SDSU to host Comfort Suites University Jackrabbit Invitational

Victoria Berndt, Sports Reporter

After three straight weekends on the road to open the 2019 season, the South Dakota State volleyball team will host the Comfort Suites University Jackrabbit Invitational at Frost Arena starting Friday, Sept. 20.

Last weekend, the Jackrabbits traveled to Flagstaff, Arizona, to play in the NAU Lumberjack Classic, falling 3-0 to Northern Arizona and LSU and 3-1 to Fresno State. The disappointing weekend dropped the SDSU season record to 3-6 ahead of the Jacks’ first home action of the season.

“Overall, we passed very well but we just made a ton of errors this weekend — maybe it was the third weekend on the road,” SDSU head coach Nicolle Cirillo said.

This weekend’s home tournament is the Jacks’ last outing before conference season starts.

“Moving forward from the Lumberjack Classic, I think the girls will bounce back,” Cirillo said. “They are just as upset as I am. Looking forward to the weekend is definitely where we need to be at.”

Kicking off the home tournament, the Jacks play Valparaiso (4-6) at 1 p.m. at Frost Arena.

“Being able to end at home with a good tournament, it is going to be a fun weekend,” Cirillo said. “I know the girls are already excited, but it is just being able to channel that excitement in a positive way.”

Following the opening game, the Jacks play the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (9-1), which is on a 6-game win streak, at 7 p.m.

To finish off the tournament, SDSU will face the University of Missouri-Kansas City (2-5) at noon Sept. 21.

“There will be a lot of competitive volleyball,” Cirillo said. “All of us are in a pretty good spot. Milwaukee, in particular, is really strong right now, so I am excited to dive into them a little bit more and see what they are doing. We have played Valparaiso and Kansas City in previous years, so I have a pretty general idea of what to expect for them.”