The Coyotes (9-1) won all three matches at the South Dakota Classic inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center over the weekend, defeating UC Davis (6-4), Wyoming (4-5) and Iowa (5-3).
USD vs Iowa
USD welcomed their first-ever Big Ten opponent to the SCSC Saturday as they defeated Iowa in a five-set thriller 25-17, 15-25, 25-18, 21-25, 20-18.
Freshman outside hitter Elizabeth Juhnke led the game with 26 kills, achieving team-high 152 for the season.
“It was so much fun,” Juhnke said. “We really connected as a team, we didn’t separate, we really focused on our side, we weren’t worried about who was on the other side, we had a blast.”
Junior outside hitter Sami Slaughter racked 17 kills with Elizabeth Loschen following with 12 to give both women season highs.
“This is a Big Ten team,” Slaughter said. “We probably weren’t expected to win, but here we are, and we just played our hearts out and we’re dedicated and that’s gonna take us a long way.”
Sophomore setter Madison Jurgens aided the Coyotes with 55 of the 63 assists and still snuck three kills on the Hawkeyes.
“I thought [Jurgens] put up perfect balls for me to hit all over the court, no matter where the pass was, she was just putting up great balls making it really easy for me,” Juhnke said.
Juhnke was named to the all-tournament team following the game, along with Slaughter and tournament MVP Rasmussen.
As a team, the Coyotes managed 70 kills, 11 blocks and 79 digs, 30 of those digs helping Rasmussen reach a season-high and bringing her season total up to 150 digs.
“I think that we can’t get comfortable where we are now,” Juhnke said. “I think we have to go into each game knowing that everybody’s gonna give their best effort to play us and I think just staying disciplined in practice, working to get better every time.”
USD vs UC Davis
USD’s secured a 3-0 sweep on UC Davis on Friday to open the weekend, taking sets 26-24, 25-22, 25-17.
The Coyotes led in kills (47-33), assists (42-32), and hitting percentage (.317-.168).
Senior outside hitter Elizabeth Loschen and Juhnke led the team in kills with 11 while Slaughter added 10. Jurgens dished out 40 assists in the contest.
Sophomore middle blockers Maddie Wiedenfeld and Claire Gerdes led the charge defensively, both achieving four blocks.
USD vs Wyoming
After losing the first set 24-26, the Coyotes fired back to beat Wyoming in the team’s second game of the day, winning sets 25-14, 25-15, 25-13.
USD took control after the first set, dominating in hitting percentage at .468 to Wyoming’s .129.
“We were extremely motivated because the only reason we lost the first set was because of our errors on our side of the net. We knew that wasn’t our standard and we needed to clean it up. Therefore we just came out with a lot of fire that second set,” Slaughter said.
With 19 kills and a .484 hitting percentage, Juhnke had a match-high and Jurgens boasted 49 assists.
Slaughter totaled 16 kills and a .600 hitting percentage while Loschen followed with nine kills.
Rasmussen successfully had 22 digs and surpassed the 1,500 career dig mark in the match.
The Coyotes will look to continue their winning ways as they travel to Peoria, Illinois to compete against Northern Iowa and Bradley in the Bradley Classic on Friday, Sept 20.