Jackrabbits slam Golden Grizzlies in at Frost Arena

Shane Koob

Shane KoobSportswriter

The Jacks were led by Kaitlin Klingemann’s 14 kills and moved to 3-3 in Summit League play over 8-10 Oakland.

After not playing a game on their home court since Sept. 11, the Jacks rallied in the fourth match to beat Oakland 3-1 Friday night. The win brought the Jacks to 3-3 in conference play and 7-7 overall.

In the first match, the Jacks came out strong, keeping the game close due to some pesky hitting by senior Thyele Rechatiko. Rechatiko found open spots in the Oakland defense all night, as well as leading the team with 46 assists. The Jacks won the opening match 25-21, as the game point came on an attempted kill by Oakland that sailed wide.

The match was back and forth, including 14 ties and six lead changes. Getting big hits all night, sophomore and Omaha native Kaitlin Klingemann lead the team with 14 kills and a 33 percent kill percentage.

“I always get extra-motivated to be at home and playing in front of everyone,” Klingemann said.

Oakland came out strong and lead the first half of the second match. The Jacks couldn’t seem to string together a successful run of serves in the first half of the match. After pushing the score to 17-13, the Jacks took a timeout to regroup. SDSU came out of the timeout and displayed some nice blocking, lead by Klingemann – who had four on the night, including two in the second set.

“I’ve been working a lot in practice (on defense) and I’m always pushing to up my blocks,” Klingemann said.

Taking advantage of some Oakland miscues, the Jacks tied the match at 18 before giving up three more points to make it 21-19 Oakland. After tying the game up at 21, the Jackrabbits took a timeout. With junior Ellyce Youngren at the serving stripe, the Jacks took the lead off of the timeout and won the set 25-21 on an Oakland spike that sailed long.

Spirits were high in Frost Arena headed into the third match, but Oakland came out and displayed its trademark of slowing down the game. Their slow play seemed to be somewhat of a speed bump for the Jacks, as Oakland cruised to a 25-17 set victory. The match win by Oakland pumped up the drama for an exciting fourth match.

Oakland went up early in the fourth match, leading 4-1 before a Jackrabbit timeout. The Jacks couldn’t seem to get a kill to land in bounds, and Oakland pushed their lead to 5-1 before a home team rally. The kills began to land for the Jacks, and redshirt sophomore Kelli Fiegen landed a fierce kill in the middle of the Oakland defense that tied things up at 8-8.

“We were trying to speed up the game to our style of play, and it was time to get going,” head coach Nanabah Allison-Brewer said.

The Jacks seemed to turn the corner towards the end of the match. With the score at 20-17, the Jacks and Golden Grizzlies battled in the longest volley of the night and the home team eventually won the point. After some misplayed balls, Rechatiko tied things up at 20-20 with a nice kill.

“We were a little more disciplined and got things going with our great offensive attackers,” Allison-Brewer said.

After giving up two straight points, the Jacks tied it back up at 22-22 with a kill from Youngren and a nice block from Klingemann and sophomore Bailey Philippot. The Jacks took the lead for the first time in the match, and after another Youngren kill, made it 24-22. The game point went to the Jacks with Klingemann getting a game-ending kill, and the Jacks took the game in four matches.

“It feels good to be back and the student section has been great. It’s great support from fellow classmates and we really appreciate it,” Allison-Brewer said.

#1.1669065:3628635529.jpg:VB-4-Color-Ryan-Robinson.jpg:Kelly Herrmann digs a ball against Oakland Friday. SDSU won in four matches over the Golden Grizzlies.:Collegian Photo by Ryan Robinson