By Brad Blume
Sports Information Director
South Dakota School of Mines
RAPID CITY --- It was a week of highs and lows for the South Dakota School of Mines athletic teams. While the Lady Hardrocker volleyball team earned two important Dakota Athletic Conference wins at home this past weekend, the SDM football team suffered a defeat in the conference opener to the Minot State Beavers in North Dakota. The men’s golf team earned third at a meet in Minot, positioning themselves for a run at the DAC title when the season picks up again this coming spring while the women finally rostered enough players to qualify as a complete team at the same meet and the cross country team represented Mines well at a meet in Dickinson, N.D., improving personal best marks and placing high in the standings.
The Hardrocker volleyball team was pretty much in a “must win” situation as Dakota State and Jamestown College came to town for conference action. SDSMT responded very well Friday night, sweeping the Lady Trojans, 3-0. The Hardrockers won the match, 30-19, 30-28, 30-23. The Rockers used that momentum to knock off the highly touted Jamestown College Lady Jimmies Saturday afternoon in one of the Hardrockers’ more competitive games of the season. Mines won the match, 3-2, by defeating the Jimmies, 26-30, 31-29, 31-29, 28-30, 17-15.
Hardrocker volleyball head coach Doug Tabbert said that the win over Jamestown was a defining moment for his team and where they are heading this season.
“This was a signature win for us,” Tabbert said. “It needs to be something we can build off of.”
In the match with Dakota State, Jenny Hiykel (a sophomore from Omaha, Neb.) proved to be a defensive asset, coming up with 30 of the team’s 86 digs and had 42 assists. Junior Agnieska Koperek (Belchatow, Poland) paced the offense with 14 kills, while freshman Amanda Cammack (Sturgis) had 11 kills. Katherine Hanson also contributed with 10 kills. Cammack also had a good day from the line, serving 20-21 with an ace. Tessa Howe (Omaha, Neb.) was a perfect 15-15 and Hiykel put up a 9-10 serving effort with three aces.
Against Jamestown, Koperek again had a huge game, tallying 25 kills and was 60-70 on the attack and went 27-28 on the serve with three aces, while Hanson was 32-39 on the attack with 16 kills. Stephanie Carpio (Yuma, Colo.) was a perfect 20-20 on the serve with an ace. Hiykel had another big defensive contribution, recording 49 digs, was 50-51 on serve receive and had 68 assists. The 49 digs recorded in Saturday’s game was a new school record that Hiykel previously held. She broke it two weeks earlier notching 46 digs.
And if beating Jamestown wasn’t enough, the icing on the cake came in the form of DAC player of the week awards. Hiykel was named the DAC Libero of the Week with her 79 total digs (9.88 per game) and three service aces. Howe also got conference accolades being named DAC Setter of the Week. Howe recorded 109 assists over the weekend (13.63 per game). She also had 32 digs, two service aces and eight blocks.
Hopefully the Lady ‘Rockers can keep their momentum, now with a 9-4 overall record and 2-3 in the conference. They are home again this weekend taking on the conference leader in Dickinson State Friday, followed by a match with Minot State Saturday night and then will host on non-conference match Sunday afternoon with Dana College, Neb.
The Hardrocker football team struggled to keep pace with a stifling Minot defense during both teams’ conference opener this past Saturday in North Dakota as the Beavers hung a shutout on Mines, 30-0.
Hardrocker head coach Dan Kratzer was extremely disappointed in how his team performed, especially in the lack of effort Mines demonstrated --- with one minor exception in senior linebacker Jake Hahn (Hay Springs, Neb.).
“He was the one shining spot in that ball game,” Kratzer said.
Hahn put forth a great defensive effort, recording eight solo tackles and assisted in 15 others to pace the team with 23 total.
“We need that from the entire team,” he added.
Kratzer did give credit to the Hardrockers’ punting game which has steadily improved, now with Travis Hardee (freshman from Phoenix, Ariz.) giving the ball the boot. He punted seven times in the game for 190 yards (averaged 27.1 and had a long of 43.
It was the SDM offense that failed to sustain any drives, going three-and-out in on number of series. Minot had 22 first downs to Mines’ 6 and the Beavers were heavy on the run, racking up 259 yards.
The Hardrocker stats weren’t very productive, but that can be expected when going against a powerful defense like the Beavers. SDM freshman running back John Henderson led the running game with 21 yards while Lucas Munsell (Mills, Wyo.) paced the receivers with four catches for 27 yards.
