The 2022 fall season of sports has ended which means the volleyball and football teams are heading into the offseason.
Football Moments Throughout the Season
The football team finished their season 3-8 after starting the season with the toughest schedule in the FCS.
In their first home game of the season, they hosted the Cal Poly Mustangs on Sept. 17. The Coyote offense scored 21 points in the first quarter, all by sophomore quarterback Carson Camp with two throwing touchdowns and one rushing. South Dakota came out on top 38-21 to capture their first win of the season.
Two days before the Coyotes went on the road against Illinois State, South Dakota Athletics and offensive coordinator Ted Schlafke mutually parted ways. This left the offensive play calling to head coach Bob Nielson.
In USD’s seventh game, the Coyotes returned home for a Dakota Days matchup against No. 14 Southern Illinois. The Salukis scored on the opening drive to take a 7-0 lead over the Coyotes. The Salukis’ score went up 21-7 in the early minutes of the game.
In the last drive of the first half, Nielson benched Camp for redshirt freshman Aidan Bouman. Bouman then led the Coyotes in a comeback victory over Southern Illinois 27-24, maintaining Nielson’s perfect winning record on D-Days.
South Dakota’s second to last home game was against Missouri State. South Dakota outscored the Bears 20-3 in the first three quarters. Missouri State however, scored 10 straight points to bring the score to 20-13.
The Bears, on their final drive of the game, turned the ball over on downs, giving the Coyotes their third and final win of the season.
The Coyotes have 12 seniors that will be graduating during the offseason.. These players are Josh Manchigiah, John Bickle, Dalton Godfrey, Austin Goehring, Alex Jensen, Isaiah McDaniels, Eddie Ogamba, Parker Rickert, Michael Scott, Trevor Shohoney and Cameron Tisdale.
At the end of the 3-8 season, USD’s athletic director David Herbster announced that the university will be extending Nielson’s contract.
The Coyotes had one player on the 2022 all-Missouri Valley First team in Godfrey. Junior linebacker Stephen Hillis was on the second team and nine Coyotes had honorable mentions: Jensen, junior linebacker Brock Mogensen, sophomore defensive back Myles Harden, Bickle, sophomore wide receiver Carter Bell, Theis, wide receiver Wesley Eliodor and junior offensive lineman Isaac Erbes.
Godfrey also accepted an invitation to the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl which will be held on Jan. 28, this is the same event that former Coyote and current Kansas City Chiefs player Jack Cochrane took part in last year.
Four Coyotes were named to the Missouri Valley All-Newcomer team; Bickle, Shamori Lawrence, Bouman and Scott.
Godfrey and Jensen were also named to the Missouri Valley All-Academic Team. Camp and Mogensen were named as honorable mentions.
Since the final season game, a few Coyotes have entered the transfer portal including Camp, Lawrence and Eliodor.
Volleyball Reclaims Summit League Title
The volleyball team saw more success than the football team going 29-4 in the regular season and clinching the Summit League regular season title and Summit League Tournament title.
The Coyotes’ non-conference schedule had an outcome of 11-1 as they took on No. 4 Louisville (0-3 loss), Northern Kentucky (3-0 win), Missouri (3-2 win), Portland State (3-1 win), New Mexico (3-2 win), UTEP (3-2 win), CSU Bakersfield (3-0 win), West Virginia (3-1 win), Northern Colorado (3-2 win), Stetson (3-1 win), Cornell (3-0 win) and South Florida (3-0 win).
South Dakota then went 16-2 in Summit League play losing to North Dakota State twice. They defeated the eight other Summit League teams twice.
With their 27-3, regular season record, the Coyotes entered the Summit League tournament as the No. 1 seed and captured a first round bye.
In the second round, USD played No. 4 Denver and defeated the Pioneers in three sets to move onto the championship round against the No. 2 Omaha Mavericks.
In the championship round, the Coyotes won in three sets and secured their third straight Summit League Championship and ticket to the NCAA tournament.
In the NCAA tournament, South Dakota got selected in the Omaha region to play the No. 23 Houston Cougars.
The Cougars won the first two sets 25-14 and 25-19. USD bounced back to win the next two 25-18 and 25-23. These two set wins for the Coyotes were the first set wins in the NCAA Tournament in program history since joining the D-1 level.
In the fifth and final set, both teams were tied at 10 each. Houston then went on a 5-1 run to end the Coyotes’ 2022 season in Omaha.
Junior outside hitter Elizabeth Juhnke was named the Summit League Volleyball Player of the Year and Summit League Tournament MVP with her historical season as she broke not only the Coyotes’ single season kills record but the Summit League kills record with 677. She also tallied 392 digs, 22 assists, 19 service aces and 95 total blocks.
Fifth year senior Lolo Weideman was named the Summit League Defensive Player of the Year. Weideman averaged 4.65 digs per set which led the Summit League all season. She also dug up 586 kill attempts and had 59 service aces which were both a career best.
Head coach Leanne Williamson grabbed her third Summit League Coach of the Year title.
Junior middle blocker Madison Harms joined Weideman and Juhnke on the 2022 All-Summit League Volleyball Team. Harms tallied 309 kills, five assists, two service aces, 29 digs and 157 total blocks, all career highs.
Williamson will be losing two seniors for her 2023 season in Weideman and Aimee Adams.