Jacks fall to Coyotes

Chloe Risse, Sports Reporter

The Jackrabbits plan to change the pace at Frost Arena after falling to the University of South Dakota Coyotes.

The Jackrabbits (12-9) lost to USD Friday (11-8) in four sets (25-14, 14-25, 25-15, 25-22).

Frost Arena hosted 1,065 fans for this rivalry game, the largest crowd since 2011 and the fifth-largest crowd the program has ever seen at home.

The Jacks jumped out to an early lead to start the game. But that lead did not last long, as the Coyotes scored the following four points. The Coyotes had multiple scoring streaks in the game that consisted of four to five points.

“If we don’t get out to a good passing start, it’s tough to side out and get through our rotations,” head coach Dan Georgalas said.

Burk had a big first set with four kills. Graduate student Chloe Stitt, freshman Annalee Ventling-Brown and senior Sydney Andrews also contributed to the Jacks kill count in set one.

The Jacks did not allow the score of set one to take a large toll on their game. The Jacks took an early 9-1 lead in the second set that they held for the rest of the set. The final score of the set was 25-14.

Stitt had a big set with two ace serves and four kills. Andrews, Burk, freshmen Ella Thompson and junior Elyse Winter also achieved kills in set two.

Set three and four both went to the Coyotes as the Jacks struggled to get anything going. Service and attacking errors really hurt the momentum of the Jacks.

“Overall, I was really happy with our competitiveness against them,” Georgalas said.

The Coyotes now sit in the number two spot in the Summit League with a league record of 8-2. The Jacks are fifth with a league record of 4-6.

SDSU looks to break their three-game losing streak this week when they return to Frost Arena to take on Oral Roberts and Kansas City. Earlier in the season, the Jacks lost to Oral Roberts (3-2) and Kansas City (3-0).

When the Jacks traveled to Oral Roberts earlier this season, they led two sets to one, but eventually fell in five sets.

“We are looking forward to having a little bit of a chip on our shoulder and getting a second try at them at home,” Georgalas said.

The Jacks were swept earlier this season when they traveled to Kansas City to take on the Kangaroos. SDSU looks to slow down the Kansas City offense this week.

“We know that we are better than the version they saw of us at their place,” Georgalas said.

SDSU has eight games left in the season, four of which are at home. They need to be in the top five seeds of the Summit League to advance to the championship tournament.

“We are preparing ourselves for a strong finish to the season,” Georgalas said.

The Jacks host Oral Roberts Thursday at 7 p.m. and Kansas City at 1 p.m. Saturday.