The first half of The Summit League season came to an end for South Dakota State on Saturday against Southern Utah, and along with the first half, the Jackrabbits season-long six match losing streak ended with a 3-1 win over the Thunderbirds.
With the streak over and the Jacks back on the winning track, SDSU now looks to carry that momentum into the second half of the season, starting this weekend with matches at Western Illinois on Friday and at IUPUI on Saturday. Both matches begin at 7 p.m. local time.
Ellyce Youngren tied a season-high with 14 kills to lead the Jackrabbits against Southern Utah, and added a match-high four block assists. She also finished with a solo block, six digs and a pair of service aces. Kelli Fiegen hit .500 in the match, posting 13 kills in 24 swings with just one error. She also finished with two of the Jacks eight aces.
Kaitlin Klingemann added 12 kills in the win, while Shay Birath led the defense with 21 digs. Lexi Fowler completed her fourth straight double-double, and seventh of the season, with 42 assists and 15 digs.
Fiegen led the Jacks through the first half of the season with 262 kills, with a .347 hitting percentage (262-64-570) and with 78 total blocks. Klingemann ranks second on the team with 196 kills and adds 44 blocks. Ellyce Youngren starts the second half with 163 kills, 119 digs and ranks second on the team with 48 blocks.
Shay Birath leads the defense with 392 digs, while Lexi Fowler leads the way with 769 set assists. Fowler also adds 168 digs, and leads the team with seven double-doubles.
THE JACKRABBIT EXTRA ON GoJacks.com - Subscribers to the Jackrabbit Extra on GoJacks.com can watch to all SDSU home and select road volleyball matches streaming live on the internet.
To subscribe to the Jackrabbit Extra, log onto GoJacks.com, select Jackrabbit Extra on the Audio/Video tab and click on "SIGN UP NOW"
THE JACKRABBIT INSIDER ON FOX - Fans of South Dakota State Athletics can get a weekly behind-the-scenes look at all 21 Jackrabbit varsity sports teams by tuning into "The Jackrabbit Insider."
Hosted by Tyler Merriam, the show airs on Sundays on KTTW FOX 17 at 10:30 p.m., and can also be seen on Fox Sports North at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays.
BIRATH NAMED DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK - Shay Birath captured her third career defensive player of the week honor on Sept. 19, after posting two double-digit dig matches on the weekend. She started league play with a 28-dig and three-service ace match in a five-set win over IUPUI, followed up by 19 digs in a sweep of Western Illinois. For the weekend, Birath tallied 47 digs, averaging 5.88 digs per set and three aces.
BIRATH and FIEGEN NAMED TO ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM - Juniors Shay Birath and Kelli Fiegen both earned all-tournament team honors after leading the Jacks to a 3-1 record at the season-opening SpringHill Suites Invitational hosted by Georgia Southern. Birath led the Jacks with 81 digs and added four services aces, while Fiegen led SDSU with 54 kills, a .357 hitting percentage and 10 total blocks.
KLINGEMANN and FIEGEN NAMED TO ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM - Juniors Kaitlin Klingemann and Kelli Fiegen both earned all-tournament team honors after leading the Jacks to a 2-1 record at the Jayhawk Invitational hosted by Kansas. Klingemann recorded 21 kills nine digs and six block assists in the three matches, while Fiegen led the Jacks with 34 kills, a .368 hitting percentage and 13 total blocks.
FIEGEN NAMED TO ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM - Kelli Fiegen posted 57 kills, including a career-high 22 against Arkansas State, over the weekend at the Dr. Mary Jo Wynn Invitational hosted by Missouri State and added 16 total blocks, six solo and 10 block assists, all of which earned her all-tournament team honors for the third weekend in a row.
FIEGEN SWINGS HERSELF TO 4-SET RECORD - Kelli Fiegen led SDSU with 17 kills in the Jacks 3-1 win over Belmont on Sept. 3, and set a new SDSU 4-set hitting percentage record in the process with 17 kills and no errors in 22 swings, good for a .773 attack percentage. Fiegen breaks the mark of .667 (13-1-18) set by Emily Rooney at Sam Houston State on Sept. 1, 2007.
YOUNGREN JOINS THE 1,000-Kills CLUB - Jackrabbit senior Ellyce Youngren entered the 2011 season with 903 career kills, 97 shy of becoming the 14th member of the SDSU 1,000-Kills Club. Her smash down the right line in the Jacks 3-2 win over IUPUI on Sept. 16, not only gave the Jacks the third-set win, but it gave her exactly 1,000 kills for her career. She enters this weekend with 1,066 kills, 71 shy of passing Lisa Freichels (1,137 kills from 1989-93) for 13th all-time at SDSU
FIEGEN CHASING 1,000 KILL MILESTONE - Kelli Fiegen would need to top her season-best mark of 352 kills, set in 2010, by five kills to reach the 1,000 kill milestone, but if the defending Summit League Player of the Year can record 95 more kills this season, she would not only become the 15th member of the 1,000-Kills Club, but also become the sixth member to reach the mark as a junior.
