Six South Dakota State seniors played their final Summit League volleyball match in Frost Arena on Saturday on the anniversary of the 100th Hobo Day, and they made it a memorable one with a 3-2 win over IPFW in front of a Hobo Day crowd of 579 fans.
"Our group of six seniors worked very hard in practice and on the court to put us in position for conference championships," head coach Phil McDaniel said. "Congratulations to all of them on the win."
The Jackrabbits, who won by the set scores of 25-20, 22-25, 26-24, 26-28 and 15-11, also snapped a 10 match losing streak to the Mastodons, dating back to Nov. 17, 2007, when the Jacks downed the 'Dons in The Summit League Tournament championship match, and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
SDSU improves to 16-9 overall with the win and to 8-5 in The Summit League. IPFW falls to 21-5 overall, and to 10-3 in the league.
"This was a good win over a quality team in the conference," added McDaniel. "For us, we knew we needed to set a defensive tone early in the match, and coming out with seven blocks in the first set, our team responded very well.
Led by senior Kelli Fiegen, who posted her second straight double-double with 15 kills and 10 total blocks, the Jacks finished with a 17-12 advantage in total team blocks.
Margit Hansing also posted her second consecutive double-double, finishing with 13 kills to go along with her team and career-high 24 digs. Kelly Herrmann made it three double-doubles for the Jacks with her 10 kills and 19 digs.
Shay Birath led the Jacks with 22 digs, and remains well on pace to break the all-time digs mark of 1,929. She finished the weekend with 1,891 career digs, 39 shy of a new record.
"Big weekend for Jackrabbit volleyball, and a big weekend for Jackrabbit athletics overall," said McDaniel after the match.
Emily Spencer led the Mastodons with 29 kills, taking 91 swings in the match to reach that total. Jessie Manwaring added 16 and Hailie Ripley 10 kills in the loss. Spencer also added 21 digs to complete her double-double. Tessa McGill led the 'Dons with 45 digs in the loss.
The Jackrabbits return home for one more match, when they host Iowa State on Tuesday at Frost Arena in a match that can be seen live on MidCo Sports Net. The Jackrabbits and Cyclones get started at 7 p.m.