Inconsistent play plagues Jackrabbits

Brian Kimmes

Brian Kimmes

As the Independent Championships approach, the Jackrabbit volleyball team had one last tune-up before the big tournament.

North Dakota State traveled to Brookings to take on the Jacks in the final regular season match of the year.

Three weeks ago, the Jacks ventured to Fargo and ended the Bison’s six-game winning streak. However, on Saturday night, it was the Bison who did the ending of a streak. SDSU had defeated NDSU in the past nine matches, but could not win number ten. The Bison handily defeated the Jacks, sweeping the contest 3-0.

In front of a record crowd, the Bison handled the Jackrabbits in every facet of the game. NDSU dominated the net, while the Jacks could not get many clean kills. Almost every time an SDSU hitter went for the spike, an NDSU blocker would get her hand on it.

Conversely, the Jacks were not getting a hand on many of the NDSU spikes. The Bison totaled 55 kills and 10 blocks, compared to 42 kills and two blocks for the Jacks.

When the Jacks did manage to get a clean spike, the majority of the time, a Bison was there to dig the ball. The Bison would continually dig the ball and get a quality possessions ending with a kill attempt; whereas, the Jacks would often be forced to bump the ball to the Bison, not finishing their offensive sequence with a spike.

Despite the loss, the Jacks finished with an impressive 10-2 record at home and a 21-10 record overall on the season.

“We come out and play really well and we come out and play really bad,” said Head Coach Andrew Palileo.

Even though the season did not finish ideally for the Jacks, the team must rebound for the Independent Championships, Nov. 10 and 11, in Fargo, N.D.

The team begins the tournament by playing Providence and Utah Valley State. SDSU has not played Providence yet this season, and they split matches with Utah Valley State.

With the recent inconsistent play, Palileo is uncertain about what to expect from his team during the tournament.

“To tell you the truth, I just don’t know,” he said.

He said the team is practicing well, but he hoped they would be playing better down the stretch.

Palileo said his team is using the NDSU loss to get themselves back on track. He said the loss reminded the girls they need to play as a team, not individuals.

#1.884014:1735735909.jpg:sdsuvsndsu003.jpg:Minette Ridenour, 13, nails one past North Dakota defenders Lindsay Rogers, 14, and Mattie Johnson, 8, during the first game of the match on Nov. 4.: