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Three match road trip awaits Jackrabbits

Courtesy: SDSU Sports Info
Release: 09/25/2012 14:29:20

South Dakota State takes a quick break from league play on Wednesday to play Valparaiso, before returning to Summit League action this weekend at IPFW on Friday and at Oakland on Saturday. The Jacks and Crusaders start at 7 p.m., while the two league matches begin at 6 p.m. CT.

Wednesday's match marks the second meeting with the Crusaders, who downed the Jackrabbits 3-2 at the Hawkeye Challenge on Aug. 25.

The Jackrabbits return to the road after hosting three straight at home, including wins over North Dakota State on Sept. 16, and Western Illinois last Saturday, sandwiched around a loss to IUPUI on Friday.

The weekend got off to a slow start against the Jaguars, who won the first two sets on Friday night. The Jacks came back to win the next two, and tie the match at 2-2, but IUPUI made the plays in the fifth set to secure the road win.

Western Illinois came in riding high after a win at North Dakota State on Friday, but the Jacks quickly took control of the match with a first set win. The Fighting leathernecks came back to tie the match with a second set win, but the Jacks regained their composure during the break, and won the final two sets and the match.

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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.

FIEGEN CRACKS TOP-10 IN CAREER KILLS - Kelli Fiegen posted 21 kills at Southern Utah on Nov. 3, 2011 to become the 15th member of the SDSU 1,000-Kills Club and just the sixth member to reach the mark as a junior. Now a senior, Fiegen cracked the all-time top-10 in the Jacks win over North Dakota State on Sept. 16, and enters the week with 1,235 career kills, good for eighth all-time and 20 shy of passing Wendy O'Neill (1,386 kills from 2000-03) for seventh on the all-time list.

FIEGEN BLOCKS INTO THE TOP-10 - In addition to her offensive prowess, Kelli Fiegen makes her defensive mark on the block. The senior enters the week ranked ninth all-time at SDSU with 96 solo blocks and second all-time with 347 block assists. 

KLINGEMANN POISED TO REACH 1,000 KILL MILESTONE - Kaitlin Klingemann recorded 304 kills in 2011 as a junior, giving her 762 in her career and leaving her 238 kills shy of becoming the 16th member of the SDSU 1,000-Kills Club. She enters this week with 913 kills, 87 shy of reaching the milestone.

BIRATH CHASING ALL-TIME DIGS RECORD - Shay Birath became 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, at Oakland on Sept. 24, 2011. She climbed into second all-time on Sept. 22, in a win over Western Illinois, and enters the week with a 1,639 career digs, 290 away from a new school record.

HERRMANN ON PACE TO JOIN 1,000-DIGS CLUB - After posting more than 300 digs in each of the last two seasons, Kelly Herrmann entered her senior season 254 digs shy of becoming the 14th member of the SDSU 1,000-Digs Club. She enters the week with 907 digs, 93 shy of the milestone. 

THIS WEEK'S OPPONENTS

Valparaiso Crusaders (9-7, 1-1 Horizon) - After beating the Jackrabbits at the Hawkeye Challenge, Valpo went on to lose five of its next eight matches before posting a perfect 3-0 record at the Hoosier Classic.

The Crusaders entered Horizon League play last weekend with an 8-6 overall record, and then split in the first league weekend, winning at UIC and falling at Loyola (Chicago), both by the same 3-1 score.  

The First Meeting; Aug. 25 at Hawkeye Challenge - South Dakota State dominated the second and third sets against Valparaiso at the Hawkeye Challenge, but the Crusaders fought just hard enough to win the first, fourth and fifth sets to secure the 3-2 win by the set scores of 25-23, 15-25, 16-25, 25-18 and 15-8.

Margit Hansing led the SDSU offense with a career-high 15 kills and added a career-high 12 digs for her first-career double-double. Kelli Fiegen added 13 kills and hit .571 (13-1-21) in the loss. Shay Birath led all players with 24 digs. Kelly Herrmann finished with 14 digs to go along with her four kills.

Morgan Beil led a trio of Valpo players with double figure kills with 12. Ellen Vanden Berg and Kelsey Victor both finished with 11. Taylor Root led the Crusader defense with 22 digs. 

The Series vs. Valparaiso - Series tied 1-1. The Jacks won the first on Sept. 9, 2006 at the Cyclone Classic in Ames, Iowa. Valpo won the last meeting on Aug. 25 at Hawkeye Challenge in Iowa City, Iowa.

IPFW Mastodons (13-3, 3-1 Summit) - Picked to finish second in the preseason poll, the Mastodons opened league play with a 3-2 at Oakland, but rebounded with a 3-1 home win over IUPUI, a 3-1 win at South Dakota and a 3-0 sweep at UMKC last weekend.

The Mastodons went 10-2 in their preconference season, which includes a perfect 3-0 record at the UIC Invitational on Aug. 31-Sept. 1.  

The Series vs. IPFW - The Mastodons lead the all-time series 13-3, with wins in each of the last nine meetings. The teams split the season series in 2005 and 2007. The Jacks last win came in the league tournament championship on Nov, 17, 2007, when the Jacks won 3-2 in Ft. Wayne.

Oakland Golden Grizzlies (9-6, 2-2 Summit) - The Golden Grizzlies, who host North Dakota State on Friday, opened Summit League play with a 3-2 win at home against IPFW, but fell dropped their next two matches by the same 3-2 score at home against Western Illinois and on the road at UMKC. Oakland then bounced back with a win at South Dakota on Sunday to even their league record at 2-2.

The Series vs. Oakland - The Jackrabbits lead the all-time series 6-4, including wins in the first four meetings. Oakland swept the season series in 2009 and 2011, while the Jacks swept the season series in 2010.

NEXT UP FOR THE JACKRABBITS - SDSU returns home next weekend to host UMKC on Friday and South Dakota on Saturday. Both matches begin at 7 p.m.  

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