SDSU wastes no time defeating UTPA

Faith Moldan

Faith Moldan

SDSU’s Lady Jacks made quick work of Texas-Pan American’s Lady Broncos Saturday night at Frost Arena, sweeping the match in three games: 30-20, 30-18, 30-20.

The Jacks scored early in game one and led 12-6. With an ace serve from the Jacks, the UTPA coach took a time out to regroup, but the Broncos were unsuccessful in their attempted comeback. The Jacks continued to lead the scoring 18-8, which prompted another time out from UTPA.

The Broncos showed some power in game two, with hard hitting, but the Jacks held onto their momentum as they went up 20-15 and didn’t look back.

The win ended a three-match losing streak and homestand. Now 11-13 overall, the Jacks tallied 51 kills in the match. Junior outside hitter Minette Ridenour led the Jacks with 16 kills, while sophomore Kristina Martin added 12. Ridenour completed a double-double with 11 digs. Martin had six blocks.

The team’s strong showing, both offensively and defensively, pleased SDSU Head Coach Andrew Palileo. The team concentrated on getting more kills for its middle hitters, and closing up its blocks during practice.

UTPA came into the match with an unimpressive 5-12 record. Palileo said that this played no part in the team’s preparation for the match.

“We’ve been making a lot of teams look well. We concentrated on what we need to do better,” he said.

SDSU’s two previous losses came in five-game matches against Northern Colorado and Indiana Purdue-Fort Wayne earlier last week. With a 1-5 record in five-game matches, the team broke down video of those matches during practice, and had time off to heal up their bodies before Saturday night’s game.

“We passed the ball really well,” Palileo said.

UTPA had their own marathon match against North Dakota State the previous night, and had a four-game match earlier in the week against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. The Texas series took some energy away from them.

“Our legs were fresher,” Palileo said.

Junior setter Kristie Klusaw had 42 set assists, as SDSU out-hit UTPA .311 to .075. Sara Doschadis and Samantha Pearson each had 10 digs.

Heather Bravo led UTPA with 11 kills. Danielle Holthe added 10 more, and five blocks. Setter Chelsea Blakely tallied 29 set assists, while defensively, Kellie Phillips had 10 digs.

SDSU faces NDSU in its next two matches, the first on the road at the Bentson Bunker Fieldhouse Friday, Oct. 21, and then at home at Frost Arena Tuesday, Nov. 1. Both matches are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

“It’s our rival match,” Palileo said. “The coaches don’t need to say a lot. The players really get up for it. You never know what can happen.”

After NDSU, the Jacks finish the season on the road with two matches leading up to the Division I Independent Tournament in Greeley, Colo.

“We’re building up for the championships,” Palileo said.