Jacks looking to finish strong after losses

Chloe Risse, Reporter

The Jackrabbit volleyball team is looking to finish the season strong after losing its final two home games of the season last week.

Omaha and Denver, two of the top Summit League teams, traveled to Frost Arena and swept the Jackrabbits. SDSU went down in three sets (25-15, 25-17, 25-15) to Omaha Thursday, then fell to Denver two days later (25-22, 25-22, 25-21). 

SDSU is 16-11 overall and 8-8 in the Summit League. Omaha is 17-8 overall, 14-1 in the conference, while Denver is 22-4, 13-3.

The Jackrabbits are currently the sixth seed in the Summit League. The top six teams in the conference will head to Vermillion Nov. 24 to play in the Summit League Tournament. 

SDSU concludes the regular season by traveling to North Dakota State University Thursday and the University of North Dakota Saturday. Winning one of those last two matches would guarantee the Jackrabbits a spot in the Summit League Tournament

“We are excited for those teams to come into our gym and see the best side of us,” head coach Dan Georgalas said going into the week.

But the Jacks, who were swept in Omaha earlier in the season, could not turn the tables on the Mavericks in Frost Arena. SDSU had a hard time slowing down the Omaha offense and multiple Mavericks players had double-digit kills. Overall, Omaha had 47 kills compared to SDSU’s 22 kills. 

Senior Crystal Burk led the Jacks in kills with eight. This was followed by graduate student Chloe Stitt (five kills) and freshman Ella Thompson (four kills). Burk and Thompson were the only Jackrabbits to achieve ace serves in this game. 

Seniors Sydney Andrews and Hailee Blau had two blocks in the game. Thompson also achieved two blocks. Senior Tatum Pickar led the team with 15 digs, followed by eight and seven digs by junior Carly Wedel and Burk, respectively. Wedel also contributed with 13 assists. 

Senior night was Saturday when the Jackrabbits played Denver. The Jacks fell short again in three sets, but did not go down easily. They led the match in service aces and were close on all other aspects. 

Stitt led this match with 15 kills. Burk and Andrews chipped in with 12 and six kills, respectively. 

Pickar, Burk and junior Jadyn Makovicka all achieved ace serves throughout the match. Andrews, Burk and Thompson all each had two blocks. 

Pickar again led the team in digs with 12. This was followed by Burk (eight digs) and Stitt (six digs). Freshman Jasmine Weidemann stepped up with 20 assists, followed by Wedel with 16. 

“We had a very good performance against Denver,” Georgalas said. “I am very happy with how we played and our competitiveness.”