Coming off a pair of 3-2 losses against Kansas City, the USD (10-3) volleyball team faces Western Illinois (2-12) as their last regular-season matchup this weekend before heading to the Summit League Tournament.
The Summit League Tournament will see teams from across the league compete April 2-3 inside the Pentagon for a chance at an automatic bid into the NCAA Division I Volleyball tournament in Omaha.
The Coyotes have seen consistent wins over key Summit League schools like Denver and North Dakota State, however, after dropping a match to Omaha and losing two matches to Kansas City the Coyotes are looking to finish second in the conference during the regular season.
Head Coach Leane Williamson said heading into the tournament the team is focusing on getting a little bit better every day.
“I think we’ve been dedicated to just getting a little bit better and I don’t think that there’s like a specific area of the game where I feel like we have to make these massive strides at this point in time,” Williamson said. “I feel like so much of it at this point in time in the season, especially like going into a weekend- is just cleaning a few things up, playing a little bit cleaner and transition service or receiving at a high level. But just continuing on that upward trajectory that we are getting better every single day.”
Williamson also credits the entire team for stepping up throughout different situations the team has been put into.
“I think every match we’ve had two to three players that may be lead our team and it might not always be in total kills but it’s hitting for a really high percentage,” Williamson said. “ I think you know our middles have done a really good job and I really think Aimee Adams has come along as of late and has done a really good job here these last couple of weeks of just being extremely consistent. I think that consistency is huge for us. Another person, Lolo [Weideman], our Libero improved greatly throughout the season and is really just understanding kind of what that Libero position entails and how she can impact the team in a lot of different situations.”
The team has a lot of depth they have a lot of people that are contributing and that edge is something that makes the team harder to defend, Willaimson said.
With two weeks left before the trip to Sioux Falls for championship play the team is working to become the best version of themselves, Williamson said.
“Compared to where we started, here you know it’s the beginning of January, this team is a lot different than that,” Willaimson said. “That’s exactly what we want to see year in and year out. For us, it’s just to be the best if we continue to focus on each practice and we continue to take advantage of every opportunity that we have to get better with reps and then get better with an opportunity to play other opponents. We’re going to set ourselves up to be in a really good situation for the conference tournament.”