UND used an up-tempo attack and solid blocking to stiffle the Jacks.
Different team from the state of North Dakota, same results.
UND swept the Jacks off the court Halloween night, handing SDSU it’s sixth straight loss by scores of 25-20, 25-23 and 25-22.
“We’ll fight, we’ll push and we’re battling and then something will happen and won’t go our way and I don’t want to say we fold, but we kind of back off,” head coach Phil McDaniel said.
The Jacks jumped to an early 14-10 lead but the offense looked out of sync and SDSU gained most of its early points from UND errors. The UND offense started to roll and ended the set with two kills and two blocks to put SDSU away. The Jacks only notched eight kills in the first set as UND went on a 14-6 run to go up 1-0 in the match.
Set two was highly contested with 16 tie scores and seven lead changes and the Jacks held a 23-22 late advantage but couldn’t close things out as UND ended the match with a kill, a block and another kill to jump out to a 2-0 match lead.
The SDSU offense showed up in the second set but UND’s attack kept the same pace from the first set which had the Jacks off-balance most of the match. UND’s defense was also solid most of the night.
“I think UND’s defense is really good. They had a really strong block and we had some out-of-system balls that we probably could have done better with,” Kaitlin Klingemann said.
Facing the sweep, the Jacks played their best volleyball of the night in set three but it was too little too late. SDSU jumped out to an early 16-13 lead but once again couldn’t take advantage of the opportunity to continue to match.
“When the game starts getting to the end, you’ve got to tighten up, meaning you’ve got to shore up the little mistakes, but you can’t tighten-up,” McDaniel said. “We just get a little timid and when that happens it usually spells bad things for us.”
Klingemann led the Jacks with 10 kills for the limited SDSU attack. Shay Birath continued her outstanding defensive play, tallying 22 digs in the loss.
In volleyball terms, North Dakota universities have owned the SDSU. Monday night’s match was the second time UND has swept the Jacks this season. SDSU also dropped two matches to NDSU in 2011.
The loss drops the Jacks to 12-16 on the season with their last win on Oct. 8 against Southern Utah. Since Sept. 23, SDSU has been swept seven times.
Now SDSU will have to try and regroup on a tough road trip. The Jacks head to Cedar City, Utah, Thursday night for a match with Southern Utah, then head to Tulsa, Okla., for a conference game with Oral Roberts Nov. 5. Both teams the Jacks face this weekend are playing in their final season as members of the Summit League.
“It’s going to be a long weekend but I think we’re all excited to go play against two teams that’ll be out of the conference pretty soon,” Klingemann said. “We’re just hoping to end on a good note.”