Jackrabbits pound Mavs in home opener


SDSU rolled through the UNO quickly in straight sets in front of a large crowd.

The SDSU volleyball team took care of future Summit League foe, the University of Nebraska-Omaha, in straight sets Sept. 6 by scores of 26-24, 25-13 and 25-16.

The home opener for the Jacks saw 1,021 fans flock to Frost Arena. The last time the Jackrabbits had more than 1,000 fans at a game was a match against Western Illinois last season.

“It was awesome. As more people kept piling in, our eyes just kept getting bigger and bigger. It’s really a huge motivation for us,” junior Kelli Fiegen said.

Fiegen finished the night with a team- high nine kills, but the story of the night was the Jackrabbit defense.

Having a tough time scoring at their normal pace, the Jacks relied on their solid back row and size up front to take care of business.

“With Emily (Palmer), Shay (Birath),and Kelly (Herrmann) having great defensive nights, I feel very secure with those three back there,” head coach Phil McDaniel said.

It was a strong team effort from the Jacks on both sides of the net. The defense notched seven total blocks and held UNO to a .074 attack percentage. Palmer and Birath recorded 15 and 14 digs, respectively.

The first set saw the Jacks jump out to a 6-2 lead, but UNO battled throughout and came back to tie the score at 23-23 before a Jackrabbit timeout. The Mavericks actually took a 24-23 lead over SDSU before the Jacks closed out set one with a three point run.

“After set one, we discussed how we needed to get to our pace of the game. We were running a little too slow, hanging with their pace, and we run a much faster offense,” Fiegen said.

The Jacks came out in set number two and showed just how fast their pace is by cruising to a 25-13 win. The set began with a 6-2 run and SDSU never trailed in set two. Looking at the stat sheet, it was easy to see why SDSU led the entire set, as the Jacks defense held UNO to a .020 hitting percentage.

Set three saw seven tie scores and two lead changes, as SDSU tried to close things out in three sets. UNO had other ideas as they took a 14-9 lead over the Jacks.

Then the Jackrabbits found their stride again. After a 5-0 run, UNO took a timeout but it had little effect on the SDSU attack. The Jacks closed out the set and the match on an 11-2 run.

From a statistical standpoint, there were no real standouts for the Jacks. For McDaniel, that’s just fine with him.

“That’s what’s going to make us tough to stop: you can’t really zero in on one person,” McDaniel said.

The Jacks return to action this weekend to compete at the Dr. Mary Jo Wynn Invitational  in Springfield, Mo. Sept. 9-10. Arkansas State and Hofstra are on the docket for Friday night and Saturday the Jacks are set to face Kansas State and host Missouri State.