacks will continue their home stretch with a match against St. Thomas Saturday at 7 p.m. in Frost Arena.

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