Volleyball falls to UNO, ORU to start conference schedule

The South Dakota State volleyball team fell in their first two Summit League matches against the University of Nebraska-Omaha and Oral Roberts University this weekend at Frost Arena.

In their first match of the 2015 Summit League season the Jackrabbits (1-17,0-2) fell to the UNO Mavericks (7-8,2-0) three sets to one. 

The Mavs took the first set 25-16. The Jacks would come back in the second set on fire as they won 25-9. After the break the Mavericks came out and took the third set 25-17. The fourth set went back and forth but the Mavs pulled it out winning the set 25-23 and winning the match.

“I’m pleased with the way we came out and competed. The best volleyball we played was in set four, not many teams lose having 17 kills,” said Head Coach Nicole Cirillo.

The second half of the back-to-back went the distance as the Jacks fell to the ORU Golden Eagles three sets to two.

“We played well, did some really good things, I do think this was a missed opportunity and I think that all stems from not winning the second set,” Cirillo said.

 The Jacks took the first set 25-19. They were then on the verge of taking a two sets to none lead, when they were leading 24-20 but dropped six points in a row and the Golden Eagles took the set 26-24. After the break the teams played a tight third set in which SDSU took 25-23. The Jacks jumped out to an early lead in the fourth set but could not sustain it as ORU won 25-20 sending it to the fifth set. The Golden Eagles got out to a seven point lead and would ride it all the way to the finish line as they won the final set 15-10 and won the match.

“I think we came out a little nervous of ‘what if’. I thought we stiffened up a little bit on serve receive and then kind of played not to lose,” Cirillo said about the fifth set.

Junior outside hitter Mikala Hora lead the team with 28 kills over the two games. 

“She (Hora) limited her errors. She had double the attempts of everyone else and still didn’t have the highest number of errors,” Cirillo said. “She did a good job of choosing her times to swing, putting the ball in places to make them work for it on defense.”

Freshman setter, Mattison Munger led the team with 82 assists and had a career-high of five service aces.

SDSU has now lost 20 Summit League matches in a row and dropped 11 matches in a row overall. 

That doesn’t keep Cirillo from seeing the progress that her team is making.

“With where we’re at in our fight and competitive nature right now, we’re in a good spot, I’m not worried about it, we’re showing teams a new SDSU volleyball compared to what it has been in the last couple of years,” she said. 

The Jacks will be on the road for their next three games starting this Friday when they play the University of Denver Pioneers. They will return home next Tuesday when they host the University of South Dakota Coyotes in Frost Arena at 7 p.m.