Jackrabbits drop first two home games of season

By KELSEY MEGARD Sportswriter


 Jackrabbit volleyball finally got to play at Frost Arena after being on the road for the last 14 matches.

SDSU lost their first two consecutive home matches falling to Denver 3-0 on Friday night and University of South Dakota on Hobo Day 3-1.

For the Jacks first home game all season, they had a large crowd to cheer them on. 

“I thought the crowd was fantastic tonight for our home opener, I wish we would have fed off their energy a little more from the start,” head coach Phil McDaniel said. “Tonight we didn’t keep the pressure on Denver, which allowed them to stay in system most of the night, and we made too many errors at key points in the match.”

Wagner Larson led the Jackrabbits against Denver with 13 kills. Lizzie Palmer also finished with 11 digs to slow down Denver. Lexi Fowler had eight digs and kills. 

Denver’s Colleen King put up a fight with 13 kills during the match. Kate Acker, Denver, had 15 digs against the Jacks. 

The Jackrabbits went into Friday night looking to start off strong against the Coyotes winning a close first set 25-22. The Coyotes won the next three sets in a row 25-15, 25-20 and 25-18 to secure the 3-1 win.

“I thought we served the ball fairly well. I thought we kept them out of the system early on in the match,” McDaniel said. “I think what we have to get a little better at is when teams start to fight back we have to match their intensity.”

The South Dakota Showdown Series match dropped the Jackrabbits to a 2-14 overall record. 

Taira Gibson tied her career-high kills with 10 kills against the Coyotes. Lason and Kacey Herrmann both followed Gibson with nine kills each. 

Lexi Fowler helped the Jackrabbits with 12 digs during the match. Coyotes’s Kendall Kritenbrink gave the Jacks a run with 21 kills throughout the match. 

Sydney Dimke had 13 kills for the Coyotes along with teammate, Kelsey Biltoft for 11 kills. Coyotes Kaitlyn Hastings slowed the Jacks with 14 digs during the match. 

“I thought overall we were better today than yesterday, and I think we were more focused and dialed in,” McDaniel said. “We got good production out of the middles tonight and it was good to see Kacey Herrmann and Mikala Hora be successful on the outside, but we need to cut down on the unforced errors moving forward.”

McDaniel has high hopes for the rest of the season. 

“We are making some mistakes but making less than earlier in the year,” McDaniel said. “We just have to clean it up.”

The Jackrabbits take on Western Illinois