SDSU volleyball opens Summit play Friday

Victoria Berndt, Sports Reporter

After closing out nonconference play on a six-match losing streak, the South Dakota State volleyball team looks to start the Summit League regular season fresh.

“Anything can happen,” said head coach Nicole Cirillo. “It all starts this Friday.”

The Jackrabbits kick off the regular season at home against North Dakota State at 7 p.m. on Sept. 27.

“North Dakota State will be very similar to the teams we saw at the Jackrabbit Invitational,” Cirillo said. “Having come out of a weekend like that where we saw teams like NDSU, it’ll help us prepare for what we will see on Friday.”

NDSU accumulated a 5-7 nonconference record. Meanwhile, the second conference opponent, Western Illinois, has a 3-11 record with an eight-match losing streak.

“They (WIU) are very similar to us and we have played a lot of the same teams. We have a good background of what to expect from them,” Cirillo said.

The Jacks take on WIU at 1 p.m. Sept. 29 at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls. 

Sunday’s match will be SDSU’s fifth annual Pink Match which aims to raise awareness of breast cancer. SDSU will wear pink jerseys to be auctioned off after the match and will be accepting donations throughout the evening. The money raised goes to benefit the Edith Sanford Breast Cancer Foundation.

With the conference season about to be in full swing, Cirillo hopes to see her team take advantage of the fresh start conference play brings.

“The great thing about moving forward is that everyone has the same start, so we are back at 0-0,” Cirillo said.