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Photo by: South Dakota State University

Jacks welcome Coyotes and Bison this week

Courtesy: SDSU Sports Info
Release: 11/02/2010 16:53:32

The wins keep coming for South Dakota State, as the Jackrabbits ended their steak of Summit League splits, and replaced them with sweeps, thanks to wins over IUPUI and Western Illinois two weeks ago and wins at Southern Utah and UMKC last week.

The four straight wins keep the Jacks in the thick of The Summit League race, but they need to keep winning to secure their place in the postseason tournament.

The lone league match this week pits the Jacks against league-leader North Dakota State on Saturday at 7:30 p.m., but the week begins with a non-conference affair on Tuesday, when the Jacks welcome South Dakota to Frost Arena for the first time since Oct. 25, 2003. SDSU downed the Coyotes 3-1 earlier in the season at the Doublewood Inn Classic in Fargo, N.D.

Ellyce Youngren leads the Jackrabbit offense after 25 matches with 302 kills and with 30 service aces. Kelli Fiegen ranks second on the team with 286 kills, leads all hitters with a .378 hitting percentage, and easily leads the team and with 121 total blocks, 38 solo and 83 block assists. Thyele Rechatiko handles the setting duties for the Jackrabbits and leads the team with 14 double-doubles, while libero Shay Birath leads the Jackrabbit defense with 452 digs.

FIEGEN AND BIRATH EARN WEEKLY HONORS - Middle blocker Kelli Fiegen and libero Shay Birath earned Summit League offensive and defensive player of the week honors after leading the Jackrabbits to a pair of league wins over the weekend.

A sophomore from Parkston, Fiegen earns the honor for a second time this season after leading the Jacks to a pair of league wins over the weekend, including a five set win at Southern Utah on Thursday and a 3-0 sweep at UMKC on Saturday. Fiegen hit .441 in the two matches with a total of 31 kills and five errors in 59 swings. She also added three solo blocks and 10 block assists to her league-leading total.

A sophomore from Marshall, Minn., Birath earns defensive player of the week honors for the first time in her career after leading the Jackrabbit defense in the wins over the Thunderbirds and Kangaroos. Birath recorded a career-high 34 digs in the win at Southern Utah, just three shy of the SDSU record for a five set match. She then tallied 12 digs in the three set sweep of UMKC.

Birath shares the weekly award with Oakland's Brittany Dunn.

FIEGEN BREAKS FIVE SET RECORD - Middle blocker Kelli Fiegen broke the Jackrabbit record for hitting percentage in a five set match on Oct. 8, with 17 kills in 27 swings with just one error for an astounding .593 hitting percentage and led the Jacks to a 3-2 over Western Illinois in the process. Fiegen broke the old mark of .550 (12-1-20) set by Kim Bostrom vs. Harding (Ark.), on Aug. 31, 2002.

RABBITS ON THE RADIO - All Jackrabbit volleyball home matches can be heard on KJJQ 910 A.M., with Kolbe Nelson doing the play-by-play.

Due to extensive election coverage on 910 AM, Brookings Radio moved Tuesday's South Dakota State vs. South Dakota volleyball broadcast from 910 AM to KCountry 102.3 FM.

The pre-game show starts approximately 20 minutes before first serve.

THE JACKRABBIT EXTRA ON GoJacks.com - Subscribers to the Jackrabbit Extra on GoJacks.com can listen to all SDSU home volleyball matches and can watch every home match streaming live on the internet.  

To subscribe to the Jackrabbit Extra, log onto GoJacks.com, select Jackrabbit Extra on the Audio/Video tab and click on "sign up"

THE JACKRABBIT INSIDER ON FOX - Fans of South Dakota State Athletics can get a weekly behind-the-scenes look at Jackrabbit sports teams by tuning into "The Jackrabbit Insider."

Hosted by Tyler Merriam, the show airs on Sunday on KTTW FOX 17 at 10:30 p.m., and can also be seen on Fox Sports North at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays.


South Dakota Coyotes (8-17, 5-3 Great West) - The Coyotes dropped 14 straight matches in the middle of the season, but enter Tuesday's match winners of six of their last eight matches. They do, however, come to Brookings for the first time since Oct. 25, 2003, after a loss at Utah Valley on Thursday.

Kristin Kritenbrink leads the USD offense with 280 kills and adds 180 digs. She also ranks second on the team with 43 total blocks, including a team-high 14 solo blocks. Natalie Walseth leads the Coyotes with 62 total blocks and adds 148 kills. Carol Logato leads the team with 358 digs and Tori Kroll handles the setting duties. Kroll also ranks second on the team with 207 digs.

The Series vs. South Dakota - Despite dropping the final two matches against the Coyotes in Division II, the Jackrabbits lead the all-time series 53-6, which includes a 40-match win streak from 1984-2002.

The First Meeting vs. South Dakota (9/18 in Fargo, N.D.) - After opening the day with a loss to host North Dakota State, the Jackrabbits sent South Dakota to its 13th straight loss with a 3-1 win at the Doublewood Inn Classic.

North Dakota State Bison (16-9, 12-3 Summit) - The Bison, who beat Utah 3-1 on Monday night, regained their place atop The Summit League standings with wins over UMKC and Southern Utah, coupled with an IPFW loss to Oakland over the weekend.

Brynn Joki and Chrissy Knuth lead a balanced Bison offense, Joki with 258 kills and Knuth with 260. Joki adds a team-high 57 service aces, 260 digs and 43 total blocks, and Knuth adds 125 digs and 71 total blocks. Lauren McLaughlin leads the Bison with 324 digs, while Jordan Kissman leads the team with 639 set assists.

The First Meeting at North Dakota State (9/18) - South Dakota State dropped its third straight match with a 3-0 Summit League loss to North Dakota State at the Doublewood Inn Classic in Fargo. N.D.

The Series vs. North Dakota State - The Bison lead the all-time series 63-17, including wins in each of the last six matches. The last SDSU win in the series came on Sept. 16, 2007, when the Jacks won a five set thriller in Frost Arena.

NEXT UP FOR THE JACKRABBITS - The Jackrabbits close out the 2010 regular season at home next weekend with matches against Oral Roberts and Centenary on the schedule.

The Jacks and Golden Eagles play on Thursday at 7 p.m., and then close out the regular season against Centenary, playing in its final Division I and final Summit League match, on Saturday at 7 p.m.

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