Jacks embrace former coach, avoid Bulldogs’ bite in five

Ariy-El Boynton

Ariy-El Boynton

Much emotion filled Frost Arena on Oct. 20 as the Drake Bulldogs and the SDSU Jacks squared off in a non-league volleyball match.

In the end, one team had Mackenzie Angner, the other did not.

Angner and the Jackrabbits won the match, 3-2 (25-19, 16-25, 20-25, 25-22, 16-14) in front of 492 fans. The win marks the sixth in a row for the Jacks.

Angner, a Cincinnati, Ohio, native, reached the 1,000 kills mark for her career in the first set. She is the 13th player in SDSU history to reach the exclusive club. Angner also led all players in kills with 27 (1,019 in her career) and also recorded a double-double with 16 digs.

SDSU head coach Nana Allison-Brewer was proud of the senior outside hitter.

“Ohio (Angner) and all the upperclassmen did a really good job of taking the team on their back and carry(ing) the team,” the first-year head coach said. “One thousand kills is a great accomplishment, it says a lot about her consistent play over a long time.”

As an added bonus, Angner was able to hug someone she respects.

Drake’s head coach, Phil McDaniel, was back in Frost Arena for the first time as a coach since Nov. 10, 2007.McDaniel was wearing blue; he did not a match SDSU’s yellow.

It was odd for the players to see their old coach on the opposing bench.

“It was great. I wish him the very best; I am sure he wishes the same,” said Angner. “It was weird to see him on the other side of the court, but at least he was wearing blue, so I’m happy for that.”

In the match, McDaniel and his youthful Bulldogs (no seniors, four juniors) lost to the older Jacks via the last two kills by Angner to give SDSU their 15th and 16th point.

The Jacks had help via two in-state freshmen in Kelli Fiegen and Ellyce Youngren. Youngren had 15 kills on 40 tries, while Fiegen had 10 kills.

SDSU’s junior Stacey Wernert had 25 assists while Melia Iwamoto had 57.

“More-or-less it was just willing us to fight back, demand hey, this is our home court and we’re a good team, and we are not going to lose this game,” said Allison-Brewer.

McDaniel, who was surrounded by a mob of fans, including SDSU players, was thrilled with the opportunity to challenge his young squad against his old squad.

“It was a lot of fun getting to see kids that I was able to work with the past few years, along with getting to see kids that I helped recruit to state; it was good, really good,” said the first-year Drake coach.

“It was a little weird walking here, being on the visiting bench, but it certainly was a good experience.”

For her showing last weekend, Angner is the Summit League Offensive Player of the Week for the second week in a row. She broke the SDSU school record for kills in a three-match set with 25 on Oct. 18 and broke the school record for attempts with 86 against Drake.

SDSU is now 7-12 overall and 5-3 in the Summit League.

The Jacks will head to Oral Roberts and will play the Golden Eagles on Oct.23.

#1.882312:289150337.jpg:SDSU_vs_Drake_vball_ES.jpg:Mackenzie Angner (2) goes for a kill against Drake Bulldogs’ Michelle Reidy (16) on Oct. 20. Angner made her 1,000th career kill during the first set and ended the match with 1,019 kills on her career.:Ethan Swanson