The Coyote volleyball team swept rival South Dakota State University in three straight games to give them a share of the Summit League title. USD shares the title with the Denver Pioneers who defeated North Dakota State University to help clinch their share.
USD welcomed the Jackrabbits to the Sanford Coyote Sports Center for senior day last Saturday.
SDSU gave them little problems in the first set as USD cruised to a 25-11 victory. The second set saw the Jackrabbits’ struggles continue as the Coyotes won again this time 25-15. In the third set SDSU had life and fought back, but to no avail. USD took the third set and the match with a 25-23 win.
Junior Brittany Jessen led the match in assists with 38. She also tallied 12 digs. Freshman Elizabeth Loschen led the Coyotes in kills with 14. Senior Audrey Reeg also had a strong match with 1o kills and 11 digs to her name.
The win was the Coyotes’ second of the year over SDSU. They swept the Jackrabbits in Brookings earlier in the season. USD finished the regular season with a record of 24-6 overall, 13-3 in conference play. This is a vast improvement over last year’s 15-16 overall and 8-8 Summit League records.
Along with the Summit League recognition, sophomore Lauren Mattison earned individual honors as she was awarded Summit League Defensive Player of the Week. This is Mattison’s first Summit League honor. The award comes after Mattison notched a career high 27 digs against Denver and 17 against SDSU.
USD’s strong regular season performance not only gives them a share of the Summit League title, it also gives them a first round bye in the Summit League Tournament.
The Coyotes will face the winner of third seed NDSU and sixth seed Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis on Saturday. USD swept IUPUI in both matches they played this year, while they split their season series with NDSU. USD swept the Bison in Vermillion, but fell 1-3 (25-19, 16-25, 22-25, 27-29) on the road in Fargo.
The other first round match sees fourth seed Fort Wayne and fifth seed Oral Roberts face off. The winner of the match advances to play the top seeded Denver Pioneers, who are also hosting the tournament, on Saturday. The winner of that match will face the winner of USD and IUPUI/NDSU.
The Summit League Tournament runs from Friday, Nov. 18 to Sunday, Nov. 20.