ABERDEEN, S.D. – Dakota State pound out 60 kills Friday evening, rolling to a 3-1 North Star Athletic Association conference volleyball season opener victory over Presentation (S.D.) at Strode Center. Despite falling short in the opening set 25-21, the Trojans went on to win the next three sets by the scores of 25-13, 25-23 and 25-16.
Dakota State improved their overall record to 6-6 and 1-0 North Star conference record. It was the first time since the 2015 season that DSU opened the NSAA conference with a win. The Trojans also won their fifth straight meeting with the Saints, their 16th win in the last 18 meetings. Presentation suffered its first home setback this season, falling to 6-7 overall record and 0-1 NSAA conference record.
DSU plays another North Star conference contest Saturday afternoon, traveling to Lewy Lee Fieldhouse to take on Mayville State (N.D.). The junior varsity action kicks off at 12 noon, followed by the varsity action at 2 p.m.
Dakota State (S.D.) 3, Presentation College (S.D.) 1 – FINAL (21-25, 25-13, 25-23, 25-16)
DSU opened up the first set with an 8-6 lead before PC went on a 10-2 outburst to gain a 16-10 lead. The Trojans rallied back with a 6-1 run to cut the Saints' lead down to 17-16. Presentation then went on a 4-0 run to widen their lead to 21-16.
The Saints earned a 1-0 match lead after winning the first set at 25-21. Both teams had 15 kills in the opening set, despite DSU recording a hitting percentage of .300 compared to PC .263 hitting efficiency.
Dakota State dominated the second set, thanks to their 8-2 opening run. The Trojans recorded its biggest lead of the set at 24-10. Barbara Briceno closed the second set with a kill, giving DSU a 25-13 victory and knotting the match at 1-1.
DSU hit .256 in the second set (14 kills with 4 errors in 39 attempts) and held PC to minus .053 hitting percentage (6 kills with 8 errors in 38 swings).
Dakota State and Presentation went through a see-saw battle in the third set, with no lead bigger than four points by the Saints. Knotted at 23-23, Maddie Polzin smashed a kill to set up for a set point for the Trojans. Samantha Zell followed up with a kill to secure the third set at 25-23, giving DSU a 2-1 match lead.
Holding on to an 8-6 lead in the fourth set, Dakota State went on to score five straight points to open up a 13-6 lead. The Saints could get no closer than four points (14-10 DSU lead) as the Trojans used a 11-6 closing run for the victory (25-16 victory).
The Trojans outhit the Saints 19-10 in the fourth set. DSU hit an amazing .438 hitting percentage (5 errors in 32 swings) compared to PC .222 hitting efficiency (4 errors in 27 attempts).
Briceno powered Dakota State's offense with 17 kills and hit an impressive .405 in the match. She posted a double-double with 15 digs. Zell added 11 kills and recorded a match-high .455 hitting percentage. Polzin also had 11 kills. Riley Grandpre and Kelsey Pearson each added nine kills.
Rachel Johnson produced a double-double of 24 set assists and 11 digs for The Trojans. Nicole Sarringar also contributed 22 set assists and five digs.
Peyton Groft tallied 16 digs to lead the Trojans' defense. Tayler Corey added nine digs. Zell collected five block assists. Polzin, Grandpre, Pearson and Payton Johanneson each had two block assists.
Lexi Begger and Annie Jorgenson each smashed 11 kills for Presentation. Evy Peterson added seven kills. Brooke Swanson had a double-double of 17 assists and 12 digs. Allisen Nielsen tallied 18 assists.
Dakota State hit .263 in the match (60 kills with 19 errors in 156 swings). Presentation was held to .118 hitting percentage (42 kills with 25 errors in 144 attempts).
The Saints won the junior varsity match in three sets over the Trojans.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director