Jacks down UND in three
South Dakota State got 13 kills and seven blocks from Kelli Fiegen, 10 kills from Kaitlin Klingemann and both Jackrabbit middles hit over .500, as SDSU downed North Dakota on Tuesday night in front of a spirited opening night crowd of 872.
The Jackrabbits, who won by the set scores of 25-20, 25-19 and 26-24, improve to 6-2 with their fourth straight win. North Dakota falls to 3-4.
"I think for us it all starts at the net. We were able to take control of the net, and with 13 blocks, it just made it tough for UND to find open swings," head coach Phil McDaniel said. "If we can stay in system as often as we did tonight, we can keep our middles involved, which makes us very tough to stop."
Fiegen's 13 kills came on 21 swings for a .619 hitting percentage, while Klingemann got her 10 kills on 16 attacks with two errors for an even .500 hitting percentage.
As a team, the Jackrabbits hit .225 (40-13-120) and held the visitors to a .134 hitting percentage (44-27-127). In addition, the Jacks posted 13 total team blocks, compared to three from North Dakota.
Shay Birath led the SDSU defense with 14 digs, Kelly Herrmann added 11 digs to her four blocks, while Margit Hansing finished with 10 digs, seven kills and four blocks; two solo and two block assists.
Lexi Robinson and Ronni Munkeby led the visitors with 11 kills apiece. Robinson added 14 digs and Lauren Clarke led North Dakota with 15 digs.
Trailing by as many as three at 13-10 in the first set, the Jacks battled back to tie the match at 16, and then used a 5-0 run to go up 21-16, and never led UND get closer than three points the rest of the set.
The Jacks opened the second set on a 3-0 run and steadily built that lead until midway through the set, when North Dakota cut the lead to two points at 15-13, prompting a time out from the SDSU bench.
SDSU scored the first three points out of the break, en route to the 25-19 set win.
North Dakota led for much of the third set, building the lead to as many as 19-14. That drew a time out from SDSU, which responded with an 8-3 run to tie the match at 22-22.
After a tie at 23 and 24-all, the Jacks capitalized on their second attempt at match point to secure the 26-24 third set win and the match at 3-0.
The Jackrabbits remain at home for their next two matches, hosting Green Bay on Friday at 7 p.m. in the opening match of the Jackrabbit Invitational. The Jacks close the tournament on Saturday against Bradley at 7 p.m. Green Bay and Bradley play on Saturday at 1 p.m.