MADISON, S.D. - Facing a 0-2 deficit for the second time this week, the Dakota State University volleyball team completed another strong comeback win Saturday afternoon. The Trojans defeated Valley City State in a five-set homecoming thriller at DSU Fieldhouse.
It was the fourth win in the last five matches for Dakota State. DSU improved their overall record to 8-11. Valley City State lost their second straight match and dropped their record to 6-13.
VCSU raced to a 6-1 lead in the opening set. The Trojans answered back with an 8-3 run to tie the first set at 9-9. With VCSU leading at 16-15, the Vikings recorded four straight points to extend their lead to 20-15. Valley City State won the first set by the score of 25-21.
The Vikings jumped to a 16-11 lead in the second set. VCSU won the second set 25-17 to grab a 2-0 match lead.
Dakota State started the third set with an 11-6 lead. Valley City State trimmed their deficit to three points in three occasions (14-11, 16-13 and 21-18). The Trojans scored the final four points of the third set to score a 25-18 win to trim VCSU's match lead to 2-1. DSU outhit the Vikings .500-.094 in the third set.
The Trojans jumped to a 13-4 lead in the fourth set. VCSU was able to trim Trojans' lead to 20-14, but DSU won the fourth set 25-18 to force the fifth and deciding set.
DSU went on to lead at 5-1 in the deciding set. The Vikings answered back and tied the final set at 5-5. With the Trojans lead at 10-8, the Trojans used a 5-3 closing run (15-11) to secure the match victory.
It was the second time this season both VCSU and DSU went to five sets (previously at the Corn Palace on Sept. 2 won by Valley City State).
Stephanie Kruggel had 20 kills for Dakota State with a killing percentage of .475. Kristen DiPaola added 17 kills. Lauren LaBar had 10 kills. Stacey Schuller produced 45 set assists.
Katie Green led DSU's defense with 15 kills. Mandi Atkins added 12 digs. DiPaola had two service aces. Caitlin Pick recorded two solo blocks and two block assists.
Four VCSU players recorded in double digit kills. Rebekah DePesa and Jill Noeske each had 13 kills. Aurissa Martens had 11 kills. Kadee Melby recorded 11 kills. Anna Neufeld had 46 assists.
Mardee Lander had 16 digs for Valley City State. Neufeld added 14 digs.
VCSU had one more kill than the Trojans (60-59) in the match. The Vikings committed 26 attack errors compared to DSU's 20.
The Trojans had five service aces compared to the Vikings' four.
Dakota State concludes their three-match home stand on Wednesday night. The Trojans welcome Presentation (S.D.) at DSU Fieldhouse in both teams' second meeting of the season (DSU won the first meeting in three straight sets (25-11, 25-13 and 27-25) on Sept. 14 in Aberdeen, S.D. ). First serve is set for 7 p.m.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director