Top 10 Jackrabbit Games of 2010-11


Editor’s Note: The Collegian sports staff compiled a list of the 10 best games and meets of the 2010-2011 year. The list includes a couple of Summit League championships, a few close wins, and some near misses. Thanks for reading The Collegian all year and stay with us as coverage of spring sports continues.

10. Bested by the Bison – SDSU soccer falls to NDSU, Nov. 5, 2010

The Jacks had the northern neighbors where they wanted them — on their home field, with a chance to go to the Summit League Championship. But the Jackrabbits’ luck ran dry when NDSU’s Abbey Stratton fired a shot past goalkeeper Elisa Stamatakis to advance to the final on penalty kicks, 4-3 at Fishback Soccer Park.

On a cold and blustery night, the Bison mastered soccer’s most nerve-racking aspect to break a 1-1 tie and end SDSU’s championship hopes. Sports editor Drue Aman captured the final penalty kicks on video, which can be seen here.

9. Swimming Success – Jacks post best finish at Summit League Championships, Feb. 17-19

Behind freshman phenoms Chris Schreier and Phil Albu, plus a record-setting swim by Alexandra Hoffman, the SDSU swim teams posted their best conference finish since moving to Division I. The women finished second – only behind powerhouse Oakland – and the men finished third, earning head coach Brad Erickson coach of the year honors.

Over the four days, SDSU set 17 school records, including 11 on the men’s side. Hoffman’s performance in the 200 backstroke broke her own record from 2008, while Schreier became the first SDSU swimmer in 10 years to win a conference event.

8. Sent Home From Cincy – Xavier ends the Jackrabbits’ tournament run, Mar. 20

SDSU reached its third straight NCAA Tournament, but the story would end there after facing fifth-ranked and second-seeded Xavier in the first round, losing 72-56.

The Jacks had brief leads in the first half before the Musketeers, behind All-American forwards Amber Harris and Ta’Shia Phillips, pulled away and dashed the upstart Jackrabbits hopes coming out of halftime.

“We’re proud that we got to be part of a group that really put SDSU on the map in Division I. Hopefully the players after us can keep that going and SDSU will continue to rise up and be a team that people recognize across NCAA Division I basketball,” said senior Kristin Rotert.

7. Runaway Winners – Men’s Cross Country repeats at Summit League Championships, Nov. 13, 2010

Repeating as champions isn’t an easy task, but the SDSU men’s cross country team placed three of its runners in the top 10 and picked up its second straight Summit League title in Carmel, Ind.

The strong tandem of Michael Krsnak and Anthony Bongard placed third and fourth, respectively in the 8,000 meter run and Jared Ailts finished ninth. All three, along with Greg Vollmer, who finished 12th, were All-League selections joining coach Rod DeHaven, as he was honored as Coach of the Year.

6. Upset Special – Jacks volleyball stuns NDSU at Frost, Nov. 6, 2010

The SDSU volleyball team had lost six in a row against the NDSU Bison but had to have a win at Frost Arena to stay in the conference tournament hunt and the Jacks did the trick in dominating fashion, 3-1, in front of the largest crowd of the season.

NDSU won the first set, but the Jacks won sets two and three before barely hanging on to win the fourth set, 29-27. The dramatic final set had 14 ties and eight lead changes total.

“We knew coming out what we had to do and what our goal was. This was a game that decided whether we would make the [Summit] tourney or not and we decided this year that we’re sick of being 5th,” said Ellyce Youngren, of the Jacks’ sixth straight conference win.

A dramatic five-set win later in the week over Oral Roberts assured the Jacks of their first Summit League Tournament appearance since 2007.

5. Barely Holding On – Jackrabbits squeak past Western Illinois in the Beef Bowl, Oct. 9, 2010

The Jackrabbits had to have it and they succeeded in keeping whatever slim chances they had at the Missouri Valley Football Conference title alive after a heart-stopping 33-29 victory over No. 20 Western Illinois at Coughlin-Alumni Stadium.

Kyle Minett scored three touchdowns and SDSU scored 19 points in the frenetic fourth quarter, the last of which came on a 13 yard touchdown pass from Thomas O’Brien to Colin Cochart, giving the Jacks a four-point lead with 1:36 left. Western Illinois rallied on the final drive, with Matt Barr picking apart the Jackrabbit secondary, but saw a late heave for the endzone get knocked away, giving SDSU their first win of the season after an 0-4 start.

4. Masto-done – SDSU men bounces IPFW in the Summit Quarterfinals, Mar. 6

The same two teams met in the 2010 quarterfinals with IPFW advancing, but with a tournament-record crowd on hand and Nate Wolters scoring 30-plus points, SDSU rolled on with a 85-75 win.

An early 14-0 run allowed the Jackrabbits to build an advantage early and built a 20-point lead in the first half, but IPFW continually made runs to get back in the game. The All-Summit League 1st team sophomore took it into his own hands, going for 30 points, seven rebounds, and five assists, powering the Jacks into a semifinal showdown with top-seed Oakland.

3. Husker Heartbreak – SDSU football falls short at Nebraska, Sept. 25, 2010

In the biggest game that the Jackrabbits have ever played against an FBS opponent, SDSU missed some opportunities that could have put them in line to shock the nationally-ranked Cornhuskers. Ultimately Nebraska closed out the Jacks’ hopes with 17-3 win.

“A lot of times we played with them, a lot of times I think we outplayed them,” said running back Kyle Minett, who had 112 yards on 28 carries.

Two penalties negated Jackrabbit scores and Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez did just enough to give the Cornhuskers the win, sending most of the 85,573 on hand at Memorial Stadium home happy. SDSU moved to 0-3 with the loss on the way to a 5-6 season.

2. Hawkeye Holdup – Jackrabbit men stun Iowa on the road, Nov. 14, 2010

The young Jackrabbits rolled into Iowa City and gave fans a taste of the type of play they would witness all season, as SDSU ruined new Hawkeye coach Fran McCaffery’s home debut with a 79-69 win.

Again, Nate Wolters stole the show with 25 points and nine assists, giving the Jackrabbits a 2-0 start to the young season. Senior Clint Sargent scored 16 points to help SDSU get past the Big Ten foe.

Iowa was able to hang around until Chad White hit a three with 10:55 to go, putting SDSU ahead for good and giving the Jacks a huge win early in the season.

1. Three Times at the Top – Jackrabbits beat Oakland for Summit League Championship, Mar. 8

It was a long and sometimes unpleasant road, but the SDSU women’s basketball team were champions again, defeating Oakland in the Summit League Championship Game, 61-54.

The Jacks toughened up and locked down an Oakland team that had stifled its first two opponents of the tournament, including top-seed Oral Roberts. Kristin Rotert and Jill Young each hit important free throws down the stretch to finish off the championship effort.

“It’s been amazing and not to take away anything from what we’ve done the last two years, but this one right here means the most. To fight through the adversity that our team has had this year, to struggle, and everybody on the outside doubting us. But together, this team made it happen,” said Rotert, who was named the tournament’s MVP.

While the Jackrabbits had trouble putting away the Golden Grizzlies, SDSU rode the wave of the home crowd at the Arena to seal the title for the third year in as many tries.

–Summaries written by Marcus Traxler