Jackrabbits defeat Denver for their first Summit League tournament win since 2007

Jackrabbits defeat Denver for their first Summit League tournament win since 2007.

VERMILLION, SD (SDSU) – The South Dakota State volleyball team qualified for its first Summit League tournament since 2010 after going 10-8 in conference games.

After ending that drought, the Jackrabbits looked to break another, as they had not won a match in the tournament since winning the championship in 2007.

SDSU opened the Summit League Tournament against Denver on Thursday night at Vermillion.

The Pioneers would take a 1-0 lead in the match after winning the first set 25-19. SDSU used a 7-1 starting run to take the lead in the second, but would see that lead disappear after a Pioneer 8-2 run. SDSU would build a four-point lead twice in the set, first going up 22-18 and then 24-20. After Denver battled three consecutive set points, SDSU would finally finish second when Crystal Burk finished the set with 1 of her 11 attacks to even the match at 1.

The third set was tight from the start with neither team leading by more than 3 points until the final stretch when the Pioneers closed the set with a 3-0 streak to win the third 25-21 and take a 2-1 lead in the match. .

With their backs against the wall, South Dakota State took command early in the fourth set, building a 6-2 early lead. Denver would respond with a 9-3 run to take a two-point lead only to see SDSU respond with three straight points to regain the lead. Denver would eventually tie the set at 23, but then the Jackrabbits would win the next two points to win the set 25-23, and tie the game at 2.

South Dakota State carried that momentum into the decisive fifth set by jumping to an 8-1 lead. Denver would cut the deficit to four multiple times, but Crystal Burk finished off the game with a kill to send the Jackrabbits to the semifinals with a 3-2 win over Denver.

Chloe Stitt led the Jackrabbits with 12 kills, while Crystal Burk added 11. Ella Thompson added 9 kills, Sydney Andrews added 8, while two others racked up 7 kills apiece in the win.