MADISON, S.D. - The Dakota State University volleyball team returned home for the first time this season. The Trojans hosted Black Hills State in the DAC conference season opener at the DSU Fieldhouse. DSU fell short to the Yellow Jackets 3-1 (25-17, 15-25, 26-24 and 25-22).
The Trojans dropped their overall record to 5-10 and 0-1 in the DAC conference. The Yellow Jackets, 2009 DAC's tournament champion, raised their record to 6-12 and 1-0 in the conference.
Both teams tied five times in the early first set. The Yellow Jackets went on a 16-8 closing run to take a 25-17 first set victory.
The Trojans started the second set with a 6-0 run. DSU continued to expand to their largest lead at 23-10. The Yellow Jackets used a 5-0 run before the Trojans closed the second set with a 25-15 win to tie the match at one apiece.
With BHSU leading at 17-12 in the third set, the Trojans rallied to tie the set at 17-17. Dakota State went on to lead at 24-22. A Trojan service error and a kill by BHSU's Brittani Casados tied the set at 24-24. A service ace by Yellow Jacket's Maggie O'Neill and a kill by Amy O'Neill helped BHSU clinch the thrilling third set win. BHSU closed the third set with a 5-0 run.
The Trojans opened the fourth set with three straight points by BHSU's killing errors. The Yellow Jackets rallied to tie the game at 5-5. With BHSU leading at 6-5, the Trojans reeled off eight straight points to regain the lead at 13-6. Then, the Yellow Jackets used a 13-6 run to tie the set at 19-19. BHSU secured the fourth set win with a 6-3 closing run for a 3-1 match win over the Trojans.
Dakota State suffered 13 service errors in the match compared to the Yellow Jackets' eight. The Yellow Jackets had a 91.2 percent serving accuracy compared to the Trojans' 83.3 percent.
BHSU outhit the Trojans 41-34, but the Trojans had a better killing efficiency (.183-.105). BHSU had nine service aces compared to Trojans' five.
Mandy Baxa led the Trojans' offense with nine kills. She had five block assists. Ashley Schulte added seven kills and three block assists. Stephanie Kruggel contributed 19 set assists. Mollie Merriam recorded a double-double of 14 assists and 11 digs.
Amy Pheneger had 14 digs for the Trojans. Mandi Atkins added 12 digs.
For Black Hills State, Maggie O'Neill had 14 kills and four service aces. Kayla Drieling added nine kills and four block assists. Tori Lounsbery recorded 29 assists.
Brittani Casados had 14 digs for the Yellow Jackets' defense.
Dakota State will try to bounce back in the winning column as the Trojans continue their five-match home stand Saturday. The Trojans host South Dakota School of Mines at 3 p.m. The match will be held at the DSU Fieldhouse. Parents will be recognized prior to the match.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director