Summit League struggles

By Andrew Holtan Sportswriter

SDSU volleyball dropped road matches to the Denver Pioneers and NDSU over the weekend, falling to 0-10 in Summit League play. 

The SDSU volleyball team came into the weekend with a record of 6-19, 0-8 in the Summit League. They started on the road Friday facing the Pioneers. Denver came into the match with a record of 18-4, 7-1 in the Summit League which they lead

The Jacks kept pace in the first set, but ran out of gas in the end and fell 25-23. Denver took the next two sets by a score of 25-11 and 25-15 for the win.

“We started off strong in the first set, played them pretty tough,” said head coach Phil McDaniel. “Then in sets two and three we kind of reverted back to some old ways. … We didn’t really compete as hard as I’d like to see.”

Denver had an attack percentage of .402 while the Jacks had a percentage of .123

Freshman Ashley Beaner led the Jacks with seven kills. Sophomore Tiara Gibson was not far behind with six kills. Sophomore Kacey Herrmann had a team leading 15 digs.

The Jacks travelled to Fargo, N.D. on Sunday to face the NDSU Bison who came into the match with a record of 9-14, 3-6 in the Summit League.

The Jacks came out flat dropping the first two sets each by a score of 25-16. They kept it close in the third set but came out just short, losing 25-21 and dropping the match. The loss drops the Jacks record to 6-21 and 0-10 in the Summit League.

“Sets one and two we came out a little timid and not quite as sharp as I’d like to see.” McDaniel said. “Then set three, we came out and played really well but kind of ran out gas at the end. … We need to find that balance of being aggressive and playing with intensity from the start of the match all the way to the finish.”

Gibson led the team with 11 kills. Gibson leads the team with 202 kills this season. 

“She’s certainly an offensive weapon we like to use,” McDaniel said. “She’s strong and physical.”

Despite Gibson’s individual success, the Jacks have yet to win a conference game this season.  

“We have to play a complete match and we haven’t done that for about a month now,” McDaniel said. “When we get a lead we need to look to extend it and when we get behind we have to fight to get back in it.”

The Jacks have six conference games left before the end of the season conference tournament. 

“Well aside from the obvious of getting that first conference win, we have to defend home court,” McDaniel said. “We have to make sure we get three at home and then steal a couple on the road. … If we can do that it will certainly be a good motivator heading into the spring and a good way to finish the season.”