USD volleyball is going dancing, as the Coyotes earned their first bid into the NCAA Division 1 Tournament after winning the Summit League Tournament.
Hayley Dotseth’s kill deflected off a Denver defender on match point to secure USD’s first ever Summit League Tournament Championship.
“It was a surreal feeling. I think we stormed the court and tears came out of my eyes,” Senior Taylor Wilson said.
The Coyotes had to rally from down two sets to one, but their confidence never faded.
“We definitely had the choice to fold there after the second and third set. I think Leanne gave us a lot of confidence moving forward and then we gave each other a lot of confidence,” Senior Hayley Dotseth said.
As USD earned its first NCAA tournament berth, they also snapped a five-match losing streak to the Pioneers, and ended their four-year reign as champs.
“To know that we were bringing it back to the University of South Dakota for the first time was an amazing feeling, and to know that we beat Denver in five on their home court, and that hasn’t happened. That was a great feeling,” Wilson said.
The Coyotes credit a home loss to Omaha in early October as the turning point of their season.
“You saw our team, all of a sudden, just saw us take off. We swept eight out of our last nine opponents with our one loss being to Denver in five at their place. And I think that was really kind of that match that could have gone one of two ways and the team responded in a really good way,” Head Coach Leanne Williamson said.
Now they’re ready to show the rest of the country what Coyote Volleyball is all about.
“We’re excited to just be in the tournament, so anyone we play is just going to be really exciting. If it happens to be a Minnesota, Nebraska, Creighton or some big school like that, I think it will be really fun for us to play in those big environments,” Junior Anne Rasmussen said.
USD will find out who and where they’ll play Sunday night at 7:30 during the NCAA Selection Show.