Volleyball Falls in Summit League Tournament
3 mins read

Volleyball Falls in Summit League Tournament

After clinching a share of the Summit League Regular Season title, the South Dakota Coyotes went into the tournament as the No. 4 seed as the three teams ahead of them (No. 1 Kansas City, No. 2 Omaha Mavericks and No. 3 Denver Pioneers) all had a tiebreaker over the Coyotes. 

They finished the regular season with a 18-9 overall record and a 12-4 Summit League record. They also ended the season on a five-game winning streak which included four sweeps. 

In the quarterfinals matchup in the Summit League Volleyball tournament, the Coyotes were matched up against the No. 5 North Dakota State Bison who they had previously played just eight days prior. There, the Coyotes swept the Bison with the sets going 25-16, 25-20 and 25-9, respectively. 

In the first set, the Bison got off to a fast start securing the first three points of the match as junior middle blocker Alexis Boling had two kills against the Coyotes. 

The Bison held the lead all the way up until the Coyotes went on a three-point rally to tie the set up at 19. They remained within a one to two point span which put the set into extras. 

From there, the Bison finally ended the long set after an attacking error for Coyotes’ senior outside hitter Evelyn Diederich giving the Bison a 29-27 set victory.   

In set two, the Coyotes bounced back and took a commanding lead early in the second set 14-6. The Coyotes held the lead which capped off the set 25-15 after the Bison’s senior outside hitter Ali Hinze committed an error. 

After winning their first set, the Coyotes came out in set three and took another commanding lead over the Bison as they pushed the score to 15-7 after Hinze committed another attacking error. 

The Bison rallied back in the set, cutting the Coyotes lead back down to five after back-to-back service aces from the Bison’s senior libero/defensive specialist Taylor Quan.  

Despite the Bison comeback the Coyotes were able to defend the lead and eventually win the third set 25-17. 

The fourth set was a back-and-forth affair between the two teams as neither could escape a two point lead/deficit. This continued all the way until the final points where the Bison were up 24-22 in set point. 

The Coyotes graduate middle block Brynn Paumen scored a kill against the Bison when outside hitter Lauren Jansen committed a ball handling error to make it 24-23. 

With the Coyotes in possession, freshman setter Avery Van Hook set up a left side attack for Diederich that went out of bounds giving the Bison a 25-23 set four victory pushing it to the fifth and final set. 

The Bison waited no time in the fifth set as they went on a 9-2 run to put them ahead 14-6 and match point. 

The Coyotes senior middle blocker Madison Harms stopped the Bison run putting the Coyotes down 14-7 still at match point. 

After the serve from Van Hook, the Bison were given an opportunity to score. The Bison’s senior setter and Summit League Setter of the Year Kelley Johnson set up an attack on the right side which was eventually killed by Boling to end the match and give victory to the Bison 15-7. 

The loss for the Coyotes ends their season in the quarterfinals. They will wait and see if they will be in the NCAA Tournament or the National Invitational Volleyball Championship (NIVC).

Photo Credit: Sydney Kolln | The Volante