Despite dominating the first set 25-11, the Coyote volleyball team trailed behind for three sets, losing to the North Dakota State University Bison.
The first set saw non-stop kills and attacks. Junior outside hitter Hayley Dotseth led the team in kills with 14. Dotseth also left the game with 23 digs. Senior Meagan Kerns had 11 kills. Junior Rachel Schmidt had 10 kills. Defensive specialist Anne Rasmussen had the most digs with 33. Senior Brittany Jessen had the most assists with 44.
Head coach Leanne Williamson said the team played very consistently in the first set.
“We pushed from the beginning, we defended our home court at a very, very high level — we dictated the pace of the game immediately,” she said.
Williamson said the team expected NDSU to push back during the second set.
“I think it pushed us backwards a little bit,” she said. “We were never able to get to be that offensive throughout again. We were kind of on the defensive end instead of being the aggressor.”
Sophomore Mehana Fonseca finished the game with 12 digs and one assist. Fonseca said though the start of the game was strong, they couldn’t keep up with the Bison’s comeback.
“Our offense was killing it, we were really good in serve receive,” Fonseca said. “I think going into the next game, we expected them to make changes, but I don’t think we adjusted to their changes well enough.”
Senior Kelly Law had nine kills and two digs during the game. She said the team is looking to improve on the common errors made during the game.
“We came in feeling very confident that this was a match we could win, especially to beat a team 25-11 (in the first set), we expect to do that more than once and not lose in three after that,” Law said. “In the future, we want to make those changes quite a bit faster so that we can come from a point of not having to catch up constantly.”
Williamson said she’s looking forward to improving for the next game.
“I think execution offensively, making sure we’re not making errors in situations where we should be just managing the game,” Williamson said. “Being consistent with our attacking. Consistent isn’t always just scoring — it’s understanding what you can and can’t do, it’s understanding what the defense is doing on the other side and making sure that our volleyball IQ is pushing us through.”
The Coyotes take on Fort Wayne in Indiana on Sept. 29. The next home game is Oct. 3 against Oral Roberts.