South Dakota finishes ISTAP Invite with split
MONTGOMERY, AL -- South Dakota volleyball split a pair of matches to finish the season opening ISTAP Invitational with a 3-1 record.

The Coyotes lost to eventual champions Jacksonville State 17-25, 12-25, 25-21, 25-23, 15-13, and swept through Southeastern Louisiana, 25-23, 25-23, 25-15.

Sophomore Kendall Kritenbrink (Gretna, Neb.) had 27 kills, while junior Amber Aschoff (Ankeny, Iowa) had 23 kills over the two games. Aschoff was named to the all-tournament team after recording 46 kills between all four games this weekend.

“We were up and down in game one,” said head coach Matt Houk. “For two sets we played very well, but we lost momentum in game one. We bounced back against Southeastern Louisiana, which is always encouraging from a coach’s standpoint.”

Jacksonville State rallied from two sets down to give the Coyotes their first setback of the season.

Four Coyotes had double-digit kill totals against Jacksonville State, with Kritenbrink notching the most with 13. Natalie Walseth (Inver Grove Heights, Minn.) and Aschoff both had 12 kills, while Lindsey Sathre (Maple Grove, Minn.) recorded 11.

Riley Haug (Gretna, Neb.) had 24 digs and Tori Kroll (Germantown, Wis.) had 46 assists in the match. Kim Bulaga (Crystal Lake, Ill.) and Kaitlyn Hastings (New Berlin, Wis.) had strong performances with 9 kills for Bulaga and 16 digs for Hastings.

The Coyotes made quick work out of the Lady Lions behind attacks from Kritenbrink and Aschoff. Both reached double digits in kills again with 14 and 11 respectively.

Katie Bunkers (Columbus, Neb.) stepped in to lead the team in digs with 13 and Kroll had 33 assists and 11 digs.

South Dakota will travel to the North Dakota Tourney on August 31 and will start the tournament off with North Dakota at 7 p.m.

Courtesy:  University of South Dakota

Jacks fall to Valpo in five
IOWA CITY, IA -- South Dakota State dominated the second and third sets of Saturday’s finale against Valparaiso at the Hawkeye Challenge, but the Crusaders fought just hard enough to win the first, fourth and fifth sets to secure the 3-2 win by the set scores of 25-23, 15-25, 16-25, 25-18 and 15-8.

“Our offensive execution was not very crisp this afternoon. We needed to do a better job today at stressing the defense across the net, but we’ll get back after it in the gym on Monday,” head coach Phil McDaniel said. “It’s good to get two wins and now we need to get  prepared for matches next weekend.”

The loss drops the Jackrabbits to an even 2-2 on the season, while Valpo improves to 2-1, with a match against the host Hawkeyes on the slate for Saturday night.

Margit Hansing led the SDSU offense with a career-high 15 kills and added a career-high 12 digs for her first-career double-double. Kelli Fiegen added 13 kills and hit .571 (13-1-21) in the loss.

Shay Birath led all players with 24 digs. Kelly Herrmann finished with 14 digs to go along with her four kills.

Morgan Beil led a trio of Valpo players with double figure kills with 12. Ellen Vanden Berg and Kelsey Victor both finished with 11. Taylor Root led the Crusader defense with 22 digs.

Neither team could really get into system in the first set, which resulted eight ties and four lead changes. No team led by more than two points, until Valpo took a 17-14 lead midway through the set. The Jacks came back to tie the set at 22 and 23-all, but the back-to-back Jackrabbit attack errors gave the set win to Valpo.

Things turned around quickly in the second set, as the Jacks opened on a 5-1 run, and quickly turned that into a 10-3 lead that they would not relinquish, en route to a 25-15 win. SDSU hit just .192 in the set, but held the Crusaders to a .000 hitting percentage, with just eight kills and as many errors.

The third set started much like the second, with a Jackrabbit run, this time a 7-1 spurt. Valpo quickly closed the gap with a run of their own to get it to 7-6, but the Jacks regained the momentum, scoring the next eight points to take a commanding 15-6 lead.

The Jacks rolled from there, turning the 8-0 run into a 12-2 run, and never looked back in winning the third set 25-16.

The fourth set looked much like the first, with neither team building any kind of lead. The Jacks did manage to up by two points a 15-13, but Valpo answered with a 6-0 run, and outscored the Jacks 12-5 down the stretch to secure the 25-18 win and force a fifth set.

Valpo’s momentum for the fourth set carried over into the final set, as the Crusaders broke away midway through the set, and cruised to a 15-8 win in the set, and a 3-2 match win.

The Jackrabbits return to action next weekend at the Gonzaga Tournament in Spokane, Wash., starting with the host Bulldogs on Friday at 6 p.m. PT, 8 p.m. CT.

Larson leads Jacks past Chicago State
IOWA CITY, IA -- South Dakota State recovered nicely from its first loss of the season on Friday against Iowa with a dominating 3-0 sweep of Chicago State on Saturday at the Hawkeye Challenge by the set scores of 25-7, 25-14 and 25-13.

"I thought our attention to detail was much sharper today," head coach Phil McDaniel said. "We played better defensively and kept ourselves in system for most of the match."

The Jacks improve to 2-1 with the win, while the Cougars fall to 0-3.

Redshirt freshman Wagner Larson not only recorded her first-career kill in the match, she also led the Jackrabbits with 12 kills, adding four block assists and a service ace. Larson got her 12 kills on 14 swings with one error for an impressive .786 hitting percentage. Kaitlin Klingemann and Jocelyn Leichner both added eight kills for the Jacks, who finished the match with 42 kills and a .312 hitting percentage as a team.

Paula Sioto led Chicago State with five kills. As a team, the Cougars posted just 16 kills in the match, and hit -.057 as a team.

Shay Birath led the Jackrabbit defense with 17 digs and added a service ace.

Fiegen named to all-tournament team
IOWA CITY, IA -- South Dakota State senior middle blocker Kelli Fiegen earned all-tournament team honors on Saturday after leading the Jackrabbits to a 2-2 record at the Hawkeye Challenge.

"Kelli was very aggressive this weekend, and her efforts put her in great situations to succeed," head coach Phil McDaniel said."She played a solid tournament, and we look to build on that for next weekend at the Gonzaga Tournament."

The Parkston, S.D., native led the Jacks with 41 kills in 74 swings with just seven errors for a .459 hitting percentage in the four matches, adding a team-high 12 total blocks, a pair of digs and a set assist.

Hawkeye Challenge All-Tournament Team
Bethany Yeager (Iowa)
Chante' Thompson (Iowa)
Emily Coon (SEMO) - MVP
Colleen Yarber (SEMO)
Julie Shives (SEMO)
Ellen Vandenberg (Valparaiso)
Taylor Root (Valparaiso)
Kelli Fiegen (South Dakota State)
Mia Townsell (Chicago State)

Southeast Missouri State won team title with a 3-1 mark, with its only loss coming at the hands of the Jackrabbits. The host Hawkeyes also went 3-1, with their only loss coming to SEMO.

South Dakota State returns to action on Friday in Spokane, Wash., against Gonzaga at 6 p.m. PT, 8 p.m. CT.

Courtesy:  South Dakota State University