Rabbits fall in four against Eastern Illinois
DES MOINES, Iowa – South Dakota State won the first set on Friday against Eastern Illinois at the Drake Invitational by a 25-23 score, but came up short in the next three against the Panthers, falling 25-18, 25-22 and 25-21 in the 3-1 loss, which drops the Jackrabbits to 0-4 on the season.
"Much better night for us defensively, we made better decisions with the ball," head coach Phil McDaniel said. "I can see progress within our group."
Wagner Larson led the Jacks with 12 kills in the loss, adding a solo block and a pair of block assists. Tiara Gibson cracked double digits in kills for the first time in her career, finishing with 10, and also adding a solo block and two block assists. Mikala Hora added nine kills and Kacey Herrmann eight kills to go with her career-high 15 digs.
Lizzie Palmer led the Jackrabbit defense with 16 kills and added one kill, the first of her career.
Chelsea Lee led the Panthers, who improve to 2-3 on the season, with 21 kills. Abby Saalfrank added 13, Reynae Hutchinson 11 and Stephanie Arnold 10 kills in the win. Hutchinson added 10 digs to complete the double-double.
Marah Bradbury finished with 52 set assists and 17 digs for a double-double of her own. Dakota Springer also finished with 17 digs.
The Jacks return to action on Saturday with two more matches at the Drake Invite, starting with DePaul at 11 a.m., before closing the weekend against the host Bulldogs at 7 p.m.