SDSU sweeps St. Thomas, wins third-straight at home

Andrew Holtan/Register: South Dakota State’s Sydney Andrews goes up for a kill during the thrid set of a match against St. Thomas at Frost Arena on Saturday night,. The Jackrabbits swept the Tommies and Andrews had nine kills on the night.

BROOKINGS – The South Dakota State volleyball team rolled to a sweep of Summit League newcomer St. Thomas on Saturday. The Jackrabbits won by scores of 25-12, 25-11 and 25-18.

SDSU has now won three-straight home games and is 11-6 overall and 3-3 in the Summit League.

The Jacks had 47 kills on the night and had a hitting percentage of .532. All but one SDSU attacker hit higher than .463. SDSU head coach Dan Georgalas was happy with his offense.

“[Our offense] was great. I don’t know if we’ll ever be able to do that again. Kill percentage was great. Most importantly our team did a great job of playing with low error. I think we only had two attacking errors in the first two sets. It really allowed us to have confidence in our attacks,”Georgalas said.

SDSU beat Western Illinois 3-1 two days before and even though they won, Georgalas didn’t like his team’s intensity. On Saturday, Georgalas said he liked the way his team came out with fire right away.

“[The intensity] as good. It was a good execution of the scouting report. Our team did a really good job of having a 7 p.m. game on a Saturday and a lot of distractions this weekend with the alumni reunion, football game this afternoon. I thought they did a really good job of preparing practice this morning and practice this afternoon, and then being really focused at game time,” Georgalas said.

The Tommies led 12-8 in the third set when SDSU rattled off four-straight points to tie the match. UST scored the next point, but SDSU would then go on a 9-1 run to take a 21-14 lead. SDSU would not look back as they won the set 25-18.

“Service run by Akeela Jefferson was a four-point run,” Georgalas said. “Then Tatum Pickar went back and served three in-a-row. We got down four, called a timeout, we responded really well from the service line and put pressure on them. To me it was those two servers who got us back in the game.”

Crystal Burk led SDSU with 13 kills and six digs. Sydney Andrews had nine kills and six assisted blocks. Elysee Winter had seven kills and Chloe Stitt had six. Ella Thompson had five kills. Jasmine Weidemann had 38 assists and Tatum Pickar had 14 digs.

The Jacks had 44 assists and 29 digs as a team. They also had eight blocks and eight aces.

UST finished with 27 kills, but had a hitting percentage of .114. The Tommies had 26 assists and 24 digs.

The Jacks are sitting in sixth place in the conference. All of SDSU’s three conference wins have come at home. The Jacks will have a chance to make it four-straight home wins on Tuesday when they host North Dakota State at 7 p.m.

“This is right where we want to be. We could have maybe hoped for one more [win] at this point, but winning on the road is tough and we’re taking care of business at home right now. We know that this is an important three-game stretch at home and Tuesday’s match is on our mind and we’re going to be ready for it,” Georgalas said.

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