BIRATH JOINS THE 1,000-DIGS CLUB - Shay Birath took over the starting libero spot as a sophomore in 2010 and led the team with 556 digs, which boosted her career total to 712 and left her 288 digs shy of becoming the 13th member of the SDSU 1,000-Digs Club, and just the fifth member of the club to reach the milestone as a junior. Birath joined the club on Sept. 24, at Oakland, and enters the weekend with 1,104 career digs, good for 11th all-time at SDSU.
THIS WEEK'S COMPETITION
Western Illinois Fighting Leathernecks (9-10, 2-7 Summit) - Western Illinois struggled to a 2-7 record in its first trip through The Summit League, with wins at home against Oakland and on the road at UMKC being the Fighting Leathernecks only league victories.
Cait Egan led the Leathernecks through the first half of the season with 190 kills and 51 total blocks. Ann Miller and Katie Hosteng both enter the weekend with 179 kills, with Miller adding 242 digs and 21 total blocks and Hosteng adding 27 blocks.
Bridget Murphy leads the team with 394 digs, Sarah Fetter leads the way with 610 set assists, while Molly Murphy leads the team with 32 aces.
The Series vs. Western Illinois - The Jackrabbits lead the all-time series 9-1 after sweeping the season series in 2010 for the second straight season and downing the Fighting Leathernecks 3-0 on Sept. 17. The lone Western Illinois win in the series came on Nov. 1, 2008, a 3-0 sweep in Macomb, Ill.
The First Meeting, Sept, 17; Frost Arena - SDSU closed its Summit League opening weekend with a 3-0 win over Western Illinois, cruising to 25-16 and 25-18 wins in the first two sets and then coming from behind to win the third set 29-27.
Kelli Fiegen led the Jackrabbit attack with 10 kills and just one error in 20 swings for a .450 hitting percentage. Fiegen also added three block assists and a pair of solo blocks. Bailey Philippot tied for team-high honors with 10 kills off the bench and added a trio of block assists as well. Kaitlin Klingemann pitched in with eight kills, with a match-high four block assists and a pair of service aces.
Shay Birath led the Jackrabbit defense with 19 digs, Kelly Herrmann added 10 digs to go along with her nine kills.
Samantha Fournier led all players in the match with 14 kills, while Ann Miller added 11 kills and 12 digs in the loss.
IUPUI Jaguars (10-10, 5-4 Summit) - The Jaguars opened The Summit League season with four straight losses, but bounced back in a big way, rattling off five straight league wins to end the first half and keep themselves in contention for one of the four conference tournament spots.
Moriah Fair leads the charge for IUPUI, and enters the weekend with 214 kills, 123 digs and 42 blocks. Kalyse Reimbold ranks second on the team with 187 kills and adds, 116 digs and 11 service aces. Kelsey Hoefer finished the first half with 160 kills and 47 blocks, which ranks second on the team behind Kortni Wright and her 53 blocks.
Shari Bernhardt leads the Jags defense with 393 digs and with 18 aces and Alexis Meeks leads the team with 698 set assits.
The Series vs. IUPUI - The Jackrabbits lead the all-timer series 6-3, after a 3-2 win in the conference opener on Sept. The Jacks and Jags split the 2010 season series, with each team winning on its home floor. IUPUI won the first meeting 3-0 on Oct. 9, in Indianapolis, while SDSU held on for a 3-2 victory on Oct. 22 at Frost Arena.
The First Meeting, Sept, 16; Frost Arena - SDSU got off to a bit of a slow start in its Summit League opener against IUPUI, but an Ellyce Youngren kill not only ended the third set for a 25-21 Jackrabbit win, but it also rallied her team and put her in elite company as the 14th member of the SDSU 1,000-Kills Club. The Jacks rolled from there, winning the fourth set 25-21 and the fifth set 15-6.
Kaitlin Klingemann led the Jacks with 17 kills, Kelli Fiegen added 15, while Youngren and Kelly Herrmann both finished with 10. Herrmann added 20 digs for her fourth career double-double. Lexi Fowler finished the match with a career-high 53 set assists and added 11 digs for her second career double-double. Shay Birath led the defense with 28 digs.
Bethany Fogler led IUPUI with 17 kills, Kelsey Hoefer added 11 kills in the loss, while Shari Bernhardt finished with a match-high 29 digs.
NEXT UP FOR THE JACKRABBITS - The Jackrabbits return home to Frost Arena for six of their final nine matches this season, starting with a Friday night affair against Oakland, followed by a Saturday match with IPFW. Both contests begin at 7 p.m.