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    SDSU Volleyball: Jacks survive in five at Oakland

    ROCHESTER, Mich. – The South Dakota State Volleyball team struggled at times in Saturday’s Summit League match at Oakland, but they came through in the end to win the five-set afair against the Golden Grizzlies.

    “Tonight was a hard fought battle with a spirited Oakland squad. We were able to control the net play in four of the five sets, but set two got away from us a bit,” head coach Phil McDaniel said. “I was pleased to see our team respond the way we did in set four though. We passed the ball well enough to keep our middles involved throughout the entire match. Kelly, Margit, Shay and Lizzie did a very good job in the back row for us. We look forward to returning to Frost next week.”

    The Jackrabbits won by the set scores of 27-25, 14-25, 25-12, 25-27 and 15-9 to improve to 12-5 overall and to 4-2 in The Summit League. Oakland falls to 9-8 overall and to 2-4 in the league.

    Kelli Fiegen led the Jackrabbits with 18 kills and with nine block assists, as the Jackrabbits finished with a 15-10 edge in total team blocks. Kaitlin Klingemann added 13 kills in the win and Kelly Herrmann 10 kills to go with her 18 digs for her third double-double of the season.

    Shay Birath led the Jacks with 25 digs, while Margit Hansing finished with 20 digs. Birath and Lizzie Palmer both served up a pair of aces as well.

    Meghan Bray led the Golden Grizzlies with 16 kills. Brittany Holbrook added 11 and Ciara Schultz 10 kills in the loss. Bray also added 23 digs, while Alli Kirk led all players with 35 digs.

    After gutting out a win in the first set, the teams traded lopsided wins in the second and third sets. Just like the Jacks hung on to win 27-25 in the opener, Oakland returned the favor with a win by the same score in the fourth set to send the match to a fifth and deciding set.

    The Jacks fell into an early 3-0 hole in the first set, but bounced back with a 6-1 run to take a 6-4 lead, and never looked back in winning the set 15-9, and the match 3-2.

    SDSU returns home on Friday to host UMKC in Summit League action at 7 p.m.

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