SDSU volleyball falls to last in Summit

Victoria Berndt, Sports Reporter

The past week was a busy one for the South Dakota State volleyball team, which competed in three volleyball matches in five days, but the quick series of contests wasn’t kind to the Jackrabbits.

SDSU fell 1-3 to Denver and Oral Roberts on the road before being swept by rival South Dakota.

“A little inconsistency again this weekend but there are some good things to take away,” Nicole Cirillo said during an interview with “We fought; we came back from behind multiple times.”

To kick off Hobo Day weekend, the Jacks played at the University of Denver. While the Pioneers handled the match, Cirillo took away one positive.

“I think this is the first time we have taken a set from Denver since I’ve been here so that is exciting for us and the girls,” Cirillo said. “Taking that set goes to show that we can do it we just need that confidence.”

Denver (10-6, 2-2) currently sits at third place in the Summit League standing while SDSU (4-13, 1-4) is ninth in the nine-team league.

“We have been competitive for two seasons now we just need to get over the hump of winning,” Cirillo said. “I wish we would’ve carried that winning set from Denver over to Oral Roberts, but it is what it is. There still a lot of good things to take away from a long travel weekend.”

Following the away game in Colorado, the team headed to Tulsa, Oklahoma, to take an ORU (6-12, 2-2) squad facing some struggles of its own, but couldn’t take the win.

“It was a long and tough weekend, we had flight delays and three matches in five days,” Cirillo said. “But at the end of the day every other team does that as well so we can’t let that be an excuse to anything that is happening.”

SDSU capped the stretch on the wrong end of a dominant performance by Summit League-leading USD (16-1, 5-0), getting swept and failing to record more than 16 points in a set.

“Overall not our cleanest match, but I thought we did some decent things,” Cirillo said. 

With great defense by USD, it made it hard for SDSU to take an offensive run during the match. Senior Makenzie Hennen, SDSU’s leader in kills for the match, only had eight.

“We passed extremely well for the most part, we made the holes that we wanted but we just weren’t putting the ball away. Usually, that is where Hennen steps up to create some of those offensive points,” Cirillo said.

Coming up next, the Jackrabbits look to snap a four-match losing streak against as they take on North Dakota at 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 13, in Frost Arena.