Summit League sweep: Coyotes secure road victories to finish unbeaten in conference
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Summit League sweep: Coyotes secure road victories to finish unbeaten in conference

Coyote volleyball wrapped up its regular season on a 24-game win streak, securing road victories over Western Illinois and Purdue-Fort Wayne on Friday and Sunday to finish a 27-1 regular season, unbeaten in the Summit League.

USD vs Western Illinois

The Coyotes tallied their 23rd straight victory, defeating the Leathernecks in four sets (25-18, 20-25, 25-16, 25-18) in Macomb, Illinois on Friday.

The Coyotes once again shined on the defensive end, limiting Western Illinois to a .135 hitting percentage for the match. Senior libero Anne Rasmussen totaled 22 digs while freshman middle blocker Madison Harms added three blocks.

As a team, the Coyotes dominated in aces, converting eight to the Leathernecks’ three. They also led in kills (54-43), assists (51-37) and digs (64-53) while Western Illinois out-blocked USD 14-5. USD also managed a .219 hitting percentage for the match, including a fourth set which saw them hitting a .355 percentage.

Junior outside hitter Sami Slaughter drove the offense, tallying 18 kills and producing her fourth match with double-digit kills in the last five.

Freshman outside hitter Elizabeth Juhnke did it all for the Coyotes, posting 14 kills, 14 digs, two assists and two blocks. This was her 11th Summit League outing with a double-double.

Sophomore setter Madison Jurgens dished 45 serves on the night along with eight digs and three aces, while senior outside hitter Elizabeth Loschen added nine kills and one block.

USD vs Purdue Fort Wayne

USD capped off the regular season in fitting fashion with a 3-0 sweep of Purdue Fort Wayne (25-23, 25-17, 25-19) at Gates Sports Center on Sunday.

Beating the Mastodons in every major statistical category besides aces, the Coyotes secured their best conference winning percentage since joining the Summit League with the win.

USD bested Purdue-Fort Wayne’s .227 match hitting percentage by hitting at a .387 percentage, their highest in a conference game this year. This included hitting .486 in the first set and .536 in the second.

The Coyotes posted a season-high 55 kills for a three-set match and tied a season high of the Summit League with 21 set kills in their opening set.

Juhnke led the way offensively with 15 kills to pair with her four assists. Slaughter finished right behind with 14 kills while Harms totaled nine kills with a .818 hitting percentage. Jurgens again led in assists, tallying 48 along with providing the team’s two aces.

Defensively, Harms captured five blocks while Loschen had three and Slaughter had two. Rasmussen again led the team in digs, totaling 22 while Jurgens and Juhnke both contributed 10.

The Coyotes, who secured a first-round bye, will take on the winner of No 4-seed Omaha (17-13, 10-6 CONF) and No. 5-seed North Dakota State (13-15, 8-8 CONF) on Saturday at 3 p.m. to open their Summit League Tournament play in Denver.