Jackrabbit volleyball tries to turn season around with postseason approaching


Chloe Risse, Sports Reporter

The Jackrabbits volleyball team will be returning to Frost Arena this weekend after a tough stretch of games the past couple weeks. 

The Jackrabbits (10-13, 4-7 Summit League) will be hosting St. Thomas and Western Illinois in hopes of turning the season around. The Jackrabbits traveled to Western Illinois and St. Thomas earlier in the season with victories in both locations.

“We are excited to be back on our home court this weekend, and we will welcome Western Illinois and St. Thomas to Brookings then,” coach Dan Georgalas said.

The Jackrabbits will first host St. Thomas Thursday. The last time these two teams met was in St. Paul Oct. 8, a game the Jacks won in three sets.

The Tommies are currently 1-12 in the conference and 3-22 overall on the season. They are on a four game losing streak with their last win being against Western Illinois Oct. 15. They have multiple underclassmen who have been playing well all season. 

Sophomore Lauren Galvin and freshman Emma Goerger are the big offensive players for the Tommies. Galvin has 281 kills on the season followed by Goerger with 162. Goerger has also contributed by leading the team in blocks and aces. She has 84 blocks and 20 aces so far.

As a team, the Tommies have fallen behind their opponents in many categories, including kills, aces and digs. The Tommies average 10.5 kills per set compared to their opponents 14.3. One aspect in which St. Thomas excels is blocking. They average 1.8 blocks per set which is more than their opponents are averaging.

After SDSU’s matchup with St. Thomas Thursday, they will then host Western Illinois Saturday. The two teams last met Oct. 6 in Macomb and the Jackrabbits walked away with a win in three sets.

Western Illinois is 0-13 in the conference and 4-21 overall on the season. Their last win was Sep. 9 against Southern University.

As a team, the bulldogs average 10.5 kills per set compared to their opponents average of 14.2. 

The Jackrabbits are searching for a win against these two teams to potentially secure a place in the Summit League tournament at the end of November.

The first game the Jacks fell short in last week was on the road against Denver. The final scores of the game were 27-29, 16-25, and 25-27.

Crystal Burk has still been putting up large numbers for the team in their last two games. Against Omaha, Burk contributed nine kills, two aces, and one block. This was followed by Elyse Winter with eight kills and two blocks.

South Dakota State then traveled to Vermillion and fell to the University of South Dakota in the second South Dakota match-up of the season. The game was not given up easily by the Jacks with the scores of 25-18, 30-32, 17-25 and 21-25.

Burk again put up the highest stats in this game on offense with 21 kills, four aces and two blocks. This was followed by Ella Thompson with 14 kills and five blocks. Winters’ offense was also apparent in the South Dakota game with seven kills, three blocks and one ace.

“We are upset we didn’t get the result, but I was really happy with our effort and our grit and our competitiveness,” Georgalas said. “And we did enjoy that match.” 

The Jackrabbits will host St. Thomas Nov. 3 and 7 p.m. and Western Illinois Nov. 5 at 1 p.m.