Trailing 10-4 in the fifth set of Saturday's match with South Dakota, it looked like South Dakota State would crumble and fall, but the Jackrabbits fought back to tie the match and fended off two match points, before eventually dropping the set 18-16 and the match 3-2.
The Jackrabbits lost by the set scores of 19-25, 25-19, 25-15, 19-25 and 16-18, and fall to 12-7 on the season and to an even 4-4 in The Summit League. The Coyotes improve to 8-11 overall and to 2-5 in league play.
"The sense of urgency is lacking with our group right now," head coach Phil McDaniel said. "We have change that collective attitude."
Kaitlin Klingemann led the Jacks with 17 kills, Bailey Philippot added 15 and Kelli Fiegen 14 kills in the loss. Shay Birath set the pace on defense with 27 digs, Margit Hansing finished with 19 and Kelly Herrmann 17 digs.
Lexi Fowler posted her sixth double-double of the season with 30 set assists and 13 digs.
Kendall Kritenbrink led all players with 29 kills in the win. Kim Bulaga added 15 kills, while both Tory Kroll and Natalie Walseth finished with 10. Kroll added 16 digs to complete the double-double.
After exchanging 25-19 wins, the Jackrabbits rolled to a 25-15 win in the third set, only to see the Coyotes return the favor, and tie the match at 2-2 with a 25-19 win in the fourth set.
South Dakota opened the fifth set with a 4-0 run and stretched the lead to 10-4 before the Jackrabbits started to claw their way back into the set, eventually tying the score at 13-13.
The Jacks got one chance at match point leading 16-15, but the visitors scored the next three points, capitalizing on their third chance at match point to win the set 18-16 and the match 3-2.
The Jackrabbits return to action on Friday, when they dig pink against Omaha in Frost Arena at 7 p.m.