South Dakota State begins the final home weekend of the season by welcoming Oakland and IPFW to Frost Arena for the Hobo Day Weekend festivities. The weekend starts with Oakland on Friday, followed by IPFW on Saturday, Hobo Day. Both matches begin at 7 p.m.
The Jackrabbits enter the weekend in a three-way tie for third in The Summit League standings with Oakland and North Dakota State, with all three teams just a game behind UMKC in the win column.
SDSU won the first meeting with Oakland in five sets, so a win Friday would give the Jackrabbits the head-to-head tiebreaker with the Golden Grizzlies, should they be tied at the end of the regular season.
IPFW, on the other hand, enters the weekend with a league-best 9-2 mark in league play, not good enough to guarantee a place in the league tournament, but close enough that a weekend sweep could secure them a spot.
With only four spots in The Summit League Tournament and only a handful of matches remaining, this weekend could play a huge role in determining if the Jackrabbits make the four-team event next month in Fargo, N.D.
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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 weekend with 1,359 career kills, good for seventh all-time and 28 shy of passing Merridee Peterson-Rodel (1,386 kills from 1994-97) for sixth 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 weekend ranked seventh all-time at SDSU with 107 solo blocks and second all-time with 390 block assists.
KLINGEMANN HITS 1,000 KILL MILESTONE - Kaitlin Klingemann needed 11 kills in last Friday's match at Western Illinois to reach the 1,000 kill milestone. She finished with 14 in the Jacks 3-1 win to become the 16th member of the SDSU 1,000-Kills Club, and enters the weekend with 1,009 in her career.
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 weekend with a 1,838 career digs, 92 away from a new school record.
BIRATH SETS FOUR-SET DIGS RECORD - Senior libero Shay Birath recorded 32 digs in the Jackrabbits 3-1 win over Omaha on Oct. 12, which sets a new SDSU four-set record, topping the old mark of 30, set by Samantha Pearson against Montana on Sept. 8, 2007. Birath already holds the school's three-set record, also with 32 digs.
HERRMANN JOINS THE SDSU 1,000-DIGS CLUB - Kelly Herrmann came up one dig shy of the 1,000 dig milestone in the Jacks 3-1 victory over Omaha on Oct. 12, and wasted little time against Western Illinois last Friday in picking up the one dig she needed to become the 14th player in SDSU history to reach the milestone. She enters the final home weekend of the season with 1,019 career digs.
THIS WEEK'S OPPONENTS
Oakland Golden Grizzlies (13-10, 6-5 Summit) - Like the Jackrabbits, Oakland split a pair of league matches last weekend, both at home. They opened the weekend with a 3-1 loss to South Dakota, and then bounced back with a sweep of UMKC on Saturday.
Also like the Jackrabbits, a win tonight would go a long way towards helping the Grizzlies qualify for the league tournament.
The Series vs. Oakland - The Jackrabbits lead the all-time series 7-4, 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 and won the first meeting of the 2012 season.
The First Meeting: Sept. 29, at Oakland - The Jackrabbits struggled at times in the match at Oakland, but they came through in the end to win the five-set affair against the Golden Grizzlies.
Kelli Fiegen led the Jackrabbits with 18 kills and with nine block assists, as the Jackrabbits finished with a 15-10 edge in total team blocks. Kaitlin Klingemann added 13 kills in the win and Kelly Herrmann 10 kills to go with her 18 digs for her third double-double of the season.
Meghan Bray led the Golden Grizzlies with 16 kills. Brittany Holbrook added 11 and Ciara Schultz 10 kills in the loss. Bray also added 23 digs, while Alli Kirk led all players with 35 digs.
IPFW Mastodons (20-4, 9-2 Summit) - Winners of 11 of their last 12 matches, the Mastodons, who play at North Dakota State on Friday, entered the weekend with a league-best 9-2 mark in The Summit League, with both of those losses coming at the hands of Oakland.
The Mastodons only two other losses came at home to Cleveland State in the second match of the season and at Michigan State on Sept. 7.
The Series vs. IPFW - The Mastodons lead the all-time series 14-3, with wins in each of the last 10 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 Fort Wayne.
The First Meeting; Sept. 28, at IPFW - SDSU played well at IPFW, but the Mastodons played just a little bit better in a 3-0 sweep of the Jackrabbits in the first meeting at the Gates Sports Center in Fort Wayne, Ind.
Margit Hansing led the Jackrabbits with 10 kills in the loss, adding 12 digs for her fourth double-double of the season. Kelly Herrmann tied with Hansing for team-high honors with 12 digs to go with her eight kills. Kelli Fiegen finished with eight kills and with five total blocks, including one solo. Kaitlin Klingemann finished with nine kills and a match-high five block assists.
Kendall Wienkes led a trio of Mastodons with double figure kills with 15. Emily Spencer added 14 and Haley Emenhiser 10 kills in the win. Tessa McGill led the 'Dons with 20 digs.
NEXT UP FOR THE JACKRABBITS - SDSU closes the 2012 home schedule on Tuesday against Iowa State, a match that can be seen live on Midco Sports Net, and then returns to the road next weekend for matches at South Dakota on Friday and at UMKC on Sunday.