Volleyball team closes season with Summit League wins

MIRANDA+SAMPSON
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Volleyball team closes season with Summit League wins

MIRANDA SAMPSON

MIRANDA SAMPSON

MIRANDA SAMPSON

MIRANDA SAMPSON

MIRANDA SAMPSON

MIRANDA SAMPSON

MIRANDA SAMPSON

John Begeman

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Just like that, 77 days has come and gone and the 2018 South Dakota State volleyball season is over.

Their final record of 6-23, 3-14 was four wins better than that of the 2017 season (2-25, 0-14) in which they did not win a single conference game. The Jacks not only won one conference game this year, but they won three.

Seniors Payton Richardson, Sierra Peterson and Mattison Munger played their last game this past Sunday as the Jacks took on the Western Illinois Leathernecks in Macomb, IL.

The Jacks came up short losing their last Summit League match in four sets by scores of 25-18, 12-25, 25-15 and 25-23. Leading the team was junior outside hitter Makenzie Hennen with ten kills and nine digs, followed by senior outside hitter Sierra Peterson with ten kills as well.

“I would like to say thanks to Payton, Sierra and Mattison on their accomplishments throughout their careers,” fourth-year head coach Nicole Cirillo said in a post-game interview. “They have helped grow and evolve this team more than anyone could know … ”

In the last five games of the season the Jacks went 2-3 beating the University of North Dakota Oct. 30 and Oral Roberts University Nov. 4 on Senior Day both games were held in Frost Arena.

Against ORU, Peterson had an all-time high 20 kills and Munger recorded her 26th double-double of her career with 29 set assists and 10 digs.

“We maybe haven’t performed as well as we wanted looking at the win column, but it’s better late than never.” Cirillo said in a weekly update. “The fact that we were able to do it twice against teams we shouldn’t have beat looking at the standings was really special way to send the seniors out.”

Peterson ended the season third on the team in kills with 195, Munger finished second on the team in assists with 171 and Richardson tallied 112 blocks on the season to lead the Jacks.

The Jacks will return many key players and will look to rely heavily on the strong play of Makenzie Hennen and Ashlynn Smith. Hennen led the team this year with 340 kills while Smith followed with 251 kills.

Sophomore setter Maddie Fay had a strong season as well finishing with 837 set assists, freshmen defensive specialist Ellie Thein tallied 330 digs on the season to lead the team and freshmen middle blocker Sydney Andrews will look to replace Richardson’s presence at the net.

This season was a great opportunity for many freshmen to get quality playing time, sit under senior leadership and gain ample experience.

 

The young Jacks team looks to turn things around in the 2019 season as coach Cirillo said that she believes that they have the talent it takes to be competitive in the Summit League.