SDSU struggles, then wins

Nick Hartley

Nick Hartley

The Jackrabbit volleyball team (16-7, 7-2) had a 13 match-win streak entering the start of a three game road trip against the University of Xavier, IPFW and Missouri State.

The match against Xavier on Oct. 3 saw the Jacks lose in non-league match 3-0 (18-30, 23-30 and 28-30) which ended their impressive winning streak. In the match, junior Emily Rooney set an SDSU record with an .812 hitting percentage in the match on 13 kills in 15 attempts with no errors. Freshman Melia Iwamoto chipped in 36 assists for the Jacks, and senior Kristina Martin and sophomore Stacey Wernert had 11 digs for the Jacks in the losing effort.

Two days later the Jacks headed to conference rival IPFW to face the Mastodons. Riding a six game win streak in conference play, the Jacks hoped to keep the streak alive. Unfortunately the Mastodons had enough firepower to shut the Jacks down in five sets: 30-23, 13-30, 30-26, 16-30 and 12-15. Records fell for the Jacks as senior Samantha Pearson passed Liz Archer (1,615 digs from 1998, 2000-02) for the SDSU all-time digs record with 29 digs in the match. Senior Amy Anderson had 15 kills; Martin contributed 12 kills and 13 digs to complete her double-double. Iwamoto dished out 42 assists to her teammates.

The long road trip concluded on Oct. 7, as SDSU faced Missouri State Bears club. The Jacks continued their mid-season slump, falling 18-30, 14-30, 26-30 in three sets. They were led by Martin’s 13-kill effort and Iwamoto’s 30 assists. Pearson had 21 digs in the match and senior Mackenzie Osadchuk contributed 11 digs of her own.

“The first road trip was a long road trip for us, and the team just did not have a lot of energy on the trip for whatever reason,” said assistant coach Phil McDaniel

Playing against Centenary on Oct. 13, the Jacks forced a convincing 3-0 sweep of a lackluster Summit League foe: 30-16, 30-13 and 30-21. Martin had a solid 21 kills and 12 digs to lead the Jacks. Pearson contributed 18 digs.

“The past road trip’s energy was much better,” McDaniel said. “The energy on the court was much better and the competition showed that scores were kind of reflective in the increase of energy.”

The Jacks return to action against rival NDSU at the Bentson Bunker Field House on Oct. 20 at 7 p.m. “They always play us tough and we always play them tough,” McDaniel said. “It’s going to be a battle. It’s two of the top four teams going at each other once again. It’s going to be a good match this weekend.”