CEDAR CITY, Utah - Needing wins to stay in The Summit League playoff hunt, the South Dakota State volleyball team fought for its third straight win, and got it with a 3-2 triumph at Southern Utah on Thursday night.
"We're so proud of the team, a job well done by each and every one of them," head coach Nanabah Allison-Brewer said after the match. "Scrappy defense won us this match. They were all over the floor tonight."
The Jackrabbits won by the set scores of 19-25, 25-20, 25-18, 23-25 and 15-9 to improve to and even 12-12 on the season and 8-6 in Summit League play. The loss drops the Thunderbirds to 11-11 overall and 9-4 in league play.
Kelli Fiegen led the Jacks with 20 kills and continues to hit at an impressive rate after hitting .425 (20-3-40) on Thursday. She also added seven block assists and a pair of solo blocks in the win.
Less than a week after tying her career-high with 26 digs twice, Shay Birath set a new career-mark with 34 digs, just three shy of tying the school record for a five set match.
Thyele Rechatiko tallied 54 set assists and added 14 digs for her team-high 13th double-double of the season.
Analaine Pelaez led the T-birds with 13 kills and added 20 digs in the loss to complete the double-double.
After falling in the first set and trailing late in the second set, the Jacks used a 6-0 run to take the lead at 19-16 and never looked back in the 25-20 win.
The Jacks trailed by just two at 11-9 in the third set when they rattled off an 11-1 run to run away with the set by the score of 25-18.
Southern Utah jumped out to the early lead in the fourth set and led by as many as seven points, only to see the Jacks rally to tie the match at 22 and again at 23 before the T-bird score the last two points to win 25-23 and force the fifth set.
SDSU left little doubt in the final set, jumping out to a 6-1 lead. The Jacks never let SUU get within three points from there in the 15-9 win.
The Jackrabbits get Friday off to travel to Kansas City, Mo., where they face UMKC on Saturday at 7 p.m. in their final road match of the season.