Volleyball heads to Des Moines for three matches
Three matches into the season, the young Jackrabbit volleyball team heads to Des Moines, Iowa this weekend for three matches at the Drake Invitational looking for their first win of the season.
The Jacks open the tournament on Friday against Eastern Illinois at 5 p.m., and then returns to action for two matches on Saturday, starting with DePaul at 11 a.m., before wrapping up the weekend against the host Bulldogs on Saturday at 7 p.m.
SDSU got off to a rough start to the season last weekend at the North Dakota Classic, where they dropped all three matches by the same 3-0 score. The Jacks opened the season against No. 15 Iowa State, and then played Texas A&M, a team that received votes in the AVCA Preseason Coaches Poll. The tournament came to a close against North Dakota, who returned all of its starters from the 2012 season.
Head coach Phil McDaniel, the head coach at Drake from 2008-10, noted that his young squad of Jackrabbits learned plenty of lessons in the opening weekend, and that should translate into a better showing.
"I expect a different intensity and focus with our team this weekend," McDaniel said.
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THE JACKRABBIT INSIDER ON KELOLAND-TV – Fans of South Dakota State Athletics can get a weekly behind-the-scenes look at all 21 Jackrabbit varsity sports teams by tuning into "The Jackrabbit Insider.”
Hosted by Tyler Merriam, the show airs on Sundays on MyUTV at 10:30 p.m., followed by broadcasts on Sunday at 11 p.m. on KELOLAND-TV and on Fox Sports North on Tuesdays at 6 p.m.
FOWLER CLIMBS CAREER SET ASSISTS CHARTS – Senior setter Lexi Fowler started her senior season ranked ninth all-time at SDSU with 1,897 career set assists, and enters the weekend with 1,950 for her career, 16 shy of passing Stephanie Behm (1,965 set assists from 2003-05) for eighth on the all-time list.
THIS WEEK’S OPPONENTS
Eastern Illinois Panthers (1-3, 0-0 OVC) – The Panthers opened the season with four matches at the Toledo Blue/Gold Invitational in Toledo, Ohio, starting wtih a 3-2 loss to Loyola (Chicago). They rebounded with a 3-0 win over Marist, but dropped the final two matches of the weekend; falling 3-1 to West Virginia and 3-2 to the host Rockets.
The Series vs. Eastern Illinois – First Meeting
DePaul Blue Demons (3-0, 0-0 Big East) – The Blue Demons opened the season at home in the DePaul Invitational, where they finished with a perfect 3-0 mark, all of them 3-0 sweeps. The Blue Demons opened with a win over Providence on Friday, followed by wins over Chicago State and McNeese State on Saturday.
The Series vs. DePaul – First Meeting
Drake Bulldogs (1-3, 0-0 MVC) – The Bulldogs opened the 2013 campaign with a 1-3 record at the UniWyo Wyoming Invite in Laramie, Wyo. They started the season with a 3-1 loss to Stetson on Friday afternoon, but rebounded to beat Montana State by the same 3-1 score later on Friday night.
Saturday started with a 3-1 loss to Idaho, and then ended on Saturday night with a 3-0 loss to the host Cowgirls in the tournament finale.
The Series vs. Drake – The Jackrabbits lead the all-time series 8-4. Drake won the first two meetings in 1972 and in 1973, followed by Jackrabbit wins in 1975 and then seven more SDSU wins from 2004-08. Drake won the last two meetings, including a 3-0 sweep on Oct. 7, 2009 in Des Moines, Iowa, and a 3-2 win at Frost Arena in the last meeting on Oct. 19, 2010.
The Last Meeting: Oct. 19, 2010; Frost Arena – Four Jackrabbits broke or tied career-highs against Drake, but South Dakota State let a 2-0 lead slip away, as the Bulldogs rallied to win the final three sets and sneak out of Frost Arena with a 3-2 win.
The Bulldogs, then coached by current Jackrabbit head coach Phil McDaniel, improved to 19-5 on the season by the set scores of 23-25, 24-26, 25-19, 25-18 and 15-11.
Ellyce Youngren led the Jackrabbits with 19 kills; Kaitlin Klingemann added a career-high 15 kills and Kelly Herrmann 11 kills in the loss. Hermann also added a career-high 22 digs for her second double-double of the season and career.
Thyele Rechatiko set a career-high with 55 set assists in the loss and recorded her team-high 11th double-double of the season with 15 digs, while Shay Birath tied a career-high in leading the Jacks with 26 digs.
Jackrabbit blocks leader Kelli Fiegen sat out the match for precautionary reasons after suffering an injury before the match.
Alisa DeBerg Roth led Drake with 14 kills, Michelle Reidy finished with 12, Angela Bys added 11 and Whitney Westrum 10 kills in the win.
NEXT UP FOR THE JACKRABBITS – SDSU hits the road again for three matches at the FIU Invitational in Miami, Fla. The Jacks open the weekend on Friday against Jacksonville in the morning, and then play the host Panthers on Friday night. After taking Saturday off, the Jacks close the tournament against Tennessee-Chattanooga on Sunday morning.