Buy-in and balance fuel Coyotes’ run


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The USD volleyball team hasn’t lost a match since early September, and Sunday’s win over Purdue Fort Wayne extended its program-record win streak to 16.

Sixteen wins in a row is impressive no matter who you play. But when you factor in that USD has beaten Big 10 foe Iowa, conference power Denver on the road, and started Summit League play 8-0 , it makes their run even more remarkable.

“I think it would be easy to become a little bit complacent, but this team has been far from that. Film sessions, they continue to be engaged, they continue to be very focused on what they need to do as individuals which ultimately improves the team,” Head Coach Leanne Williamson said.

That buy-in has been present since before this season even started.

“Our entire team was here over the summer at some point in time. Even our freshman came in early. For them to feel comfortable with each other day one of preseason, I think says a lot, and is a big indicator of actually why we’ve had the success that we’ve had,” Williamson said.

Helping lead to that success has been a balanced attack, with four players averaging more than two kills per set.

“That makes us really hard to defend. It makes the other team have to stay with their block, and not just hone in on one hitter. But it also helps us as hitters, because we’re going to have one-on-one block situations a lot of the time,” Senior Elizabeth Loschen said.

While they’re happy with their play so far, USD continues to focus on what immediately lies in front of them, as they have their sights set on a return trip to the NCAA tournament.

“Being done with the first half of conference, we know who our opponents are going forward. So to keep that focus, and make the changes that we maybe didn’t do the first time around in conference will be really good for us. To go another 8-0 would be really awesome,” Senior Anne Rasmussen said.

The Coyotes own a 2-game lead in the Summit League standings at the halfway mark of conference play. They’ll open the second half Friday at Oral Roberts.

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