Volleyball team falls in home opener



Jacks show improvement while searching for first win

The South Dakota State volleyball team fell to Drake University 3-0 Tuesday night at Frost Arena in their 2015 home opener.

The Jackrabbits came into the match with a record of 0-3 while the Bulldogs came in with a record of 4-0. The Jacks lost all three sets by scores of 25-17, 25-21 and 25-18. SDSU has yet to win a set in the four games they have played in so far this year. The Jacks finished with an attack percentage of .045 while the Bulldogs had a .165 attack percentage. SDSU had 30 kills and Drake had 36. The Jacks finished with five total blocks and Drake six.

First year Head Coach Nicole Cirillo is still optimistic about her team.

“Overall, I thought we did well, we competed, we have every reason to hold our heads high, I think for the program it’s another step forward,” Cirillo said.

SDSU was close in all three sets but could not seem to put a whole set together.

“I think our biggest killer was the unforced errors and the timing of those errors. We killed a lot of our momentum during some runs that we had,” Cirillo said. “We’d go on great runs and then we’d just have bad errors, it’s one thing to be aggressive but we made a few bad choices to swing on balls when we just need to keep the ball in play and let them defend it.”

The Jackrabbits were without one of their best players Tuesday night as senior Wagner Larson was out with an undisclosed injury. There is no timetable for when she will be back. Starting in her place was senior lefty Carley Gerving.

“It’s definitely a challenge, not having her (Larson) in the lineup, but Carley going in the middle. She did great and gave us a different perspective and give them something different with  a lefty in the middle.” Cirillo said.

The Jacks were led in kills by sophomore Ashley Beaner who had eight. Senior Kacey Herrmann was right behind her with seven kills. Junior Brooke Leetham led the way in assists for SDSU with 27 and senior Lizzie Palmer led the team with 17 digs. 

The Jacks head on the road for their next 12 matches starting off with a tournament in Nacogdoches, Texas hosted by Stephen F. Austin State University. The Jacks will return home Sept. 25 when they open up Summit League play against the University of Nebraska-Omaha.