NDSU earns first victory of season against Jackrabbits

Steven Marienau Sportswriter


 North Dakota State topped SDSU 3 sets to 1 on Sept. 27.

The SDSU volleyball team fell to rival North Dakota State to give the bison their first win of the season.

The Jackrabbits fell to the Bison three sets to one by a score of 25-19, 25-18, 24-26, 25-19. In what was a competitive match, NDSU edged SDSU by six points or more in the three sets they’ve won.

“It is automatic every time we play them”, head coach Phil McDaniel said. “It’s one of those things where you know you need to play well … they are going to be fired up to play us we need to fired up to play them … your blood just has to start pumping.”

The game was closer than the scores may have suggested as both teams played competitive the entire game. Mistakes seemed to be the deciding factor in the game as seven net violations cost the SDSU some points. 

“This is very uncharacteristic for us,” McDaniel said. “I don’t know that we have been called for seven nets at all in the year.”

Another factor in the loss was the Jacks’ inability to block kills throughout the match. “They found too many holes in our defense,” McDaniel said. “Part of that was us not making crisp enough moves …we have to get sharper there, we have to make sure we are focused on our attacker and make more touches at the net.”

The Jackrabbits showed some life in the third set coming back to win 26-24. More aggressive play and better execution played a big roll in the come back, but unfortunately it wouldn’t last long.

“We kept serving tough,” McDaniel said. “We made sure we handled the easy balls, too many easy balls in the first two sets weren’t handled as sharply as they could have been … it was about making sure we took care of every ball that we could have.”

The Jackrabbits kill percentage average for the match was 56 percent compared to 67 percent by the Bison. They had a total of five blocks and 68 digs in the match, compared to seven blocks and 81 digs by NDSU. Kacey Herrmann had a good defensive game for the Jackrabbits getting 20 digs, giving her 146 on the year, while Wagner Larson played well, attacking getting 20 kills in the match, 128 total.

Moving forward SDSU would like to improve how they perform on their side of the net. Not worrying so much on what the other team is going to do but making sure that they do the best at what they can control. 

“It’s not about what we need to do to stop the other team,” McDaniel said. “It’s about what we need to do to make ourselves the best possible version of us that we can be.”

After a loss to Northern Iowa the Jackrabbits are now 2-12 on the year.

The Jacks play their first home game Friday at Frost Arena against Denver on Oct. 4 at 7:00 p.m.