SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The USD volleyball team fought off a Kansas City comeback to earn a 3-2 match victory over Kansas City in the semifinal round of the Summit League Championship.
USD lost both regular season match-ups against Kansas City, which meant the Coyotes were looking to earn their first win of 2021 against the Roos.
“The biggest difference to me was the fifth set and the way our team handled it,” USD head coach Leanne Williamson said. “The first two match-ups, I felt that we got frazzled when they got on a run or got a big kill or ace and today we were just a little more present.”
“I think it was just a complete rematch of the games this season and we really made an emphasis on focusing on our side of the net and we were focused on us,” USD junior Madison Jurgens said. “We wanted this win for us and no one else and I think we accomplished that because of that.”
The Coyotes didn’t have the best start, however as Kansas City picked up a narrow 25-23 win in set one.
In set two, Kansas City raced out to a 7-2 lead but USD came storming back, tying the set at 15 a piece.
The Roos worked their way to a 19-17 lead, forcing a Coyotes timeout and out of the timeout, USD came out hot!
The Yotes finished the set on an 8-3 run to pickup the 25-22 win, tying the match at one.
USD carried that momentum into the third set where they cruised to a 25-18 victory.
The Coyotes continued their surge into the fourth set as they raced out to an 8-4 lead, but Kansas City dug in at that point.
“Obviously, being up two sets to one, I would’ve loved to finish it, but we expect tough matches, especially being in the Summit League Tournament,” Williamson said.
The Roos had to fight back in the fourth set and they did, earning a 25-22 set victory, tying the match at two.
Set five was back and forth as the two teams battled for the final spot in the Summit League Championship.
Late in the set, the Coyotes scored back-to-back points, earning USD a 13-11 lead.
Following a Kansas City timeout, the Coyotes were able to score two tough points and earn a 15-11 set victory, and a 3-2 match decision.
“When they (Kansas City) were making their runs, we didn’t really let it affect us and when we made those runs in return, I think it gave us that confidence that we can score that many balls in a row against them,” Jurgens said. “I think that just gave us confidence. It never let us doubt ourselves, so that was really good.”
The Coyotes were led by Sami Slaughter and Elizabeth Juhnke who each collected 21 kills, combining for 42 of the teams 64 kills.
Madison Jurgens had 50 assists and 17 digs. Lolo Weideman added 27 digs.
USD will meet Denver in the Summit League Volleyball Championship on Saturday at 2:00 p.m.
The two teams have only met once this year as the Pioneers picked up a 3-1 match victory over USD.