Volleyball drops 10th in-a-row, prepares for Omaha

By SCOTT ENGEN Sports Reporter

The South Dakota State volleyball team will take on the University of Nebraska Omaha at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 30 in Frost Arena. 

The Jacks are coming off their 10th loss in a row, falling to the IUPUI Jaguars in their Summit League opening match three sets to none. The loss dropped the Jackrabbits to 1-12 overall, and they haven’t won a set in nine of those losses. IUPUI improved to 5-11 overall. 

Senior Ashley Beaner led the team with 14 kills, with sophomore Sierra Peterson at eight kills. Junior Ellie Benson led the team on defense with 13 digs.

“I thought, offensively, we did some really good things.” Head Coach Nicole Cirillo said. “In sets one and two we were getting a majority of our points, which is good. We were able to get all of our attackers involved, which is nice, that’s something we’ve struggled with at times.”

In the first set, the score was tied 15-15, but the Jags outscored the Jacks 10-4 down the stretch. The second set had five lead changes. The Jacks were up 23-22 before giving up a kill and committing two errors. In the third set the Jacks fell behind early, but pulled within three at 15-12 before being outscored 10-4.

“They limited their errors. We stuck with them, but at the end of the day they were able to capitalize on some of our mistakes and do what they do best, blocking, which is one of their biggest fortes,” Cirillo said. 

IUPUI had eight blocks compared to three for SDSU, and IUPUI also kept their errors to 13, which was five less than the Jackrabbits. 

This Friday, SDSU will take on the University of Nebraska Omaha Mavericks. Omaha comes into the match 3-13 on the season and come into the game at Frost Arena after losing two straight. 

Omaha is led on offense by sophomore Kayla Torson who leads the team with 177 kills and is averaging 3.05 per set. She is also second on the team in digs with 163. Freshman Hannah Angeli leads the Mavs in assists with 45. On defense they are led by junior Amanda Conlin who has 55 total blocks.

“We have to continue to play at a high level and compete, the key is pushing hard at the end of sets, when it means the most.” Cirillo said.