Rally falls short for Jacks

Shane Koob

IUPUI’s Kelsey Hoefer pounded nine kills in the Jaguars’ 25-16 opening-set victory against SDSU last Friday night, and the Jacks never fully recovered after a slow start, dropping the match 3-2.

“It’s been kind of our battle this year: we came out flat again,” head coach Phil McDaniel said. “It’s been something we’re struggling with as a team.”

The Jackrabbits put themselves in a 0-2 hole by hitting a meager .194 thanks to an excellent second set by IUPUI’s Bethany Fogler, who recorded one solo block and three block assists in set two alone.

“[Fogler]’s a big strong middle, and we made some mistakes setting-wise … we just need to remind the setters that she’s a big middle and when we’re going right at her, it makes it easy for her to block,” McDaniel said. “We didn’t make her move as much as we needed to tonight.”

IUPUI came out swinging early and often, racking up 21 kills with a .419 attack percentage in set one to start out the match. The Jackrabbits looked sluggish and couldn’t develop much of a rhythm on offense.

Set two saw more of the same, with the Jacks getting down early and looking out of focus before putting up a small fight toward the end of the set, only to fall short.

McDaniel said he gave his team a “bit of a pep talk” at the break between sets two and three. It was enough to get the Jackrabbits back in the game.

Playing with a bit more urgency, the Jacks got six kills from Kelli Fiegen and five from Kaitlin Klingemann to keep the match alive with a 25-19 set three victory. Klingemann led the Jacks with 15 kills on 33 swings and only one error for a .424 hitting percentage.

Kelly Herrmann did the heavy swinging for SDSU in set four, nailing down seven kills in 11 attempts and getting some momentum back on the home team’s side with a 25-15 victory.

The momentum didn’t last long as SDSU’s first serve of the final set sailed into the net and IUPUI came back with a little fire of its own, closing out the match with a 15-11 win in set five.

Ironically enough, the cozy home environment may be one of the causes to SDSU’s slow starts.

“I think we get a little comfortable [at Frost] and then when we do that, maybe we’re not quite paying attention to some of our defensive assignments,” McDaniel said.

But McDaniel was quick to take the blame for last Friday’s loss.

“I think tonight completely falls on the coaching staff,” he said. “The players made the adjustments when we asked them to, but we have to make sure that we get them focused and get them ready to go from 0-0.”

The loss dropped the Jacks to 9-4 on the year and 2-1 in the Summit League.