USD Raises their 2022 Season Banners in Home Openers
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USD Raises their 2022 Season Banners in Home Openers

The women’s volleyball team played a three-game series starting Thursday, Sept. 7 through Friday, Sept. 8 at the Sanford Coyote Sports Center. For the first game, the Coyotes took on the Drake Bulldogs at 6 p.m on Thursday.

Drake outscored South Dakota 25-17 in the first set, but the Coyotes bounced back to claim the second set 25-20. In the third set, Drake won 25-14. South Dakota bounced back once again to win the fourth set 25-19. The fifth and final set was taken by the Bulldogs with a score of 15-9, resulting in Drake taking the win over South Dakota.

The Bulldogs were led by sophomore setter Addison Beagle, who had a season high 58 assists in the match. Sophomore outside hitter Macy Daufeldt recorded a double-double in the match with 16 kills and 14 digs. Senior libero Jada Wills led the Bulldogs with 26 digs as well.

Key players for South Dakota included junior outside hitter Kylen Sealock with 17 kills, two blocks and three aces. Senior middle blocker Madison Harms recorded 14 kills and 12 blocks on the night for her first double-double of the season. Another big contributor was freshman setter Avery Van Hook, as she recorded 41 assists in the match, one shy of her career high.

The second game of the classic took place at 11 a.m. the following day, when the Coyotes took on the IUPUI Jaguars. The Coyotes swept all three sets with scores of 25-12, 25-17 and 25-18.

Leading the Jaguars was freshman setter Grace Purichia with 23 assists, five kills and seven digs. Freshman outside hitter Ava Harris also added seven kills and four digs for the Jaguars.

Sealock had eight kills along with two blocks to secure the win. Freshman middle blocker Amanda Loschen added six kills and three blocks. Van Hook finished with a double-double as she recorded 18 assists and 11 digs.

The final game for USD started at 7 p.m. as they hosted the South Florida Bulls. South Dakota won the first set 25-17. However, the Coyotes lost the second one 25-17. They bounced back to claim the third set 25-23. South Florida responded with winning the fourth set 25-20. The Coyotes sealed their victory in the last set by a close call of 16-14, but not without a quick scare, as they were down 9-2 to start the fifth set.

Leading the Bulls were two sophomore outside hitters Maria Clara Andrade, each with double-doubles of 16 kills and 19 digs, and Buse Hazan with 15 kills and 13 digs. Also leading the Bulls was junior setter Caroline Dykes with a season high of 33 assists.

Once again, Sealock led the Coyotes in kills with her new career high with 18. She also had one block and one ace. Harms stood out with her 14 kills and five blocks. Graduate middle blocker Brynn Paumen finished the game with eight kills, seven blocks and one ace. Overall, the Coyotes went 2-1 during the classic.

The Coyotes will be back on the court on Thursday, Sept. 14 in Green Bay, Wis., as they take on their final nonconference games at the Green Bay Invite.

After the Green Bay Invite, the Coyotes will start Summit League play as they will head to Omaha to play the Omaha Mavericks on Sept. 23. This will be a rematch of the 2022 Summit League match in which South Dakota won in three sets. 

The Coyotes will then return home the following week to host the Kansas City Roos (Sept. 28) and the Denver Pioneers (Sept. 30).  

South Dakota will then head up north to face the North Dakota schools. Their first matchup will be against the North Dakota Fighting Hawks on Oct. 5, and they will follow that match against North Dakota State on Oct. 7. 

Following the matches against the Bison and Fighting Hawks, the Coyotes will return home to face the St. Thomas Tommies on Oct. 12.

After the home game, South Dakota will head south to Kansas City for their second and final match against the Roos on Oct. 14.

South Dakota will then head back to the Sanford Coyote Sports Center to host in-state rival South Dakota State (Oct. 17) and against Omaha (Oct. 19).

The Coyotes will travel on the road for three straight away games against Oral Roberts (Oct. 26), Denver (Oct. 28) and St. Thomas (Nov. 2).

After the long road trip, the Coyotes will return home for a three game homestand of their own as they host North Dakota (Nov. 4), Oral Roberts (Nov. 9) and North Dakota State (Nov. 11). This matchup against the Bison will be South Dakota’s senior day.

South Dakota will end their regular season against in-state rival South Dakota State in Brookings on Nov. 14. 

The Summit League Tournament will be held in Vermillion on Nov. 19 through the 21. South Dakota hosts the tournament this season because they won the 2022 Summit League regular season title last season.

Photo Credit: The Volante | Mia Vodicka