SDSU rallies from two sets down


The Jackrabbits came from behind against the Green Bay Phoenix to take their first match 3-2 at the Jackrabbit Invitational volleyball tournament Sept. 7.

After dropping the first two sets to the Phoenix in a pair of close but disappointing losses, the Jacks roared back from the intermission to crush their opponents in each of the last three sets. Led by Kelli Fiegen and Kaitlin Klingemann, the Jacks won the third set by six, the fourth by eight, and the fifth by eight.

The first set was the hardest fought of the match, with a total of four lead changes before the Jacks fell 26-24. The second was just as close, with the Jacks battling back from a seven-point deficit before being edged out by the Phoenix 25-23.

“I don’t think we were playing like we did on Tuesday, we were a little flat,” said SDSU libero Shay Birath.

According to SDSU head coach Phil McDaniel, the Jacks lost control of the first two sets.

“At intermission we talked about not letting Green Bay control the pace of the game … they were kind of slowing things down and the pace just wasn’t our speed,” McDaniel said.

The Jacks found their feet in the third set. Coming out of the intermission strong, they took an early lead that they held for the whole set. They ended the set with three points back to back to win 25-19.

“We just got fired up, this was our first game for our tournament and we wanted to make sure to get the win so we had good momentum going into tomorrow,” said SDSU middle blocker Kaitlin Klingemann.

The fourth set was more lopsided. The Jacks were the first to score, landing three unanswered points in quick succession and eventually expanding their lead to as many as 10 points before ending the set 25-17. Buoyed by a vocal student section and tied 2-2, the Jacks came out swinging. Scoring the first points of the match and piling kill on top of kill, they gained a commanding lead before ending the set 15-7 over the Phoenix.

“The game plan was set and pretty solid and I think once we bought in and hopped onboard, we were fine,” McDaniel said.

The Jacks were led on offense by Klingemann and fellow middle blocker Kelli Fiegen, who had 18 and 14 kills, respectively. On defense, Birath added 31 digs to the team’s total of 88.