Jacks battle Bison in Fargo
While not mathematically eliminated from Summit League Tournament contention, the Jackrabbits need wins and plenty of help to secure one of the four spots in the event, and a win at North Dakota State on Friday would be a crucial step to keeping those hopes alive.
Those hopes took a hit over the weekend, when the Jackrabbits fell 3-1 to Oakland on Friday, and 3-2 to IPFW on Saturday.
SDSU hung on for a 26-24 win the first set of Friday's match with Oakland, but dropped the next three sets in order to lose the match 3-1.
Kelli Fiegen led the Jacks with 15 kills and hit a match-high .429 (15-3-28). She also added a pair of block assists. Kaitlin Klingemann finished with 11 kills and a career-high seven total blocks; six block assists and a solo block.
Kelly Herrmann and Lexi Fowler both finished with double-doubles in the match. Hermann with 10 kills and 12 digs for her fourth of the season, and Fowler with 38 set assists and a career-high 22 digs for her eighth double-double of the season.
SDSU took the first two sets from IPFW on Saturday, and played to one match point in the fourth set and three more match points in the fifth set, but the Mastodons capitalized on their second match point in the fifth set to win the match 3-2.
Fiegen tied a career-high with 22 kills, Klingemann added 16 kills and five block assists, while Herrmann and Kelsey Hansen both finished with 10 kills. Herrmann also added 19 digs for her second consecutive double-double and fifth of the season.
Fowler also posted a double-double with a career-high 56 set assists and 20 digs. Shay Birath led the Jacks with 25 digs in the loss.
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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.
BIRATH NAMED DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK - Shay Birath captured her third career defensive player of the week honor on Sept. 19, after posting two double-digit dig matches on the weekend. She added her fourth career defensive player of the week honor on Oct. 17, after setting and SDSU 3-set record with 32 digs at Western Illinois and adding a 20 dig performance at IUPUI.
BIRATH and FIEGEN NAMED TO ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM - Juniors Shay Birath and Kelli Fiegen both earned all-tournament team honors after leading the Jacks to a 3-1 record at the season-opening SpringHill Suites Invitational hosted by Georgia Southern. Birath led the Jacks with 81 digs and added four services aces, while Fiegen led SDSU with 54 kills, a .357 hitting percentage and 10 total blocks.
KLINGEMANN and FIEGEN NAMED TO ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM - Juniors Kaitlin Klingemann and Kelli Fiegen both earned all-tournament team honors after leading the Jacks to a 2-1 record at the Jayhawk Invitational hosted by Kansas. Klingemann recorded 21 kills nine digs and six block assists in the three matches, while Fiegen led the Jacks with 34 kills, a .368 hitting percentage and 13 total blocks.
FIEGEN NAMED TO ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM - Kelli Fiegen posted 57 kills, including a career-high 22 against Arkansas State, over the weekend at the Dr. Mary Jo Wynn Invitational hosted by Missouri State and added 16 total blocks, six solo and 10 block assists, all of which earned her all-tournament team honors for the third weekend in a row.
FIEGEN SWINGS HERSELF TO 4-SET RECORD - Kelli Fiegen led SDSU with 17 kills in the Jacks 3-1 win over Belmont on Sept. 3, and set a new SDSU 4-set hitting percentage record in the process with 17 kills and no errors in 22 swings, good for a .773 attack percentage. Fiegen breaks the mark of .667 (13-1-18) set by Emily Rooney at Sam Houston State on Sept. 1, 2007.
BIRATH SETS 3-SET DIGS RECORD - Shay Birath led the Jackrabbits with 32 digs in the Jacks 3-0 loss at Western Illinois on Oct. 14, but those 32 digs mark a new 3-set record, topping the old record of 28, set by Samantha Pearson vs. Louisiana-Lafayette on Oct. 31, 2007.
YOUNGREN JOINS THE 1,000-Kills CLUB - Jackrabbit senior Ellyce Youngren entered the 2011 season with 903 career kills, 97 shy of becoming the 14th member of the SDSU 1,000-Kills Club. Her smash down the right line in the Jacks 3-2 win over IUPUI on Sept. 16, not only gave the Jacks the third-set win, but it gave her exactly 1,000 kills for her career. She enters this weekend with 1,086 kills, 52 shy of passing Lisa Freichels (1,137 kills from 1989-93) for 13th all-time at SDSU
FIEGEN CHASING 1,000 KILL MILESTONE - Kelli Fiegen would need to top her season-best mark of 352 kills, set in 2010, by five kills to reach the 1,000 kill milestone, but if the defending Summit League Player of the Year can record 37 more kills this season, she would not only become the 15th member of the 1,000-Kills Club, but also become the sixth member to reach the mark as a junior.
BIRATH JOINS THE 1,000-DIGS CLUB - Shay Birath took over the starting libero spot as a sophomore in 2010 and led the team with 556 digs, which boosted her career total to 712 and left her 288 digs shy of becoming 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. Birath joined the club on Sept. 24, at Oakland, and enters the weekend with 1,202 career digs, good for 11th all-time at SDSU, and just 32 shy of passing Sarah Simet (1,233 digs from 2001-04) for 10th all-time.
THIS WEEK'S COMPETITION
North Dakota State Bison (18-8, 11-2 Summit) - The defending Summit League Tournament champion Bison enter Friday's match with the Jackrabbits winners of four of the last five matches, with the lone flaw coming in a 3-2 loss on the road at No. 11 Northern Iowa. NDSU swept its last Summit League weekend, with a 3-1 win over IPFW on Friday and a convincing 3-0 sweep of Oakland on Saturday.
Brynn Joki leads a balanced North Dakota State attack with 277 kills, and ranks second on the team with 285 digs. Joki also enters the match with a team-high 29 solo blocks to go along with her 21 block assists. Chrissy Knuth enters the weekend with 222 kills, 260 digs and with 60 total blocks. Megan Lambertson adds 211 kills and 54 blocks, while Lauren Cammack enters with 203 kills, a team-high 30 service aces and 25 blocks.
Jennifer Lopez handles the setting duties for the Bison, while Andrea Henning leads the defense with 389 digs.
The Series vs. North Dakota State - The Bison lead the all-time series 64-18 after sweeping the first meeting of the season and after the teams split the season series in 2010, with each team winning on its home floor. The Jacks win at Frost Arena on Nov. 6, 2010, marked the first win over the Bison since winning a five set thriller on Sept. 16, 2007.
The First Meeting, Oct. 1; Frost Arena - South Dakota State rallied to force extra points in the third set of the first meeting between the Jackrabbits and Bison, but after dropping both the first and second sets by the score of 25-13, the Jackrabbits fell 29-27, and thus lost the match 3-0 to the visiting Bison.
NDSU's Brynn Joki also recorded a double-double, finishing with a match-high 13 kills to go with her 12 digs.
The Jackrabbits fell hard in the first two sets, and did not lead until going up 4-3 in the third set. SDSU held on to that lead until the Bison tied it up at 20-20.
NDSU reached 24 points first and the Jacks fended off match point for the first time, before getting three set points of their own, which the Bison fought off until capitalizing on their second chance on match point.
NEXT UP FOR THE JACKRABBITS - The Jackrabbits return home to host North Dakota on Halloween at Frost Arena at 7 p.m.