Jacks secure three-game win streak

Chloe Risse, Reporter

The Jackrabbits had a three-game win streak last week at Frost Arena.

The Jacks defeated Western Illinois (3-1), St. Thomas (3-0), and North Dakota State University (3-1) in a span of five days. The Jacks now have a record of 12-8 overall and are 4-5 in the conference.

“When we started this little home stretch, we said we were going to focus on that first opponent, but really we want to win all three in a row,” head coach Dan Georgalas said.

SDSU had a total of 58 kills in the game against Western Illinois, Thursday (23-25, 23-25, 21-25, 17-25). Graduate Student, Chloe Stitt, led the team with 18 kills. Senior, Crystal Burk followed with 11 kills and freshmen, Ella Thompson had 10. Senior Tatum Pickar had a big game with 24 digs and six aces.

The Jacks then swept St. Thomas on Saturday (12-25, 11-25, 18-25). With the help of freshman setter, Jasmine Weidemann and her 38 assists, Burk led the team with 13 kills, followed by Sydney Andrews and freshman Elyse Winter. Burk also had the most aces for SDSU with three.

“The way in which we won against St. Thomas provided us a lot of confidence coming into the rest of the week,” Georgalas said.

The Jacks then defeated North Dakota State in a tight game on Tuesday (18-25, 25-18, 22-25, 21-25).

Pickar talked about the momentum coming into the NDSU game.

“Winning the two other games this week really boosted our confidence coming into this one,” Pickar said.

The Jacks handled the Bison rather easily in the first set. Andrews came out strong with four kills and two blocks in set one. Burk also had a strong hitting percentage, landing six of her nine attack attempts. Junior Carly Wedel started her first game for the week with 11 assists. 

In set two, the Jacks lost their momentum from set one, causing them to lose. The Jacks only had a total of 11 kills total in the second set. One of these kills came from junior Akeela Jefferson in the form of a back row attack. Overall, the Jacks struggled with net violations and attack errors.

The Jacks came out of set two motivated by the loss and turned it all around in set three. This set was very close with four tied scores and two lead changes. Andrews, Burk and Pickar all had big defensive plays when the game was close. The Jacks had 14 kills in set three and four attack errors. The final point in the match was challenged by the Bison, but ended up being rewarded to the Jacks.

The Jacks held onto the momentum of set three and it carried over into the final set. The Jacks took their first timeout when they took an early deficit in set four (8-6). Jefferson came out of the timeout with a kill, starting a rally for the Jacks. Andrews had a huge block that got the fans on their feet and ultimately led to the Jacks victory. 

“It is an energy like I have never felt before. It felt like we just won a national championship,” Andrews said.

The Jackrabbits return home to play the University of South Dakota Friday, Oct. 22.