The University of South Dakota suffered their fourth consecutive loss at the hand of Creighton University Tuesday night.
After falling in the first two sets 25-18, the Coyotes fought back in the third set, winning 25-21.
However, it was too little, too wait for the now 7-9 Coyotes, as they lost the fourth set 25-21.
Sophomore Kendall Krittenbrink led all Coyotes with 17 kills on the night, with senior Kim Bulaga added another 13.
Junior Tori Kroll was the Coyotes main assist leader with 39 on the night.
Creighton was the Coyotes’ final non-conference foe of the season, with the remaining games against fellow Summit League teams.
The Summit League has not been forgiving toward the USD volleyball team.
After beginning their conference schedule 1-0, the team has dropped three straight conference games, including losses to Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne and Oakland this past weekend at the DakotaDome.
On Saturday, the Coyotes look to steer their season in the right direction as they welcome the University of Missouri-Kansas City to the DakotaDome.
Head coach Matt Houk said the team’s experience would be a factor in their recovery.
“Every team hits a low spot at some point during the season,” Houk said. “It’s just what happens, but we have a veteran team that is helping to lead the way.”
Veteran leadership will be needed when the Coyotes take on the Kangaroos, who hold a (2-2) conference record and a (9-7) record overall.
Senior Lindsey Sathre said the team has returned to the basics during practice in order to regain lost energy.
“We’ve really been changing things up during practice,” Sathre said. “We have been going with more of a pre-season mode to try and get our energy up.”
UMKC currently has two of the most efficient servers in the conference in Taryn Miller and Emily Lucas who are both ranked in the top five in service aces per set with 0.34 and 0.30, respectively.
“This is going to be a tough matchup,” Houk said. “If we focus on serving and passing cleanly, the girls will do fine. It’s really all about ball control and keeping up their energy.”
The Kangaroos will be faced with the difficult task of defending Kritenbrink, whose 4.39 kills per is the second highest in the Summit League.