USD outlasts rival SDSU in five sets, advances to Summit League Final

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VERMILLION, S.D. (KELO) — Not that any meeting with South Dakota and South Dakota State needs any more hype, but a spot in the Summit League Championship was on the line when the two met in volleyball Friday night.

After both teams survived multiple match points, it was USD picking up an 18-16 win in the decisive 5th set for the 3-2 victory over SDSU.

South Dakota State had just picked up its first conference tournament win in 14 years Thursday night, while South Dakota was seeking its 3rd Summit League Tournament Championship in 4 years, and hoping to repeat as champions at home.

SDSU came out of the gates strong in the opening set. building a 14-7 lead. USD would fight back to cut the Jackrabbits lead to 1 at 19-18, but then SDSU closed the set on a 6-2 run to win the first 25-20 and take a 1-0 lead in the match.

The second set was close for the first half with each team leading by multiple points. But after USD took a 14-12 lead, they’d outscore the Jackrabbits 11-6 the rest of the way to even the match at 1 set a piece.

SDSU grabbed an early 3-0 lead in the third set, only to see USD answer with 7-2 run to take a two point lead. The Jackrabbits would regain the lead at 10-9, but the Coyotes had an answer once again, using a 8-0 run to pull away from SDSU. Eventually USD won the third set 25-20 and took a 2-1 lead in the match.

It looked like USD was going to finish off the match in the fourth set, taking a 24-21 lead and had three chances to finish off the Jackrabbits, but SDSU wouldn’t go down quietly, rallying off five straight points to win the fourth 26-24 and send this match to a fifth set.

In the 5th, it was tight throughout until a 4-0 Coyote run gave them a 13-10 lead. SDSU would answer with a 4-0 run and had their first crack at match point, but Elizabeth Juhnke’s kill would keep the Coyotes alive.

SDSU had two more tries at match point, but again the Coyotes fought them off. After an SDSU error gave USD the 17-16 lead, Chloe Stitt’s kill attempt would sail long and out as the Coyotes picked up the 18-16 win in the 5th set for the 3-2 victory.

South Dakota will now face Omaha Saturday at 2:00 p.m. in the Summit League Championship.

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