Jackrabbits dominate UND in home opener

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BY CARL HESLER

The Jackrabbit volleyball team won its fourth straight match in a three-set victory against UND Sept.4 in its home opener in front of a crowd of 872. Set scores were 25-20, 25-19 and 26-24. With the win, SDSU moved to 6-2, while UND fell to 3-4.

“If we play with that emotion and that much energy … we’re going to keep those students coming back, and I hope they do, because they were fantastic tonight,” SDSU head coach Phil McDaniel said.

The first set began with three points for North Dakota until SDSU got the serve at 1-3. North Dakota regained possession at 1-4 when SDSU hit the ball out of bounds, but it immediately lost its serve to a kill by Kaitlin Klingemann. The teams traded leads and possessions throughout the first set until Fiegen tied the score at 15-15with a tip over the net. From then on, SDSU never lost its lead. After UND tied SDSU at 16-16, the Jackrabbits pommelled UND with a five-point run, retained their lead despite a three-point comeback, and finished the set 25-20.

“At the beginning, we weren’t real focused when we came out, but we definitely turned it around, stopped their point run and took care of ours,” Fiegen said.

The second set began with two kills by Klingemann. From points 7 to 12 the Jacks had another five-point run. SDSU commanded a solid lead until 14-8, when UND scored a run of five points to bring the score to 15-13. SDSU returned from a timeout with a kill by Fiegen to bring the score to 16-13, and from there it never led by fewer than four points. SDSU ended the second set with a block to win 25-19.

The third set was the most intense, with seven tie scores and four lead changes. After tie scores at 22 and 23 points, SDSU took the lead with 24. UND tied it immediately afterward at 24, but then committed a service error. SDSU won the set 26-24 and the match 3-0.

Kelli Fiegen led the team with 13 kills and an attack percentage of .619, while Kaitlin Klingemann finished the night with 10 kills and a percentage of .500. Shay Birath had 14 digs, while Kelly Herrmann had 11 and Margit Hansing had 10. SDSU had 13 total blocks as a team.

“I can’t do it without my defense and my setters … it’s truly a team sport,” Fiegen said. “You can’t do it all yourself, and so their support has helped and really driven this team forward.”

McDaniel said SDSU has to keep playing at the level they did against UND to stay at the top of their game.

“I told the girls in the locker room there, that that’s got to keep them coming back,” he said.