Volleyball downs Rutgers but falls to two others in Wyoming tournament

Travis Kriens

Travis Kriens

For the third year in a row and the fifth time in the last six years, the SDSU volleyball team started their season 1-2, this time at the Wyoming Cowgirl Classic in Laramie.

The Jacks started on the right track by taking the first set against Idaho State (3-0) 25-22 on Aug. 28, before losing the next three.

The second match of the day saw a similar result as host Wyoming (2-1) defeated SDSU 3-1 in front of 668 fans. Sophomore Kelli Fiegen led the way with a career high of 19 kills and was named to the all-tournament team.

Fiegen led the Jacks in kills all three matches with a total of 50 and a .330 hitting percentage. Fiegen’s 50 kills in the first three matches is the second most for a Jackrabbit in the Division-I era and the most in the first three matches of the season since Minette Ridenour had 51 kills to start the 2004 season.

Also, during the Wyoming match, junior Nicole Peters set a career high with 35 set assists, while freshman Fiona Jones tallied 12 kills.

SDSU’s first win on the season was a defeat of Rutgers (0-3) in a five-set win. Fiegen had 18 kills, with senior Ashley Kathol adding 11 kills of her own.

“It’s good to finally have an opportunity to see where you are,” said second-year head coach Nana Allison-Brewer. “We felt like we were doing some good things and had good preparation going into the weekend.

“We knew that we had some strengths, which was our blocking defensively,” said Allison-Brewer.

SDSU ended up with 29 total blocks in the three games, nine more than

their opponents.

The Jacks travel to the Green Bay Classic this weekend, with a late Friday afternoon game against 3-0 Iowa followed by a pair of matches on Saturday against host Wisconsin-Green Bay (0-3) and Central Michigan (1-2).

“We know we can compete, and now we just have to fine-tune a lot of these areas like serving, serve-receive passing and coming out with the fire, and the fight that we know we should,” said Allison-Brewer. “All of the teams at Green Bay are Division-I quality, and it should be a good test for our team to be competitive and win.”

The Jacks home opener is Friday, Sept. 11 against Summit League opponent Centenary. Oral Roberts follows on Sept. 12.