In the semifinals round of the Summit League Tournament on Friday night, the No.1 South Dakota Coyotes faced off against the No. 4 Denver Pioneers.
South Dakota defeated Denver in three sets, 25-21, 26-24 and 25-18.
In set one of the match, the Coyotes and Pioneers went back and forth all the way up until the 21-point mark. South Dakota then went on a 4-0 run to take the first set with Denver committing three straight errors.
USD captured set two 26-24. Junior middle blocker Brynn Paumen made the set-winning block which came from Denver sophomore middle blocker Hailey Green’s attack.
The Coyotes were able to pull ahead in sets 1 and 2 after trailing a majority of both sets. In set 1, USD was behind or tied to Denver from the 8-point mark until the 21-point mark. In set 2, they matched Denver’s score or were trailing from the 13-point mark to the 24-point mark.
In the third and final set, South Dakota went on an early 9-2 run against the Pioneers which was highlighted by junior outside hitter Elizabeth Juhnke who put down three kills. The Coyotes also had two four-point runs late in the set which led them to win the set 25-18.
Juhnke had a match high of 15 kills. She also had nine digs and one total block. Senior outside hitter Aimee Adams was second for the Coyotes in kills and blocks with eight and three, respectively.
Green had a Pioneer high in kills with 12. Following Green in kills was senior outside hitter Memphis Glasgow with 10.
South Dakota had a better hitting percentage as they hit the ball .224 in the match compared to the Pioneers’ .142. South Dakota also won the service battle as they had four service aces compared to Denver’s one. Denver had seven service errors compared to South Dakota’s five.
The Coyotes will move on to the Summit League Championship game tomorrow at 2 p.m. against No. 2 Omaha who defeated No. 3 North Dakota State in four sets.