The long grind of The Summit League season comes down to one match for South Dakota State, which closes the regular season at North Dakota State on Friday in Fargo, N.D., at 7 p.m.
The Jackrabbits enter the final weekend tied with UMKC for fourth in the league standings with one match to play, but could finish as high as third, or out of the four-team Summit League Tournament altogether, even if they win on Friday.
Simply put, a Jackrabbit loss would severely hinder their chances for making the tournament, but a win, coupled with an Oakland split at IUPUI and Western Illinois, along with a UMKC loss at Omaha on Thursday would give the Jacks a No. 3 seed.
Several other scenarios could play a factor in the final league standings, as Oakland, UMKC, South Dakota State, South Dakota and North Dakota State all enter the weekend with a chance to gain the final two spots available in the four-team event. At 11-3 in the league, both IPFW and IUPUI already secured the top two spots in the championships.
The Jacks enter the final weekend of the season riding a three-match losing streak, the first being a 3-0 loss to No. 21 Iowa State on Oct. 30 at home, followed by a 3-0 loss at South Dakota on Friday and a 3-1 loss at UMKC on Sunday.
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.
FIEGEN CRACKS TOP-10 IN CAREER KILLS - 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 cracked the all-time top-10 in the Jacks win over North Dakota State on Sept. 16, and finished the final home weekend with 1,391 career kills, good for sixth all-time at SDSU.
FIEGEN BLOCKS INTO THE TOP-10 - In addition to her offensive prowess, Kelli Fiegen makes her defensive mark on the block. The senior wrapped up the weekend ranked seventh all-time at SDSU with 109 solo blocks and second all-time with 408 block assists.
FIEGEN TIES BLOCK ASSISTS RECORD - Kelli Fiegen tied the SDSU four-set total blocks record on Oct. 26, when she posted a career-high 10 block assists in the Jacks 3-1 win over Oakland. Fiegen shares the record with Amy Anderson, who recorded two solo blocks and eight block assists at North Dakota State on Nov. 11, 2006.
KLINGEMANN HITS 1,000 KILL MILESTONE - Kaitlin Klingemann needed 11 kills on Oct. 19 at Western Illinois to reach the 1,000 kill milestone. She finished with 14 in the Jacks 3-1 win to become the 16th member of the SDSU 1,000-Kills Club, and enters the final match of the regular season with 1,047 in her career.
BIRATH SETS SDSU 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. She climbed into second all-time on Sept. 22, in a win over Western Illinois, and then broke the record 1,929 at UMKC on Nov. 4. Birath enters the final match of the regular season with 1,941 career digs.
BIRATH SETS FOUR-SET DIGS RECORD - Senior libero Shay Birath recorded 32 digs in the Jackrabbits 3-1 win over Omaha on Oct. 12, which sets a new SDSU four-set record, topping the old mark of 30, set by Samantha Pearson against Montana on Sept. 8, 2007. Birath already holds the school's three-set record, also with 32 digs.
HERRMANN JOINS THE SDSU 1,000-DIGS CLUB - Kelly Herrmann came up one dig shy of the 1,000 dig milestone in the Jacks 3-1 victory over Omaha on Oct. 12, and wasted little time against Western Illinois on Oct. 19 in picking up the one dig she needed to become the 14th player in SDSU history to reach the milestone. She enters the final match of the regular season ranked 12th on the list with 1,087 career digs.
THIS WEEK'S OPPONENT
North Dakota State Bison (11-16, 7-8 Summit) - Still battling for one of the four spots in The Summit League Tournament, which it hosts, North Dakota State comes into the final regular season match of the season after splitting a pair of Summit League matches last weekend, staring with a 3-1 win at UMKC on Friday, followed by a 3-0 loss at South Dakota on Sunday.
The weekend split came on the heels of a tough weekend at home on Oct. 26-27, when the Bison dropped home matches to IPFW on Friday and to Oakland on Sunday.
In order earn a spot in next weekend's league tournament, the Bison not only need a win over the Jackrabbits, but a bit of help along the way.
The Series vs. North Dakota State - The Bison lead the all-time series 65-19, with wins in 10 of the last 13 meetings. The three SDSU wins in that streak all came in Frost Arena; a 3-2 win on Sept. 16, 2007, a 3-1 win on Nov. 6, 2010 and a 3-1 win on Sept. 16.
The Last Meeting: Sept. 16; Frost Arena - SDSU closed its match with North Dakota State on a 34-10 run over the last set an a half, en route to a 3-1 win over the visiting Bison in front of a of 597 at Frost Arena.
Kaitlin Klingemann led a balanced Jackrabbit attack with 14 kills, with three of the team's eight service aces, four digs and a pair of block assists. Kelli Fiegen rebounded from a slow start to finish with 12 kills and a match-high five block assists. Bailey Philippot added seven kills and four blocks, while Margit Hansing finished with six kills and four aces.
Brynn Joki led the visitors with a match-high 20 kills, Megan Lambertson added 11 and Carissa Whalen 10 kills in the loss. Andrea Henning led the Bison defense with 18 digs.
NEXT UP FOR THE JACKRABBITS - If they qualify for the four-team event, the Jackrabbits return to action next Friday at The Summit League Championships in Fargo, N.D.