Volleyball seniors go out in style

Casey Wonnenberg

Casey Wonnenberg

The SDSU volleyball team’s winning record this year can be attributed much to three star seniors, middle-hitter Kim Bostrom, outside/middle-hitter Sarah Biggerstaff, and defensive specialist/libero Sarah Simet. All three of these seniors have written themselves into the SDSU volleyball record book this year.

While Sarah Simet became the ninth player in SDSU history to record 1,000 digs in a career, Kim Bostrom became the ninth player to reach 1,000 career kills. Sarah Biggerstaff obtained the SDSU career block assists record against Wyoming with 305 assists.

“This year these girls have really led by way of playing example. They’ve been mental and vocal leaders as well,” said SDSU coach Andrew Palileo.

For the past four years, Bostrom, Biggerstaff, and Simet have learned and supported each other on and off the court.

“They’ve (Biggerstaff and Simet) encouraged me on and off the court. It’s nice having a few people that you know personally on the team,” said Bostrom.

As a sophomore in 2002, Bostrom, from Circle Pines, Minn., attained the number one middle -hitting position and respectably led the NCC in hitting percentage. She ranked first on the team in overall hitting percentage, third in blocks, and fourth in kills. She was named honorable mention all-NCC and second-team Daktronics All-North Central Region.

In 2003, Bostrom led the Jacks with 407 kills and a .333 hitting percentage. She ranked second on the team with 81 block assists. For her efforts, she earned multiple athletic and academic honors, including all-NCC honors, all North Central Conference, second-team Daktronics all-North Central Region, NCC Player of the Week (twice) and CoSIDA Academic All-District VII Third Team.

Bostrom has only continued to better herself. Against NDSU in October she had a career-high .75 hitting percentage without a single error. She became the ninth South Dakota State volleyball player to record 1,000 career kills when the Jacks defeated Dickinson State in September.

Bostrom modestly attributes much of her success to her team.

“The team is what gets you to be successful personally. Volleyball is truly a team sport. Three people touch the ball every time,” said Bostrom.

Sarah Biggerstaff, from Winona, Minn., led the team in block assists with 100 and finished second in total blocks with 108 during her sophomore year. With an average 1.18 blocks per game, she ranked second in the NCC.

During her junior year, Biggerstaff once again led the team in block assists with 113. In addition, she came in first in total blocks with 121. In the NCC, she ranked seventh with an average .90 blocks in league play. She was awarded academic all-NCC recognition for the 2003 season.

On October 12 in a game against Wyoming, Biggerstaff obtained the SDSU block assists record. Roxie Rath previously held the record with 301 block assists from 1995-98. Against Wyoming, Biggerstaff recorded five assists.

Biggerstaff says that SDSU has a wonderful volleyball program. She claims that the program is filled with superb athletes and coaches that have made her career a success.

“I’ve always had someone to look up to and push myself to become better than,” Biggerstaff said.

Sarah Simet, from Brookings, ranked fourth on the team in digs (249) and in service aces (20) as a sophomore.

As a junior, Simet led the team in digs. In October 2003, she posted back-to-back 20-dig matches.

This year Simet has continued to lead the team defensively. On October 20, when SDSU defeated Dakota Wesleyan in a three-game sweep, Sarah Simet became the ninth player in SDSU volleyball history to reach 1,000 digs in a career. She recorded career highs against Wyoming on October 12 with 29 digs and five service aces.

Simet feels the most enjoyable part of being an SDSU volleyball player is the team atmosphere.

“I’ve really made some great friendships with players and coaches. The team really made it an enjoyable atmosphere,” said Simet.

Next year there will be a huge hole to fill for the volleyball team with these three players gone.

“We will lose three girls with a lot of experience and that know how to win,” said Coach Palileo.

Bostrom, Biggerstaff, and Simet will also miss the perks that come with being an SDSU athlete.

“I’ll really miss the great supporters and family atmosphere of Brookings,” said Biggerstaff.

Throughout the past few years, these athletes have acquired memories that will stick with them throughout their lives. Some of these memories may include Nationals their freshman year and Regions their sophomore year.

Bostrom and Biggerstaff are not sure of their plans following graduation this May. Simet plans on going into a vascular technology program in Sioux Falls.

#1.885687:1801267166.jpg:volleyballportraitcolor.jpg:Senior players Kim Bostrom, Sarah Simet and Sarah Biggerstaff have all broken records this season.:Jerry Smith