NDSU starts slow, and never recovers in a 3-1 loss
The North Dakota State University women’s volleyball team lost a Summit League match to the South Dakota State University Jackrabbits, 3-1, on Tuesday at the Bentson Bunker Fieldhouse. It was only NDSU’s third loss since Summit League play began on September 22nd. The loss put a dent in the chase for a league title for the Bison (17-8, 10-3 Summit).
The Jacks, who entered the contest at 10-12 overall and 4-6 in Summit League play, were winless since defeating St. Thomas University 3-1 on October 8th.
The Bison, who came into the match with a four-game win streak, didn’t look the part. Senior Kelley Johnson said the match was a great teaching moment.
“I think we fought really hard,” Johnson said. “And we’re definitely going to take this, turn around and fight even harder next time.”
The Bison controlled most of the first set, but the Jackrabbits came knocking at the door. SDSU jumped ahead of the Herd for a 15-14 lead after a kill from Sydney Andrews. The Jackrabbits held the Bison at bay with the lead and won the set, 25-23.
The Jackrabbits lead throughout the second set until a pair of errors gave the Herd a 14-13 lead. The Bison started to heat up after taking the lead with huge kills from Michelle Glover. Junior Ali Hinze closed out the set with a powerful kill to finish off the set 25 – 21.
SDSU dominated throughout the third set. The Jackrabbits outperformed the Herd in all facets during the set and won, 25-17.
Twists and turns were riddled throughout the fourth set, with six lead changes and 13 tie scores. The Bison retook the lead late in the fourth set at 20-19, after a kill from Johnson. The Jackrabbits retook the lead late in the set at 23-22 and sealed the deal. SDSU won the set at, 25-23, and the match 3-1.
Despite an unfortunate outcome, Johnson said the team put in a worthy effort.
“Our team fought really hard,” Johnson said. “We played hard volleyball for every single point as best as we could.”
Johnson helped the team score with 46 assists. Hinze also recorded a commendable 14 kills and 24 digs on the night. First-year student Ally Barth tallied 13 kills and five blocks. Senior Syra Tanchin had six blocks and twelve digs in the match.
The Bison still control their own destiny. With the loss, they are currently tied with Omaha in second place, one game behind the front-runner, South Dakota. Both Denver and North Dakota are one game behind NDSU and Omaha. All five of these teams remain on NDSU’s schedule.
Johnson said a week of practice will get the team focused for the next game. The team travels to the Betty Englestad Sioux Center for a 4 p.m. Saturday matchup against the University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks. The Bison will return to the Bentson Bunker Fieldhouse on November 10th & 12th to face Omaha and Denver, respectively. Student tickets are available at GoBison.com/Students.
“We played them once this season,” Johnson said on UND. “So, we should be ready and know how to prepare for this game.”