Jacks add their second conference win on the court

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The South Dakota State women's volleyball team topped Oral Roberts, 3-1 (25-22, 25-21, 22-25, 25-21), on Sunday afternoon at Frost Arena.

The Jackrabbits improved to 6-18 overall and 3-9 in Summit League play, while Oral Roberts fell to 6-20, 2-10.

Mackenzie Hennen paced the Jacks with 18 kills and added 17 digs to register her 12th double-double of the season. Also posting a double-double was Crystal Burk with 12 kills and 14 digs. Ashlynn Smith added 10 kills for the Jacks. Carly Wedel and Madison Fay supported the offensive efforts with 24 and 23 assists, respectively.

Tori Thompson held a team-best five blocks, while Anna Nerad and Wedel added four each. Tatum Pickar posted a career-best 25 digs for the Jackrabbits.

Three kills from Hennen and a pair of Golden Eagle errors set the Jacks ahead 5-3 in the opening set. The score remained close until a 10-4 run, capped off by back-to-back Hennen kills, gave the Jackrabbits a 23-17 lead. Oral Roberts scored four straight to come within two points, but two kills from Thompson gave SDSU a 25-22 first set win.

The Golden Eagles opened the second set by scoring five unanswered points to take an early lead. The Jacks wouldn't trail for a long as a 12-3 run put them back in the lead. Oral Roberts came back to tie the set at 21-21, but SDSU scored the final four points, including two kills from Burk, to capture the second set, 25-21.

Similar to the prior set, ORU jumped ahead to an early 5-1 lead over the Jacks. However, this time the Golden Eagles would carry that lead throughout the set, holding a 22-15 advantage late in the third. The Jacks scored six unanswered points to cut the deficit to just one point, but Oral Roberts scored three of the final four points to take set three, 25-22, forcing a fourth set.

South Dakota State regained momentum headed into the fourth as they held an early 8-5 lead. The Golden Eagles wouldn't see a lead throughout the set, but the score remained close as they trailed just 20-19. Two kills from Smith, one from Burk and pair of Golden Eagle errors gave the Jacks a 25-21 fourth set victory, to win the match.

"I think we did a lot of good things today," said head coach Nicole Cirillo. "We've reverted back to focusing on the process and I think that's a thing that we've been able to do differently the past few nights compared to before when we were putting a lot of pressure on ourselves. We're just going back to the process of what are the things we can control and how to prepare properly for these teams in the last half of Summit League play."

South Dakota State begins a three-game road stand on Tuesday when it plays at South Dakota. First serve is set for 7 p.m.