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Volleyball heads to hunt Jackrabbits

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Volleyball heads to hunt Jackrabbits

Emma Norris returns the ball in a home game.

Emma Norris returns the ball in a home game.

Victoria Ketterer/ Courier Staff

Emma Norris returns the ball in a home game.

Victoria Ketterer/ Courier Staff

Victoria Ketterer/ Courier Staff

Emma Norris returns the ball in a home game.

Becca Langys, Courier Staff

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BROOKINGS, ND. – The Western Illinois University volleyball team (6-18) is scheduled to play against the South Dakota State University Jackrabbits (2-22) this Saturday in Brookings, ND. This will be their second matchup against the Jackrabbits this season.

Western’s volleyball team continues to struggle during their trek throughout the Summit League schedule. The Leathernecks have a record of 1-9 in conference thus far, making it, at this point in the season, impossible to climb out of their hole and into a positive record.

The Jackrabbits are having an almost equally unprosperous conference experience this season, having no conference wins under their belt. Based on records, it is hard to predict which team will come out on top, seeing as though both teams have been struggling tremendously with conference play.

Leading the Leathernecks offensively this season, red shirt freshman outside hitter Mackenzie Steckler leads Western in kills, earning a total of 197 this season so far. Following Steckler, freshman outside hitter Emma Norris closely leads the Leathernecks with 185 kills. Junior Setter Jaime Johnson leads Western offensively with 14 aces on the season so far. Johnson also leads the Leathernecks in assists with a total of 730.

Defensively, the Leathernecks continue to have a strong presence on the court. Currently, sophomore libero Claire Grove leads Western with a total of 360 digs. Closely following Grove is senior outside hitter Shalyn Greenhaw, who has earned 266. At the net, Steckler leads the team in blocks with a total of 84 this season so far. Trailing Steckler, junior middle hitter Emilee Dechant has 75 blocks under her belt for the Leathernecks.

In Saturday’s matchup, the Leathernecks and the Jackrabbits will both need to bring high amounts of energy and momentum to the court in order to increase their chances of winning the match. The overall season statistics of both teams are very closely matched. Currently, Western has a total of 970 kills, and the Jackrabbits closely follow with a total of 803 team kills.

Western defense has had a slightly stronger presence on the court this season, earning a total of 1436 digs, compared to the Jackrabbit’s 1062. At the net, Western leads the Jackrabbits yet again, having a total of 187 blocks compared to SDSU, who has earned a total of 131.

Whilst the Leathernecks tend to lead the Jackrabbits statistically, the numbers are overall still very close to each other and therefore the outcome of this game will depend greatly on the energy that both teams bring to the court.

Saturday’s big matchup between the Western Illinois Leathernecks and the South Dakota State Jackrabbits should be a very closely matched game with an equal set of skills on either side of the net. The game will very greatly depend on the amount of energy, momentum and intensity brought to the court by both teams.

Twitter: beccalangysxo

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Volleyball heads to hunt Jackrabbits