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Jacks play three at Gonzaga Tournament

Courtesy: SDSU Sports Info
Release: 08/29/2012 21:20:48

South Dakota State returns to the court this weekend for three matches at the Gonzaga Tournament in Spokane, Wash. The Jackrabbits open the three-match event on Friday at 6 p.m. PT, against the host Bulldogs, and then play Eastern Washington on Saturday at 11 a.m. PT, before wrapping up the weekend against UC Riverside on Saturday at 6 p.m. PT.

The Jacks opened the 2012 season last weekend at the Hawkeye Challenge on a high note, by beating Southeast Missouri State 3-0 on Friday afternoon. Later that night, the Jackrabbits took a set from host Iowa, but ended up falling by a 3-1 score.

The second day of the tournament started with a dominating 3-0 sweep of Chicago State, but ended with a 3-2 loss to Valparaiso.

Senior Kelli Fiegen led the Jackrabbit offense with 41 kills and a .459 hitting percentage on the weekend, adding 12 total blocks, all of which help land her a spot on the all-tournament team and garner Summit League Offensive Player of the Week honors. Sophomore Margit Hansing added 35 kills and six blocks, while senior Bailey Philippot pitched in with 24 kills and nine blocks.

Senior Shay Birath led the SDSU defense with 77 digs on the weekend, while freshman Lizzie Palmer made the most of her collegiate debut with 17 digs and a team-high five service aces.   

THE JACKRABBIT EXTRA ON GoJacks.com - Subscribers to the Jackrabbit Extra on GoJacks.com can watch all SDSU home and select road volleyball matches streaming live on the internet.  

To subscribe to the Jackrabbit Extra, log onto GoJacks.com 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.

The Jackrabbit Insider premiers on Sept. 2.

FIEGEN CLIMBING ALL-TIME KILLS LADDER - Kelli Fiegen posted 21 kills at Southern Utah on Nov. 3, 2011 to become the 15th member of the SDSU 1,000-Kills Club and just the sixth member to reach the mark as a junior. Now a senior, Fiegen enters the week with 1,106 career kills, 32 shy of passing Lisa Freichels (1,137 kills from 1989-93) for 14th all-time at SDSU.

FIEGEN NAMED OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK - Kelli Fiegen earned her fourth career offensive player of the week selection last week after helping the Jackrabbits post a 2-2 record at the Hawkeye Challenge in Iowa City, Iowa. 

A senior from Parkston, S.D., Fiegen hit at a .460 clip or better in all three of her complete matches, including two matches with only one error. She opened the season hitting .474 with 10 kills and one error in 19 attempts and six blocks in a 3-0 sweep of Southeast Missouri State, and ended the tournament with her most efficient match of the weekend against Valparaiso with 13 kills and one error in 21 attempts for a .571 hitting percentage.

On the weekend, Fiegen collected 41 kills, averaging 3.15 per set with a league-best .459 hitting percentage, adding 12 blocks in the process.

KLINGEMANN POISED TO REACH 1,000 KILL MILESTONE - Kaitlin Klingemann recorded 304 kills in 2011 as a junior, giving her 762 in her career and leaving her 238 kills shy of becoming the 16th member of the SDSU 1,000-Kills Club. She enters this week with 784 kills, 216 shy of reaching the milestone.

BIRATH CHASING ALL-TIME DIGS RECORD - Shay Birath became 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, at Oakland on Sept. 24, 2011. Birath posted 77 digs at the Hawkeye Challenge last week, which moved her from fifth to third on the all-time list with 1,430 career digs, 186 shy of moving into second all-time and an even 500 away from a new school record.

HERRMANN ON PACE TO JOIN 1,000-DIGS CLUB - After posting more than 300 digs in each of the last two seasons, senior Kelly Herrmann entered her senior season 254 digs shy of becoming the 14th member of the SDSU 1,000-Digs Club. She enters the week with 789 digs, 211 shy of the mark. 

THIS WEEK'S OPPONENTS

Gonzaga Bulldogs (1-2) - The Bulldogs opened the season last week with a 3-2 win over Portland State at the Northwest Challenge, but fell in the final two matches of the weekend; falling by the same 3-0 score to both Washington and Boise State.

The Series vs. Gonzaga - The Jackrabbits lead the all-time series 2-0, including a 3-0 win at the Oregon Kickoff Classic in Eugene, Ore., on Aug. 26, 2005 and a 3-2 win exactly one year later in the Jackrabbit Kickoff Tournament at Frost Arena in Brookings.       

Eastern Washington Eagles (0-4) - The Eagles opened the season with four losses last weekend at the UniWyo Wyoming Invitational in Laramie, Wyo. The Eags fell to San Francisco and Seattle on Friday by 3-1 scores, and then dropped 3-0 matches to Presbyterian and host Wyoming on Saturday. 

The Series vs. Eastern Washington -The Eagles won the first and only meeting between the two teams 3-2 at the Oregon Kickoff Classic in Eugene, Ore., on Aug. 27, 2005.

UC Riverside Highlanders (2-1) - The Highlanders opened the season with 3-0 wins over Fairleigh Dickinson and Providence at the Hofstra Asics Invitational in Hempstead, N.Y., last weekend, but fell to the host Pride in the finale by a 3-0 score.

The Series vs. UC Riverside - First Meeting

NEXT UP FOR THE JACKRABBITS - The Jacks make their home debut on Tuesday against North Dakota at 7 p.m., and then host the Jackrabbit Invitational next weekend, which includes matches against Green Bay and Bradley, as well as an alumni match.

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