Volleyball set for regionals


South Dakota State University’s Shauna Sturm has been named the North Central Conference Volleyball Player of the Year by a vote of league coaches.

In addition, junior Liz Archer was named NCC Defensive Specialist of the Year and setter Angie Rime was named to the all-NCC squad. Annie Ebnet earned honorable mention recognition.

Sturm, a senior middle hitter from Springfield, Minn., earned all-NCC honors for the third consecutive year as she finished third in the league in hitting percentage, .340; fourth in kills, 3.75 per game; and fourth in blocks, 1.12 per game.

On the SDSU career charts, Sturm ranks second in hitting percentage, .318; third in kills, 1,443; and fourth in block assists, 252. With 103 block assists this season, she is five away from setting the SDSU single-season record.

Sturm, who earned All-America honors a year ago, is the third Jackrabbit player in four seasons to win the league most valuable player award. Roxie Rath won the award in 1998, with Rose Ebnet earning the recognition last season.

Archer, a junior from Apple Valley, Minn., leads the Jackrabbit squad with 363 digs this season and added 28 service aces. A second-team Daktronics all-region selection a year ago, Archer is 43 digs away from reaching the 1,000 mark for her career.

Archer joins Sarah Worklan, who earned award in 1999, as Jackrabbits to have received the defensive specialist honor.

Rime, from Columbia Heights, Minn., was named to the all-NCC squad for the second straight year as she finished fourth in the NCC standings with 11.74 assists per game. An all-region selection a year ago, Rime ranks second on the SDSU career set assists chart with 3,871.

Ebnet, a transfer from Jamestown College (N.D.) and a native of Pequot Lakes, Minn., moved into the starting lineup midway through the season and is currently third on the Jackrabbits squad with 223 kills and fifth in digs with 210. She earned NCC Player of the Week honors Oct. 29.

The eighth-ranked Jackrabbits (24-5 overall) will make their second consecutive post-season appearance and fourth in five years at the North Central Regional Thursday through Saturday in Fargo, N.D. SDSU, coached by Andrew Palileo, is seeded second in the tournament and will receive a first-round bye. The Jackrabbits will play at 5 p.m. Friday against the winner of Thursday’s matchup between third-seeded Augustana and sixth-seeded Southwest State.

SDSU versus St. Cloud

The South Dakota State University volleyball team extended its winning streak to six matches Friday with a four-game victory at St. Cloud State.

Game scores were 30-22, 30-26, 28-30 and 30-26 in favor the Jackrabbits, who improved to 24-4 overall, 15-2 in the North Central Conference. St. Cloud State fell to 4-23 overall, 1-16 in league play.

Shauna Sturm led the Jackrabbits with 20 kills, followed by 10 kills from Annie Ebnet. Angie Rime posted 50 set assists and 13 digs, while Liz Archer added 11 digs.

St. Cloud State had three players in double figures for kills, led by Tanash Lawrence’s 20. Leah Herrboldt tallied 12 kills and 21 digs, with Jane Backes adding 10 kills and 10 digs.

SDSU versus Mankato

Minnesota State, Mankato kept its playoff hopes alive with a 3-1 victory over eighth-ranked South Dakota State Saturday at Bresnan Arena.

The loss dropped the Jackrabbits to 24-5 overall and 15-3 in the North Central Conference. MSU, Mankato improved to 19-11 overall, 10-8 in league play.

Lindsay Childers led four Maverick players in double figures for kills with 16. Nichole Rose contributed 15 kills, followed by 12 by Jen Jacobs and 11 by Sarah DeMars. Jacobs also added a match-high 21 digs.

Jennifer Blendermann tallied 50 set assists for MSU, Mankato.

Shauna Sturm led SDSU with 14 kills. Annie Ebnet added 11 kills and 13 digs, while Angie Rime posted 40 set assists and Grethe Bornhoft chipped in with 11 digs.

Both teams will compete in this weekend’s North Central Regional in Fargo, N.D. The Jackrabbits go in as the second seed and will face the winner between Augustana and Southwest State at 5 p.m. Friday.

MSU, Mankato is seeded fifth and will face fourth-seeded Northern Colorado at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. The winner will face top seed and host North Dakota State at 7:30 p.m. Friday.