Volleyball season is in full swing and the Coyotes are rolling with win after win. USD is 15-2 in the season and are undefeated, 4-0, in Summit League play. After opening Summit League play at 2-0, the Coyotes took down North Dakota State last Friday in straight sets.
“We have seen good competition and the team just needs to continue to put everything into the game and give it their all,” Lauren Mattison, a sophomore for the Coyotes, said.
The match saw junior Brittany Jessen post a match high 43 assists and senior Audrey Reeg notch 20 kills.
As the team puts everything into each game, they’re not looking too far into the future.
“The team is just taking one game at a time, they don’t look too far ahead on the season and just try to be 1-0 each day,” said head coach Leanne Williamson.
Taking it one game at a time is important as the Coyotes get into Summit League play.
“We have to expect all teams that we play to be good, we have to raise our level of play against challenging teams so that we are able to come out on top and take skills from these games so that we can maintain our playing level and improve from the last game,” Williamson said.
This mentality came into effect when the Coyotes traveled to Brookings to take on South Dakota State University. USD and SDSU split the season series last year, but this year USD got off to a good start. The Coyotes swept the Jackrabbits in straight sets to take the first leg of the home and home series. USD took the sets 25-19, 25-19 and 25-15. Jessen notched a match high 39 assists, while Reeg totaled 14 kills.
“The girls just have to keep the good things high and improve on the low things and the season will continue to be in our favor,” Williamson said. “We can’t change what we are doing dramatically and we just focus on improving each day at practice and getting better.”
Part of their success is due to the fact that the team is a unit.
Mattison also said the team’s chemistry on and off the court is perfect. They are all able to hang out outside of volleyball and really come together as a team even when they aren’t in the volleyball setting. And when they are, each player is able to contribute to the team.
Williamson also said the Coyotes have the ability to control the game against a good team. When the team plays good completion there is higher expectations and the team together can’t let the teams in and have to start strong and have a good energy level right from the beginning.
“This team is different from last year, we know what we are capable of achieving and we put in the extra time and practice this summer so that we’re able to show everyone what type of team the Coyote women are,” said senior Lindsey Brown.
With seven games left to play at home, the team is enjoying the use of their new venue.
“The team has always been a good team even in the old venue. We had the team and now we have the great facilities to show off the team,” Brown said. “It is a rewarding feeling getting to play in the new complex and being a good team playing there is even better.”
The Coyotes will take on IUPUI on Friday, Oct. 7 at 5:30 p.m. and then Fort Wayne on Saturday, Oct. 8 at 6 p.m. in the Sanford Coyote Sports Complex for Dakota Days.