South Dakota State not only snapped a season-long six match losing streak on Saturday with a 3-1 win over Southern Utah, the Jackrabbits also ended the first half of The Summit League schedule on a high note, downing the Thunderbirds 25-17, 25-21, 23-25 and 25-16.
"I think we came out and took better control of the pace of play tonight, a total group effort," head coach Phil McDaniel said. "I really love the way we played defense in the back row and was really proud of the way we attacked in transition."
The win gives the Jacks a 12-10 record overall and closes the first half of the conference season with a 4-5 mark. The visiting T-birds fall to 4-15 overall and 2-7 in league play.
Ellyce Youngren tied a season-high with 14 kills to lead the Jackrabbits and added a match-high four block assists. She also finished with a solo block, six digs and a pair of service aces. Kelli Fiegen hit .500 in the match, posting 13 kills in 24 swings with just one error. She also finished with two of the Jacks eight aces.
Kaitlin Klingemann added 12 kills in the win, while Shay Birath led the defense with 21 digs. Lexi Fowler completed her fourth straight double-double, and seventh of the season, with 42 assists and 15 digs.
Analaine Mailoto and Kylie Schofield both finished with 12 kills to lead the T-birds in the loss. Mailoto added 17 digs, while Davia Lee her team with 25 digs.
The Jackrabbits look to start a winning streak next weekend, when they start the second half of the league season on the road at Western Illinois on Saturday and at IUPUI on Sunday. The Jacks beat the Fighting Leathernecks 3-0 in the first meeting of the season, and erased an 0-2 deficit to beat the Jaguars 3-2 in the league opener on Sept. 16.