Coyote comeback shocks Jackrabbits

Shane Koob

Shane KoobSportswriter

The SDSU volleyball team battled through five sets but came up short Nov. 2 at Frost Arena against the University of South Dakota. The match marked the first time USD had played in Brookings since Oct. 25, 2003.

“We got off on the wrong foot tonight and struggled to get back in the match,” head coach Nanabah Allison-Brewer said.

The match was back and forth all night and included 28 tie scores and nine lead changes over five sets. The Jacks couldn’t seem to get good runs of offense and defense strung together, and USD took advantage.

Leading the way for the Jacks was sophomore Kelli Fiegen who pounded 19 kills in 31 attempts with only one error. Fiegen leads the team in hitting percentage at .378 and her 121 total blocks ranks first as well.

“She (Fiegen) makes herself available as much as possible and is able to push the ball around and get great kills,” Allison-Brewer said.

The Jacks dropped the first set to USD by a score of 25-18. Even though they kept things close, SDSU was playing behind most of the set. By losing the first set, the Jacks dug themselves a hole against a USD team that had won six of their last eight matches.

In the second set, sophomore Kaitlin Klingemann provided a spark for the Jacks, as she landed six kills. SDSU kept things close early and with the score at 7-7, Fiegen landed a kill and the Jacks didn’t look back as they cruised to a 25-20 victory in set two.

“The match had plenty of opportunities to learn, but we need to stay in our rhythm and trust our offense and just play the game,” Allison-Brewer said.

In the third set, the Jacks found themselves down early 1-5, but battled back after a USD serving error to tie things up at 6-6. The score stayed close most of the set, but SDSU hung on for the set victory by a final score of 25-23.

On the verge of ending the match in four sets, SDSU came out strong in set number four and jumped to an early lead. The Jacks allowed USD to slip back in the set, as they tied things up and took the lead in the middle of the set. Despite a small Jackrabbit rally, USD held on to earn the win in set four by a tally of 25-20.

The fifth set belonged to USD as they ended the Jacks’ four match winning streak by a score of 15-11. SDSU did show some fight in the end. While down 8-14, Fiegen pounded three kills to lead a small rally, but a USD kill ended the match and gave them the 3-2 match victory.

“I’m glad we didn’t play like this against NDSU, so if this was in our system, it was nice to get it out now (against a non-conference team),” Youngren said.

After four-straight conference wins over the last two weeks, the Jacks sit a half-game out of fourth place in the Summit League. SDSU will square off with conference-leading NDSU on Saturday night with a 7:30 p.m. start time at Frost Arena.

SDSU will close out the regular season at home, with matches against conference opponents Oral Roberts on Nov. 11 and Centenary on Nov. 13.

Oral Roberts sits right below SDSU in the conference with an 8-6 record, so the Nov. 11 match-up could potentially be a big one for the Jacks. As with any team in the hunt for a postseason birth, the Jacks need to remain focused and only control what they can.

“It’s going to take all of us coming together … finding ways to dig deeper to finish this out and be in the top four at the end,” Youngren said.

#1.1743599:1791480419.png:Ketty Cornemann 11-03-2010 88:Ketty Cornemann notched five kills in SDSU?s match Tuesday. ?We got off on the wrong foot tonight,? coach Nanabah Allison-Brewer said.:Collegian Photo by Aaron Stoneberger#1.1743600:1979453913.png:Ellyce Youngren 11-03-2010 89:Ellyce Youngren had 16 kills and 15 digs Tuesday. SDSU moved to 13-13 with the five-set loss.:Collegian Photo by Ryan Robinson