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'Rabbits return to the road this weekend

Courtesy: SDSU Sports Info
Release: 10/17/2012 17:59:20

South Dakota State opened the second half of The Summit League season with a single league match last weekend, a 3-1 win over Omaha on Friday. The Jackrabbits return to the road this weekend, starting on Friday at Western Illinois, followed by a match at IUPUI on Saturday.

Friday's match against the Fighting Leathernecks starts at 7 p.m., while the Jacks and Jags square off on Saturday at 5 p.m. ET.

The Jacks hit the road on a high note after beating Omaha last week. They came out cold against the Mavericks, and dropped the first set 25-17, but bounced back in a big way to win the final three sets 25-21, 25-10 and 25-16.

Kelli Fiegen led a trio of Jackrabbits with double figure kills with a match-high 15, adding three block assists and a solo block. Kaitlin Klingemann finished with 11 kills and four block assists, while Kelly Herrmann tallied one of two SDSU double-doubles in the match with 10 kills and 11 digs, one dig shy of reaching the 1,000 dig milestone.

Lexi Fowler recorded the other double-double with 27 set assists and 11 digs. Shay Birath set an SDSU four-set record with 32 digs to lead all players, which breaks the record of 30, set by Samantha Pearson against Montana on Sept. 8, 2007. Birath already holds the school's 3-set record, also with 32 digs.

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

To subscribe to the Jackrabbit Extra, log onto GoJacks.com 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.

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 1,330 career kills, good for seventh all-time and 57 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 ninth all-time at SDSU with 103 solo blocks and second all-time with 380 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 weekend with 989 kills, 11 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 weekend with a 1,799 career digs, 131 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.

BIRATH NAMED PLAYER OF THE WEEK - The Summit League named Birath one of its defensive players of the week on Monday, after the senior led the Jackrabbits to a 1-1 record last week, including a 3-1 win over Omaha, when she broke an SDSU four-set record with 32 digs. 

Birath captures her sixth career Defensive Player of the Week award and second of the season after setting the school record for digs in a four-set match and averaging 7.50 digs per set for the week. 

On the week, Birath posted 60 digs, averaging 7.50 per set, nearly one dig more than the NCAA leader on the season, and eight assists.

HERRMANN NEEDS ONE TO REACH 1,000-DIGS MILESTONE - 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 weekend with 999 digs, just one shy of the milestone. 

THIS WEEK'S OPPONENTS

Western Illinois Fighting Leathernecks (9-12, 3-7 Summit) - The Fighting Leathernecks snapped a three match losing streak in Sunday with a 3-0 sweep of South Dakota in Vermillion, after starting the second half of The Summit League season with a 3-0 loss at UMKC on Friday.

The three league wins this season already matches the Leathernecks total from last season, when they finished last in the league with a 12-18 overall record, and a 3-15 mark in league play. 

The Series vs. Western Illinois - The Jackrabbits lead the all-time series 10-2. The two Western wins came on Nov. 1, 2008, a 3-0 sweep in Macomb, Ill., and in the last meeting of the 2011 season on Oct. 14, also a 3-0 sweep in Macomb, Ill. 

The First Meeting: Sept. 22, at Frost Arena - South Dakota State and Western Illinois played close all night, but the Jackrabbits stepped up when they needed the points to secure a 3-1 win over the Fighting Leathernecks by the set scores of 25-16, 21-25, 25-23 and 25-20.

The Jackrabbits finished with a 14-9 edge in team blocks, led by Kelli Fiegen, who posted a match-high nine blocks, eight block assists and one solo. She also posted 11 kills for the Jacks in the win.

Kaitlin Klingemann led way with 14 kills, adding a pair of service aces and four block assists. Kelly Herrmann pitched in with nine kills, with 11 digs and three blocks, two assist and one solo.

Shay Birath finished with 25 digs to lead the defense, and Lexi Fowler added 10 digs to go with her 27 set assists for her team-high fourth double-double of the season.

Ann Miller led the visitors with 16 kills. Kaitie Hosteng added 12 kills in the loss. 

IUPUI Jaguars (14-8, 7-3 Summit) - Picked to finish fifth in The Summit League preseason poll, the Jaguars enter the weekend ranked second in the league standings after the first weekend of the second half of the season.

The Jaguars opened the second half with a 3-1 win at South Dakota on Friday, but dropped a 3-1 match on Sunday at Kansas City.  

The Series vs. IUPUI - The Jackrabbits lead the all-time series 6-5. SDSU swept the season series in 2007, but the Jacks and Jags split the season series in each of the last four seasons.

Prior to the Jaguars win in the first meeting of this season, each team won on its home floor in all of the last nine meetings.

The First Meeting: Sept. 21, at Frost Arena - SDSU erased an 0-2 deficit to tie its match with IUPUI at 2-2, but the visiting Jaguars hung on for the win in the final set to secure the 3-2 win by the set scores of 25-16, 25-19, 19-25, 15-25 and 15-11.

Kaitlin Klingemann led the Jackrabbit offense with 15 kills, Kelly Fiegen added 13 and Bailey Philippot 10 kills in a losing cause. Kelly Herrmann finished 14 kills and 13 digs to complete the Jackrabbits only double-double.

Shay Birath led the defense with 26 digs, while Margit Hansing finished with 11 digs to go along with her five kills.

Keley Hoefer led four Jaguars with double figure kills with a match-high 20. Bethany Folger added 15, Kaitlyn Hickey 14 and Moriah Fair 12 kills in the win. Fair also added 26 digs to complete the double-double. Beth Howard led the IUPUI defense with 27 digs.

NEXT UP FOR THE JACKRABBITS - SDSU begins its final homestand of the season next weekend, with matches against Oakland and IPFW on the slate, starting with the Golden Grizzlies on Friday, followed by the Mastodons on Saturday, both matches begin at 7 p.m.

The Jacks then close the home schedule on Oct. 30 against Iowa State, a match that can be seen live on Midco Sports Net.

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