After Hahn’s 23 tackles, teammate Jordan Jeremiah (freshman from Phoenix, Ariz.) tallied 12 tackles (5 solo 7 assisted) and Kyle Kurth (junior from Pierre, S.D.) tallied 10 tackles (7 solo, 3 assisted).
“Minot had a great defense,” Kratzer said. “I think throughout the ball game they just wore us down.”
The loss drops South Dakota Mines to 1-3 on the season and 0-1 in conference play. The Hardrockers will next face Black Hills State Saturday to wrap up their “M” Days homecoming on Dunham Field at O’Harra Stadium in Rapid City.
The Hardrocker men's cross country team finished a close second to the host Dickinson State team last Saturday in North Dakota at the Blue Hawk Invite.
Freshman Nate Hicks (Utica, S.D.) again led the Rockers with his third-place finish as the team fell one point short of defeating the Blue Hawks.
Hicks was followed by Shane Hague, New Underwood, (seventh place in a time of 28:32), Colton Reid, Colstrip, Mont., (eighth, 28:35), Kyle Kattke, Black Hawk, S.D., (10th in 28:50), Andy Lein, Gordon, Neb., (12th in 29:06), and freshman Marcus Moor, Kadoka, S.D., finished 15th in 30:13 to round out the team scoring.
"The men ran very well (Sept. 23rd) and showed big improvement since our home meet two weeks ago", said Hardrocker head cross country coach Jerry Schafer. "Nate continues to run strong, for a freshman, and our upperclassmen are beginning to close the gap with him. I am anticipating having a solid pack by the end of the season.
“Shane and Nick both got out early and tried to run with Dickinson's top two men. I think that hurt them a little this early but they'll have to go out like that at the end of the season to be successful. Colton and Andy really finished strong and passed people they had to for us to have a shot at the team title".
Samantha Diede (Huron) and Molly Tobin (Lincoln, Neb.) continue their improvement in the women's division, each running personal best's for 5K, despite the strong winds.
Diede finished seventh in a time of 22:00 and Tobin finished 12th clocking a 22:48.
"I was excited to see the women be so competitive out there", said Schafer. "They fought for every place".
Both women improved their times from two weeks ago by over a minute with Diede running 1:45 faster and Tobin running 1:28 faster.
The Hardrockers are off this weekend but will resume competition at Black Hills State on Oct. 7 in Spearfish.
The South Dakota School of Mines men’s golf team put themselves in a good position to make a run at the conference team title after securing third place at the most recent DAC event --- the Minot State Invitational Sept. 24 and 25 in North Dakota.
The Hardrockers finished the meet with a two-day score of 632 (312-320). That score also puts them in third place in the conference standings. Dickinson State won this past weekend’s event (614) and also sits a top the conference standings.
Individually, Quentin Patterson (a junior from Sioux Falls) paced the ‘Rockers carding an 80 on Day 1 and rebounded for a 73 in the second round for a total of 153 and a share of fourth place. Teammate Hank Tanner (senior from Casper, Wyo.) was just a stroke back with a 154 (76-78) and tied for sixth place.
Minot’s Jordan Kelly won the individual medalist honors with a 147 and teammate Luke Dailey took second with a 148.
As for the rest of the Hardrockers, Brandon Eisenbraun (freshman from Yankton, S.D.) finished the 36-hole tournament with a 160 (77-83), Brad Schaack (sophomore from Vermillion) ended with a 165 (79-86), Luke Johnson (a senior from Webster, S.D.) totaled a 167 (81-86) and Brian Davis (a sophomore from Lead) rounded out the scoring with a 178.
As for the Lady Hardrockers, South Dakota School of Mines finally had enough in the lineup to qualify a complete team. SDM’s two-day score was 906. After tallying 465 strokes on Sept. 24. the ‘Rockers shaved 24 strokes off their Day 2 round with a mark of 441.
Individually, Hardrocker senior Lisa Steever (Custer) tied for third place with a 36-hole score of 172. She was very consistent with an 87 on Day 1 followed by an 85 on Day 2. Megan Fisher of Dickinson won the individual title with a 160 and Black Hills State’s Jaime Bentley was second with a 164.
As for the rest of the Hardrockers, brand new addition Emilia Juhl (freshman from Laverne, Minn.) carded a 225 (112-113), Jodi Kaup (sophomore from Black Hawk, S.D.) finished with a 252 (131-121) and Stephanie Leber (sophomore from Dell Rapids) ended with a 257 (135-122).
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