Although it had to settle for a split, the Chadron State College volleyball team continued its impressive play last weekend in front of the hometown fans.
The Eagles defeated Western Colorado in four sets Friday night, 25-14, 26-24, 25-27, 25-22, and took Colorado Mesa to five sets Saturday night before losing 25-19, 25-18, 26-28, 21-25, 15-12.
Chadron State is now 9-5 for the season and 3-3 in the RMAC.
A senior and a freshman were among the CSC leaders against Western. Senior libero Ashton Burditt of Spearfish, S.D., tied the school record for digs in a four-set match with 34 and freshman outside hitter Rylee Greiman of Windsor, Colo., had 24 kills to rank second for most kills in a four-set match.
Both of the old records date back to 2007. Jennifer Luatua was the first CSC player to come up with 39 digs in four sets and Lindsy Hesler holds the kill record of 26.
Coach Jennifer Stadler said her Eagles played aggressively and smart against Western. While Burditt and Greiman were the pacesetters in their specialties, other team members had impressive numbers. For instance, freshman setter Tori Strickbine finished with a career-high 53 set assists and sophomore Chandler Hageman had 13 kills and just three hitting errors for a match-high .435 hitting percentage.
Greiman also had 20 digs and Strickbine 16 to help with the backrow defense.
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As the lopsided scores would indicate, Stadler said the Eagles came out flat in the first two sets against Colorado Mesa, but the coach was pleased how her team rallied to win the next two sets and also were tied 12-12 in the finale.
The lead changed hands 11 times in set three before the Eagles tallied the final three points for the 28-26 victory. CSC also was tough down the stretch in the fourth set to win by four points and knot the match at two wins each.
After the Eagles tied the score at 12-12 in the fifth set, Mesa’s Katie Scherr posted three kills to give the visitors the victory. Mesa is now 9-6 overall and 5-2 in league play.
Five Mavericks finished with double digits in kills, led by junior Kasie Gilfert with 16. Chadron State was paced by senior Shelby Scouten with 13 kills and only one hitting miscue for a sparkling .414 percentage.
Greiman and Hageman each had 10 kills for the Eagles. Hageman also had four solo blocks and five that were assisted. Burditt had 29 digs and four ace serves. Strictbine was credited with 39 assists.
The Eagles will visit their neighbors to the north this weekend, playing at South Dakota Mines in Rapid City at 7 p.m. Friday and Black Hills State in Spearfish at 3 p.m. Saturday.
The Hardrockers are 7-8 for the season and 3-3 in the RMAC. The Yellow Jackets are 5-8 and 4-2.