By Brad Blume
Sports Information Director
South Dakota School of Mines
RAPID CITY --- The South Dakota School of Mines women’s volleyball team closed out the 2006 regular season on a North Dakota road trip this past weekend, splitting a pair of Dakota Athletic Conference matches. The Hardrockers defeated Minot State Friday, 3-1, before getting swept by the conference’s top squad --- Dickinson State, 3-0, Saturday afternoon.
In Friday’s bout, the Hardrockers defeated the Beavers, 30-26, 30-20, 19-30, 30-20.
SDM came out very strong, snatching the first two games to take a commanding lead, but stumbled a bit in the third set before regrouping to close out the match in true champion’s fashion.
“We feel we really took control of the match in Game 2,” said Hardrocker head coach Doug Tabbert. “We were pretty dominant. In Game 3, (Minot) played a lot better and we really shut down and didn’t play well at all.”
Individually, Jennie Malone (junior from Rapid City) had an impressive match, going 18-19 on the serve and made good on 31 of 33 attacks, tallied 14 kills and four blocks. As a team, the Rockers rung up 73 kills and was 159-179 on the attack. Sophomore Stephanie Carpio (Yuma, Colo.) put forth a good effort, grabbing 18 kills and going 37-45 on the attack. SDM was 101-108 on the serve with eight aces, had 86 digs and 71 assists. Sophomore Jenny Hiykel (Omaha, Neb.) contributed on the defensive end, collecting 20 digs and was 42-46 on serve receive. Sophomore Tessa Howe (Omaha, Neb.) was a solid setter netting 63 of the team’s 71 assists.
On Saturday, even though Dickinson came out on top in all three games, the Hardrockers held their own as each set remained close until the very end.
“The same thing happened in the first two games. We were even with them (on the score board) until (late in the game),” Tabbert said. “Then they would start to pull away. I felt that we were competing with them, but they just took the momentum at the end of each game.”
The main reason for Dickinson getting the upper hand was the poor play from the back row Tabbert explained. It’s was inconsistent and not at the level the Hardrockers usually demonstrate. It was corrected in the final frame, but the Blue Hawks were “dialed in” and just too much to handle.
Individually, Malone had another standout performance. The 5-foot-11-inch middle hitter was 14-15 from the serve line with an ace, made good on 21-25 attacks with 15 kills, had one block and came up with nine digs.
“She tends to give Dickinson fits,” Tabbert said of Malone. “They have a hard time defending her.”
As a team, Mines was 70-77 on the serve with four aces, made good on 89-106 attacks, had four assisted blocks, 40 assists, 41 digs and was 78-82 on serve receive.
After Malone’s effort, Howe had 37 assists and was 12-14 on the serve with an ace. Junior Agniezska Koperek (Belchatow, Poland) was 24-29 on the attack with 10 kills, had 10 digs and was 16-17 on serve receive. Katherine Hanson (freshman from Sioux Falls) had 2 assisted blocks and Hiykel went 43-45 on serve receive.
That wrapped up the regular season, giving Mines a 15-9 overall record and a 6-8 DAC mark. With that record, the Hardrockers earn a berth in the DAC post-season tournament, which starts Wednesday. As the No. 5 seed, Mines will travel to Valley City to square off with the Vikings (No. 4 seed).
“This is what you work for --- getting to the post season. Valley City is a pretty good draw for us, other than we have to drive that far. They are a team that we feel we can play with,” Tabbert said.
South Dakota School of Mines 3, Minot State 1
Hardrockers 30 30 19 30
Beavers 26 20 30 20
Serves: 101-108, 8 aces (Agnieszka Koperek (24-25, 4 aces; Jennie Malone 18-19).
Attacks: 159-179, 73 kills (Stephanie Carpio 37-45 18 kills; Malone 31-33 14 kills).
Blocks: 4 solo 10 assisted (Amanda Cammack 1 solo, 3 assisted; Malone 2 solo, 2 assisted).
Digs: 86 (Jenny Hiykel 20; Koperek 19).
Serve Receive: 84-90 (Hiykel 42-46; Koperek 19).
Assists: 71 (Howe 63).
Dickinson State 3, South Dakota School of Mines 0
Hardrockers 25 26 26
Blue Hawks 30 30 30
Serves: 70-77, 4 aces (Jennie Malone 14-15, 1 ace; Tessa Howe 12-14, 1 ace).
Attacks: 89-106, 42 kills (Agnieszka Koperek 24-29, 10 kills; Malone 21-25, 15 kills).
Blocks: 4 assisted (Katherine Hanson 2; Malone 1; Howe 1).
Digs: 41 (Koperek 10; Malone 9).
Serve Receive: 78-82 (Jenny Hiykel 43-45; Koperek 16-17).
Assists: 40 (Howe 37).
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Devereaux Library. South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.
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