VERMILLION, S.D. (USD) — South Dakota (1-5) dropped a five-set battle to Drake inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center Thursday night. It was the first of three games for the Coyotes as a part of the South Dakota Classic. Game scores went 25-17, 20-25, 25-14, 19-25, 15-9.
Who Stood Out
The Coyote offense was on full display Friday night behind middle blocker Madison Harms’ first career double-double. The senior put up 14 kills while adding a season-high and match-high 12 blocks, one shy of her career-high. Outside hitter Kylen Sealock led the Coyotes with a career-high and match-high 17 kills. Sealock added two blocks and seven digs for South Dakota.
Drake (3-4) put together a well-balanced attack with three hitters in double-digits and three players with double-digit digs. Outside hitter Macy Daufeldt and right-side Taylor Oberpriller each put up 16 kills for the Bulldogs. Oberpriller’s kills came on 27 attempts and five errors to hit .407 on the night. She also added eight digs and five blocks for the Bulldogs. Reigning MVC Player of the Year Haley Bush followed with 14 kills, 16 digs, three blocks, and two service aces to record her second double-double on the season.
Set one set the tone early that it was going to be a back-and-forth battle between the Yotes and the Bulldogs. South Dakota jumped out to an early 5-2 lead before Drake came roaring back, going on an 8-0 run to take a 15-10 lead and force a USD timeout. From there the Bulldogs finished set one on a 10-3 run. Sets two, three, and four saw more of the same trading of points and scoring runs with momentum shifting between each team and not staying on one side for long. The Coyotes spurred some energy towards the end of set four, ending the set on a 5-0 run to send the match to a fifth and final set. South Dakota hit a match-high .464 in set four while holding the Bulldogs to a match-low .135 hitting clip. Drake came out swinging in set five and outblocked the Yotes 4-1 in the deciding set while holding South Dakota to a .095 hitting percentage.
- Freshman setter Avery Van Hook recorded 41 assists for the Coyotes, just one shy of her career-high. She also added three kills, six blocks (one solo block), and two digs.
- Harms’ 14 kills came on 29 attempts with just three errors to hit .379 on the night.
- As a team, the Coyotes outblocked the Bulldogs 16-12.
- Through five sets there were 18 tie scores, including nine in set four, and eight lead changes.
“Overall, there are a lot of positives to take from today. Drake is an extremely good team, and we knew it was going to be a tough match,” said head coach Leanne Williamson. “I was happy with the way our team was able to settle in, especially in the two sets where we were able to pull out the win. This is a team that just gets more and more experienced every time we play. But for us to make some pretty big strides and really show what our potential is, especially against a good team like Drake, is a really big positive for us.
“We were very excited to be playing back at home in front of our fans. The atmosphere was great, you saw and heard the environment that was created, and the fans do such a great job of supporting us and helping us through the match. We absolutely love playing in front of our fans, the atmosphere tonight was another big positive for us.”
The South Dakota Classic continues tomorrow as the Coyotes face former Summit foe IUPUI at 11 a.m. inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center. Tomorrow night, South Dakota takes on South Florida at 7 p.m. Prior to the game, the 2022 Summit League Regular Season and Tournament Championship banners will be unveiled. The theme of the game is “White Out”.