DEKALB, Ill. — The South Dakota State volleyball team went 2-1 at the Huskie Invitational this weekend.
The Jackrabbits lost their first game of the tournament to Illinois-Chicago, then swept Northern Illinois and New Jersey Institute of Technology.
• UIC 3, SDSU 2
Crystal Burk had the 39th double-double of her career in the opener, scoring a team-high 17 kills to go with 11 digs. Katie Van Egdom added six kills and 13 digs in her SDSU debut, while Ella Thompson and Elyse Winter had five kills apiece.
Raegen Reilly also had a double-double, giving 26 assists and totaling 26 digs in his first game as a Jackrabbit. Winter and Sydney Andrews competed in five blocks each.
After SDSU tied a set at 10 with a 4-0 run, UIC scored five straight points to regain the lead. The Jacks managed to come back less than two later in the set but lost 25-19.
The Jacks controlled set two early with a 13-6 lead behind two kills apiece by Burk and Winter. UIC recovered just two points at 22-20, but the Jacks closed the game with three straight points.
SDSU hit .412 in the third set, paced by six kills on Burk’s seven punches. SDSU took a 5-1 lead and held off the Flames the rest of the set for the 25-20 victory.
The State offense again struggled in sets four and five as the team was held to five kills in both games. UIC won set four 25-15 and set five 15-10. Martina Delucchi had 21 kills for the Flames to lead all players.
• SDSU 3, NIU 0
The Jackrabbits battled through two sets of extra runs to sweep Northern Illinois in Game 2 of the day.
The Jackrabbits won the first set, 25-20. Anna Nerad knocked down two service aces on a 9-2 SDSU run and Thompson hit .714 in the set with five kills and no errors on seven kills.
After a 5-0 start for two sets by the Huskies, SDSU used a 6-1 stretch to lead 8-7. The teams traded points until the Huskies scored five in a row to move up 19-16. The Jacks responded with five straight runs, highlighted by an ace from Thompson. Trailing 23-24, the Jacks scored the last three points of the set for the 26-24 victory.
The third set was another back-and-forth affair that featured 15 draws and ended in a 28-26 victory for SDSU. The Huskies looked to force set four with a 25-24 lead but made a service error and gave up an ace to give the Jacks a 26-25 advantage. After NIU tied the set against at 26, a Huskie error and Jackrabbit kill ended the match in favor of the Jackrabbits.
Burk recorded another double-double, the 40th of his career, with 20 digs and 13 kills, both team highs. Thompson added nine kills to a .333 clip. Anna Nerad and rookie Masa Scheierman managed eight wins each. Nerad also had two ace serves.
Like Burk, Reilly again scored a double-double. She had 33 assists and 11 digs. She also had four wins. Libero Jadyn Makovicka had 16 digs and three assists. Scheierman and Andrews participated in four blocks.
• SDSU 3, NJIT 0
South Dakota State Volleyball (2-1) won its second straight sweep Saturday, knocking out NJIT (0-3) in three sets, 25-19, 25-13, 25-11, in the final Huskie Invitational team game. .
SDSU beat the Highlanders .375-.030 and had a 44-23 advantage in wins. Crystal Burk managed a team best 14 kills and posted an attack rating of .480 (14 kills – 2 errors – 25 kills). She also had nine digs, one block and one ace.
Annalee Ventling-Brown made the most of her first appearance of the season, hitting eight kills while reaching .700 (8 kills – 1 error – 10 kills). The second also counted five blocks. Ella Thompson finished with eight kills and Anna Nerad added five.
Setter Raegen Reilly had 33 assists for the Jacks and had six digs and an ace serve. Libero Jadyn Makovicka recorded 14 digs, four assists and an ace. The Jackrabbits had a 5-1 advantage in aces, led by two from Carly Wedel.
After going through the majority of the first set, the Jackrabbits found their rhythm late and finished the match on a 5-1 run to win 25-19. SDSU dominated the second set early on, scoring four of the first five points, then chained eight in a row to take a 12-2 lead. The Jacks won the second set 25-13. State only trailed early in the third set before a 6-1 run gave the Jacks an 8-5 lead. State scored nine straight points to take a 23-10 lead and finished the game 25-11.
SDSU returns to Brookings next weekend for two games against Eastern Washington at Frost. The Jacks will face the Eagles at 6 p.m. Friday night at 11 a.m. Saturday.