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Jackrabbits close first half vs. ORU and SUU

Courtesy: SDSU Sports Info
Release: 10/06/2011 12:08:19

The South Dakota State losing streak reached a season-long five matches on Monday, when the Jackrabbits dropped a 3-1 match at South Dakota, marking the first time this season that SDSU fell in a match that went more than three sets.

The Jackrabbits look to snap that skid this weekend, when they close the first half of The Summit League season against Oral Roberts on Friday and against Southern Utah on Saturday. Both matches begin at 7 p.m. in Frost Arena. 

In the process of snapping their own losing streak, the Jacks hope to snap an ORU winning streak that reached six matches with home wins over IPFW and Oakland last weekend in Tulsa, Okla.

Conversely, Southern Utah, who plays at North Dakota State on Friday, enters the weekend riding a three match losing streak and without back-to-back wins yet this season.

Kelli Fiegen led the Jackrabbits with 14 kills in the loss at South Dakota, adding two solo and two block assists. Kaitlin Klingemann finished with 13 kills, with seven digs and a block assist.

Shay Birath led the defense with 26 digs, and moved to 11th all-time in digs at SDSU. Ellyce Youngren added 12 digs and Lexi Fowler 10 digs to go along with her 35 set assists, which gives her a second straight double-double, her fifth of the season.

THE JACKRABBIT EXTRA ON GoJacks.com - Subscribers to the Jackrabbit Extra on GoJacks.com can watch to all SDSU home and select road volleyball matches 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 NOW"

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 started league play with a 28-dig and three-service ace match in a five-set win over IUPUI, followed up by 19 digs in a sweep of Western Illinois. For the weekend, Birath tallied 47 digs, averaging 5.88 digs per set and three aces.

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.

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 1,051 kills, 87 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 122 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 1,057 career digs, good for 12th all-time at SDSU and 18 shy of passing Kristina Martin (1,074 digs from 2004-07) for 11th on the all-time list.

THIS WEEK'S COMPETITION

Oral Roberts Golden Eagles (13-4, 6-1 Summit) - Oral Roberts opened the season with three straight losses at the Nike Invitational hosted by Oklahoma, but bounced back in a big way, with seven straight wins before dropping its Summit League opener at home against South Dakota.

The streaking Golden Eagles responded with six straight wins, and rides that streak into Frost Arena on Friday.

Elizabeth McVicker leads the ORU offense with 167 kills and with 66 total blocks, followed closely by Sheina Fernandes with 162 kills and 48 blocks. Joanna Gruber and Olivia Ophus also enter the weekend with more than 100 kills this season. Laura Taylor does the setting for the Golden Eagles and leads the team with 20 service aces, while Bruna Silva leads the team with 315 digs.

The Series vs. Oral Roberts - The Golden Eagles lead the all-time series 5-3 after the two teams split the season series in 2010. ORU down the Jacks 3-1 on Sept. 26, in Tulsa, Okla., while the Jacks won the second meeting of the season 3-2 on Nov. 11, at Frost Arena, which kept their Summit League Tournament hopes alive.

Southern Utah Thunderbirds (4-13, 2-5 Summit) - A year after posting a 12-6 record in The Summit League and earning the No. 3 Seed in the league tournament, Southern Utah enters the final weekend of the first half of the league season with a 2-5 mark in league play and riding a three match losing streak. Unable to string together two straight wins this season, the Thunderbirds dropped a road contest to IUPUI on Sept. 24, and a pair of home matches last weekend to Oakland and IPFW, all by the same 3-1 score.

Analaine Mailoto leads Southern Utah with 279 kills and with 201 digs, and ranks second on the team with 15 service aces. Kylie Schofield ranks second on the team with 141 kills, adding 45 blocks assists and 40 blocks.

The Series vs. Southern Utah - The Jackrabbits lead the all-time series 3-1 after splitting a pair of five set thrillers last season, when each team rallied on the road for a win. SDSU swept the season series in 2009.

NEXT UP FOR THE JACKRABBITS - The Jackrabbits start the second half of The Summit League season next weekend on the road, with matches at Western Illinois on Friday at 7 p.m., and at IUPUI on Saturday at 7 p.m. ET.

The Jacks swept the Fighting Leathernecks in the first meeting of the season on Sept. 17, and gutted out a 3-2 win over IUPUI on Sept. 16, both in Frost Arena.

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