Birath sets digs record in Jackrabbit win
Already on pace to set the all-time digs record at South Dakota State, Jackrabbit senior libero Shay Birath recorded 32 digs in Friday's 3-1 win over Omaha, which sets a new SDSU 4-set record.
"Shay adjusted well tonight to the UNO attack," head coach Phil McDaniel said. "I'm proud of the way she stayed focused, and that her hard work allowed her to set a record."
As for the rest of the match, the Jackrabbits came out cold, and dropped the first set 25-17, but bounced back in a big way to win the final three sets 25-21, 25-10 and 25-16, and the match 3-1 in front of 483 fans on dig pink night at Frost Arena.
"I think some defensive adjustments we made after the first set kicked in and we really made a deliberate focus to block and dig,"said. "Our defensive transition was good, the fact that were able to get the ball to our middles as much as we did really put the pressure on UNO."
The win snaps a three match losing streak for the Jackrabbits, who improve to 13-8 overall and to 5-4 in The Summit League. The Mavericks fourth straight loss drops them to 6-14 overall and to 1-7 in league play.
Kelli Fiegen led a trio of Jackrabbits with double figure kills with a match-high 15, adding three block assists and a solo block. Kaitlin Klingemann finished with 11 kills and four block assists, while Kelly Herrmann tallied one of two SDSU double-doubles in the match with 10 kills and 11 digs, one dig shy of reaching the 1,000 dig milestone.
Lexi Fowler recorded the other double-double with 27 set assists and 11 digs. Birath's record-breaking 32 digs led all players, and breaks the record of 30, set by Samantha Pearson against Montana on Sept. 8, 2007. Birath already holds the school's 3-set record, also with 32 digs.
Valerie Hecht led the Maverick offense with 11 kills, while Amy Roberts led the defense with 31 digs. Bailey Baxter led the team with 22 set assists and added 12 digs to complete the double-double.
The Jackrabbits look to start a winning streak on Friday, when they travel to Macomb, Ill., to take on Western Illinois. The Jacks won the first meeting against the Fighting Leathernecks 3-1 on Sept. 22, at Frost Arena.