Coyotes complete perfect Summit season, winning 24th straight match


FORT WAYNE, Ind. (USD) – South Dakota finished off an unbeaten Summit League season at 16-0 following Sunday’s 25-23, 25-17, 25-19 win over Purdue Fort Wayne at Gates Sports Center.

The Coyotes team hitting percentage of .387 was their highest in a Summit League match this season while their 55 kills in the match were a season-high for a three-set match.

“This was such a great way to end the regular season,” coach Leanne Williamson said. “We played a very clean match as a group and made a huge change from Friday.

“To go undefeated in this conference is not eas, so this is a huge accomplishment for the team.”

South Dakota, winning its 24th in a row, battled through a set one that featured seven ties and two lead changes, equaling a season-high for one set in a Summit League match with 21 kills, in the opening set win.

The Coyotes, led by 15 kills from Elizabeth Juhnke and 14 from Sami Slaughter, had a .536 hitting percentage during set two, while tallying 17 kills apiece in sets two and three.

Madison Jurgens set a new career-high for a three-set match with 48 assists and the sophomore added two kills, two service aces and 10 digs in the match.

Madison Harms added nine kills and hit .818 while Elizabeth Loschen tallied eight kills and Maddie Wiedenfeld seven.

Defensively, senior libero Anne Rasmussen equaled her season-high for a three-set match with 22 digs, moving into eighth in Summit League history in the process. Juhnke added 10 digs for her 12th double-double during league play.

The high-level, high-intensity match saw Fort Wayne become just the second team in Summit League play to hit over .200 against the Coyotes.

“I am so proud of how they have handled this season to this point,” Williamson added. “They have been so resilient, but also extremely supportive of each other. This truly was a team accomplishment.”

South Dakota’s 15th sweep of the season closes off a 27-1 regular season. They will be the No. 1 seed in the Summit League tournament that begins on Friday in Denver. The Coyotes will play in the semifinals on Saturday against either fourth-seeded Omaha or fifth-seeded North Dakota State.

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