Jacks open season by winning 2 of 3

Chloe Risse, Sports Reporter

The SDSU volleyball team was in Dekalb, Illinois last weekend for a three-game stand at the Huskie Invitational, where the Jackrabbits took two of three, including back-to-back shutouts.

After a five-set loss to open the invitational, the Jackrabbits stormed back to take their next two games against Northern Illinois and New Jersey Institute of Technology. Of the 11 total sets played, the jacks won eight of them.

“To come back with 2 out of 3 wins and the only loss being a five-setter against a team that was in the NCAA tournament last year, we had a lot of positives to take away from our trip and I know we will take that momentum into the first home weekend coming up,” coach Dan Georgalas said.

The first game that was played was against the University of Illinois College (UIC). UIC defeated SDSU in a very contested game that took five sets. The scores of the sets were: 19-25, 25-20, 25-20, 15-25 and 10-15.

In that game, fifth-year senior Crystal Burk led the team in kills with 17. This was followed by freshman Katie Van Egdom with six kills and Ella Thompson with five. Thompson, Reagan Reilly and Elyse Winter all contributed with an ace serve apiece. Reilly led the team with 26 digs and 26 assists. 

The second game was played against Northern Illinois. The Jackrabbits rallied from their defeat earlier in the day and were able to overcome the Huskies in a sweep. The scores of the sets were: 25-20, 26-24 and 28-26.

“To win the way we did against NIU was awesome for our confidence going ahead,” Georgalas said.

Burk again led the team in kills with 13. Thompson and Anna Nerad contributed to the kills with nine and four respectively. Nerad also helped the team by getting two ace serves. Sydney Andrews and freshman Masa Scheierman played impressive defense by getting four blocks apiece. Nerad also had two blocks. Reilly again led the team in assists with 33. Burk contributed to the defense with 30 digs followed by Jadyn Makovicka with 16 and Reilly with 11.

The final game of the weekend was against the New Jersey Institute of Technology. The Jackrabbits swept the Highlanders with the scores of 25-19, 25-13 and 25-11. 

Burk led the team with 14 kills and Thompson and Annalee Ventling-Brown followed with 8 kills each. Carly Wedel had two ace serves followed by Burk and Makovicka with one each. Ventling-Brown played tough defense with five blocks. Reagan again led the team with 33 assists. Makovicka contributed on the defense as well with 14 digs followed by Burk and Reilly.

The Jacks will play next in Frost Arena during a doubleheader against Eastern Washington. They play on Sep. 2 at 6 p.m. and Sep. 3 at 11 a.m. The Jacks will then meet Chicago State in Sioux Falls on Sept. 6 to play at the Sanford Pentagon.

“I am excited to see the fans fill Frost and the atmosphere and get everything going. I’ve heard nothing but great things, so I am excited to get it rolling,” new assistant coach Allison Mayfield said.