After a tough loss on Saturday to a team they had previously beaten, the Coyote women’s volleyball team must bounce back and face another squad they defeated earlier in the season, Western Illinois.
The Coyotes take on the Leathernecks, Oct. 28, in Macomb, Ill.
Earlier in the year on Oct. 2, the University of South Dakota defeated the Leathernecks in four close sets, 27-25, 24-26, 25-21, 25-22. This time, the Coyotes are looking to repeat the victory on their opponent’s home floor.
Head Coach Matt Houk said playing on the road will not bother the team.
“The venue should not affect the outcome of the match,” Houk said.
Houk said Western Illinois is a more defense-minded team than offensive, so the Coyotes must be ready for some long rallies and take multiple swings to get their points.
“We can’t give them free points,” Houk said. “We have to make them work for floor.”
The team has taken great strides in certain aspects of their game since their last matchup against the Leathernecks, sophomore setter
Tori Kroll said, who set a career-high 59 assists in the last match-up.
“In practice, we’ve worked on our blocking technique, worked to press over more and our defense overall is a lot better,” Kroll said.
Another improving aspect of USD’s game is on the offensive end as well. Junior hitter Kim Bulaga, who had 22 kills in the Oct. 2 matchup, said the team is getting more hitters up which allows the offense to mix up their shots.
With the season winding down, Bulaga mentioned a few key components of the Coyotes’ game that have improved since the beginning of the season.
“We’ve made improvements in our overall team connection and communication,” Bulaga said. “We’ve come together more as a family on the court.
After Western Illionois, the Coyotes will stay on the road and take on Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis Saturday.