Jacks end five game skid

 

 SDSU had an exciting weekend at Frost Arena as they spiked their competition beating Omaha in four sets and Western Illinois in five. 

The Jackrabbits first faced off against Omaha, Friday night, beating them by scores of 25-17, 25-12, 18-25, 25-23, finally ending SDSU’s losing streak at five games. 

“Losing streaks are always tough,” SDSU head coach Phil McDaniel said, “The girls put a lot of pressure on themselves to get out of them … they just had to stay together and that’s what they did tonight.” 

The Jacks played near perfect volleyball in the first two sets, scoring and handling Omaha’s offensive attack with ease.

“We had a good start right away,” McDaniel said, “We were serving tough, got a couple blocks early, and we got the offense going our speed.” 

The third set gave the Jacks a little trouble but they quickly bounced back and took the fourth set and the victory.

SDSU’s Wagner Larson led the team in kills with 13 followed by Tiara Gibson with 11. Kacey Herrmann lead the team in digs with 20 and Lexi Fowler had the high for set assists with 36.

SDSU would hope to continue their momentum into Saturday’s game, which would turn out to be one of the most exciting and emotional games for the Jackrabbits this season.

It was Senior night for SDSU as senior Lexi Fowler was honored before playing in her final home game as a Jackrabbit.

“She has been a great senior leader for us,” McDaniel said. “She works hard every day in the gym, one of our strongest most physically gifted players we have and she’s busted it for us everyday that she has been here, I can’t say enough about her.”

She has been the Jackrabbits best setter this year racking up 632 set assists on the year, a vital part to the teams attack.

“It’s been great,” Lexi Fowler commented about playing at SDSU, “I love this school, I love this town, and I love this program, the girls who have gone through this program with me have meant so much to me…they have become my family.”

The Jackrabbits felt the energy from Fowler and the rest of the fans as they beat the Western Illinois Leathernecks in five competitive sets by scores of; 25-22, 22-25, 18-25, 25-23, and 15-12.

Nothing came easy for SDSU as they fell behind early in the first set and had to crawl their way back for the win. 

“Some of that [early struggle] was nerves, some of that was being excited about it being home,” McDaniel said. “We had a lot of emotion with it being senior night … once we settled down we showed what team we can be.”

The Leathernecks would tie the match going into intermission by winning the second set and then again in the third, the Jackrabbits would come back though winning the fourth behind the attacking of Courtney Roberts.

“She [Roberts] was a force tonight,” McDaniel said. “Once she got rolling it was stressing the defense.”

The fifth set was all Jacks as they got in front early and never let the lead slip away to get the victory.

The emotion of Lexi Fowler was a definite drive throughout the game as the team rallied behind her to get her one more victory in Frost Arena. 

“She got motivated and challenged them,” McDaniel said. “Her whole motivation this weekend was lets go out here and show them how we can play.” 

Fowler had a fantastic game leading the team with 45 set assists, she also recorded 5 kills and 12 digs. Courtney Roberts led the team in kills with 20 followed by Wagner Larson and Kacey Herrmann, both with 10. Alanna Pengilly lead the team in digs with 23 followed by Kacey Herrmann with 15. 

SDSU will hope to take their momentum into their next game against Fort Wayne in Fort Wayne on Nov. 15 at 6 p.m.