Bison knock off the Jacks in straight sets at home

Travis Kriens

Travis Kriens

A late rally in the third set was enough to give North Dakota State a 3-0 sweep (25-15, 25-17, 26-24) of SDSU in Summit League volleyball at Frost Arena on Oct. 25.

With the Jacks up 23-19 in the third set, NDSU closed out the set and match by taking seven of the next eight points for the win. NSDU improved to a perfect 10-0 in league play with a 16-3 overall record. The Bison are on an 11-game winning streak, their longest since the 2001 season.

Senior Mackenzie Angner led all hitters with 18 kills on 60 attempts and was the team leader with 16 digs. Melia Iwamoto was the match leader with 30 assists.

“We have more power offensively now than the last time we play NDSU in Fargo,” said head coach Nana Allison-Brewer.

“Tonight in the first game, we struggled with the passing to get us over the hump. During the second game, we had the passing, but we made too many hitting errors.”

The Jacks hit -.02 in the second set and .076 for the match, the second lowest hitting percentage all season.

“We know that we can play with them, but we need to be more consistent on the little, technical things,” said Allison-Brewer.

The Jacks have now lost two matches in a row after going on a six-match winning streak, which was the fourth longest winning streak in the last six years. Allison-Brewer saw the kind of positive impact a winning streak like that can have on a young team.

“The winning streak helped us with our morale and confidence,” she said. “The teams that we are playing now (Oral Roberts and NDSU) are good like the team we played in the pre-conference schedule. We lost those matches because they are really good teams.”

The Jacks (7-14, 5-5) now sit in fifth place, a game behind IUPUI (13-11, 6-4), with a trip to Indianapolis up next on Oct. 31.

SDSU will travel to seventh place Western Illinois (7-17, 3-7) on Nov.1 to face a Westerwinds team trying to hang on to hope for a fourth place finish and a Summit League tournament berth.

“These two games give us more fight and hunger to be better,” said Allison-Brewer. These teams coming up play at a slower pace and only have one or two big hitters, when NDSU has four or five hitters coming at you.”

SDSU has never lost to either IUPUI or Western Illinois, going a combined 6-0 dating back to their first meetings last season. Allison-Brewer knows that the time is now for the Jacks to make their move for the Summit League tournament.

“We need to rise to that level and challenge ourselves to be better. We are definitely in the right directions and taking the right steps,” she said.

#1.882255:2709235980.jpg:Volleyball.ES.CMYK.jpg:Mackenzie Angner, left, and Rachel Dahl react after a 3-0 loss to NDSU on Oct. 25. The final set was especially heartbreaking as SDSU lost 26-24.:Ethan Swanson