Volleyball falls to South Dakota State to close weekend, 3-1
Sophomore Kendall Courtney tallied 14 digs to wrap the weekend for JU.
Sophomore Kendall Courtney tallied 14 digs to wrap the weekend for JU.
After the first set, the ball just didn’t bounce the JU volleyball team’s way in a 3-1 loss (25-17, 23-25, 22-25, 19-25) to South Dakota State on Saturday in the Spring Hill Suites Invitational.

The Jackrabbits (3-1) squeezed out their third win of the tournament despite only hitting .212 overall and getting better than .250 in just one set (.346, 2nd).

The Dolphins (1-3) took their third straight loss after hitting better than .300 in two of the four sets and finishing with a .225 average (49-15-151).

“We just didn’t have the best luck in this one,” JU head coach Shaun Kupferberg said. “I loved our fight in the match, but we couldn’t get over the hump. Overall, I saw things we can build on as we move forward.”

Senior Alliya Drzewiecki paced the Dolphins for the third straight match with 11 kills, while sophomore Taylor Nyquist and junior Alison Loeppky each finished with nine kills. Nyquist also matched sophomore Kendall Courtney in digs with 14.

Kelli Fiegen led the Jackrabbits’ offense with 19 kills, while Lexi Fowler had 42 assists.

In the first set, the Dolphins raced out to a 4-1 lead on a service error by the Jackrabbits. After tying four different times, JU took lead a 19-11 advantage on a kill by Nyquist to close out a 10-2 run. The Jackrabbits took six of the next 11 points, but a service error by Kaitlin Klingeman gave JU the set.

In the second set, JU took an early lead on a service ace by Nyquist and consecutive kills from senior Kathryn Kane and Loeppky. Trailing 12-6, South Dakota State tied the match with six straight points, capped on a kill from Ellyce Youngren. A kill from Drzewiecki gave JU a 16-15 lead, but a kill from Fowler wrapped a 6-1 run to give the Jackrabbits a 21-17 advantage. Late kills from Loeppky and Drzewiecki put the Dolphins’ deficit to 24-23. Youngren added a kill on the next serve to quash the JU rally and secure the set for the Jackrabbits.

In the third set, a 6-0 run by the Jackrabbits gave them an early 7-2 lead. The Dolphins cut the deficit to 11-7 on consecutive attack errors from Klingemann. A kill by Youngren gave South Dakota State a 16-9 advantage. The Dolphins clawed their way back to make it a 21-20 deficit with an 11-5 run, capped on kills by Loeppky and Courtney. After a point by Klingemann, Drzewiecki tied the match at 22-22 with back-to-back kills. The Jackrabbits snapped the late JU rally again with three straight points to take the set.

With the scored tied at sixth in the fourth set, the Jackrabbits tallied a 5-0 run, capped on a Klingeman Kill for an 11-6 advantage. Two South Dakota State errors helped the Dolphins get within two, but the Jackrabbits pushed the lead to 18-10 on a Courtney attack error. Sophomore Kylie Jacob helped the Dolphins get within two again (19-17) on a kill, but Fiegen had back-to-back kills to close a 6-2 run and help the Jackrabbits secure the win.

The Dolphins return to action on Tuesday with a match against Bethune-Cookman in Daytona Beach, Fla. at 6 p.m.