COLUMBIA, Mo. (USD) — South Dakota (1-4) fell in five sets to Northern Kentucky Sunday inside Hearnes Center. It was the final game of the Tiger Invitational for the Coyotes. Game scores went 17-25, 23-25, 25-19, 25-19, 15-12.
Who Stood Out
Senior middle blocker Madison Harms put down a season-high 21 kills, just one kill shy of her career-high. The match-high total came on 27 attempts with no errors for a .778 hitting clip. Harms also added six blocks and one dig to her stat line for the match. Freshman setter Avery Van Hook put up a career-high and match-high 42 assists for the Yotes. She added 10 digs to record her third double-double on the year.
Northern Kentucky (2-4) had two hitters in double-digits, including 19 kills from right side Abby Kanakry and 10 kills from outside hitter Joy Banks. Kanakry also put up five digs and four blocks for the Norse while hitting at a .359 clip. Banks added 15 digs, one service ace, and one block on the day to record her second double-double of the season.
Turning Point/Quick Summary
The five-set battle was a back-and-forth affair the whole way through. Sets one and two saw the Coyotes come out strong, hitting .358 and .286 respectively while also holding down the net on defense and keeping NKU to a .036 hitting clip in set one. Set three saw the momentum shift over to the Norse, but not without a fight from the Coyotes. The third set started with an early 7-3 lead for the Yotes off a 3-0 run to force an NKU timeout. Harms contributed two kills and a block assist during that run. The Norse would fight back to tie the game at 11-11 and would take their second lead of the set at 13-12. Spurred by a kill from Kanakry, NKU went on a 4-1 run to take a 17-13 lead and force a South Dakota timeout. At 22-17, the Norse took their biggest lead of the set and would end the set outscoring the Yotes 3-2 in the final plays. Northern Kentucky took set four, but the Coyotes fought back in set five with both teams trading points back-and-forth. Back-to-back kills from Harms gave the Yotes their first lead of the set at 9-8, but the Norse would battle back and another kill from Kanakry gave them a 10-9 lead. From there, the Norse went on a 5-1 run to take set five and the match.
- Harms’ .778 hitting clip is a career-best for the middle blocker.
- Junior libero Alaina Wolff put up 16 digs for the Coyotes.
- Freshman defensive specialist Caity Clancy made her first career start and third appearance for the Coyotes, putting up five digs, two service aces, and two assists.
- Junior outside hitter Kylen Sealock had 13 kills, six digs, three block assists, and one service ace on the day.
The Coyotes return to Vermillion to host the South Dakota Classic Sept. 7-8 inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center. South Dakota’s home opener features Drake at 6 p.m. on Thursday. On Friday, the Coyotes will face IUPUI at 11 a.m. before taking on South Florida at 7 p.m. Friday night’s game against South Florida will be a white-out theme and will feature a banner unveiling for South Dakota’s regular season and championship titles in 2022.