Volleyball impresses on the road

Chloe Risse, Sports Reporter

The Jackrabbit volleyball team will return home this week after winning two games on the road this past week – their first wins of the season as the visiting team.

The Jacks beat St. Thomas Friday in St. Paul in four sets (21-25, 25-15, 27-25, 25-15). Two days later, the Jacks traveled to Macomb, Illinois, and defeated Western Illinois’ Leathernecks in five sets (25-18, 31-29, 24-26, 22-25, 15-10).

The pair of wins improved SDSU’s record to 16-9 overall, 8-6 in the Summit League.

Against St. Thomas, the Jacks lost the first set but got enough momentum to win the next three, and ultimately the match. Seniors Crystal Burk and Sydney Andrews had big performances for the Jacks with 15 and 11 kills, respectively. Graduate student Chloe Stitt added 11 kills and led the team in service aces. 

The Jacks had a difficult time stopping the St. Thomas rallies at the beginning of the first set but turned it around in set two. With control of the momentum, the Jacks led throughout the set, as the team distributed the ball well with kills from multiple players.

Set three was the closest. SDSU took an early lead, but St. Thomas whittled away at the lead throughout, and a late rally brought the Tommies back to a tie at 25-all. But a kill by Elyse Winter and an attack error by St. Thomas allowed for the Jacks to finish on top.

The final set came easier to the Jacks. Consecutive kills from Winter and Burk tied the score early at 4-4. Junior Anna Nerad had consecutive ace serves midway through the set, followed by kills from Burk and Andrews. That staked the Jacks at a three-point lead of 15-12. Three consecutive kills from SDSU allowed for the Jacks to win the set with a final score of 25-15.

Against Western Illinois, Burk, Stitt and Winter led the team with 22, 21 and 12 kills, respectively. Stitt and Tatum Pickar led the team with two service aces each, followed by junior Jadyn Makovicka with one. Carly Wedel had a big game with 66 assists.

Set one went to the Jacks rather easily after a late six-point rally. Pickar concluded with a service ace.

Set two featured 11 lead changes and 14 ties as the Jacks ended up on top 31-29.

The Leathernecks won sets three and four. Both sets were close with final scores of 23-25 and 22-25.

But SDSU did not let those setbacks control the rest of the game. The final set concluded with consecutive kills by junior Akeela Jefferson. This helped the Jacks win 15-10.

The Jacks return to Frost Arena for their final two home games of the season. They host Omaha on Thursday and Denver on Saturday.