VERMILLION, S.D. (KELO) – After dropping their season opener against Louisville, the USD Coyote volleyball team has caught fire, having won 11 straight matches.

The USD volleyball team entered the 2022 season as the 2-time defending Summit League champions, but after graduating several key seniors, there was a notion that this season could be a rebuilding year.

“I still expected that we were going to be able to find ways to win in some tough situations. But, I thought we would maybe have some more growing pains through it too. Some of the adjustments and maybe some losses through there. Not that I didn’t think we could be 11-1, I just thought there may have been a few more learning moments for us in losses that we were going to have to get better from,” USD Head Coach Leanne Williamson said.

After 11 straight wins, it doesn’t appear the Coyotes have lost a step.

“I think that there’s just a lot of grit in how we go out on the floor and how we kind of face opponents. We’re not looking into I guess maybe other teams and what they’re doing, I think we’re more focused on us, which is important,” USD junior Elizabeth Juhnke stated.

After defeating the likes of Missouri, West Virginia and South Florida through the first part of the year, USD will begin conference play on Thursday and they know they enter with a target on their backs.

“How well we’ve played these past years, I think a lot of teams consider us their rivals which is exciting, but it does mean we can’t take plays off and we can’t slack,” USD 5th year senior Lolo Weideman said.

“Because they are trusting the process and because they are trusting that idea of learning as we go and getting better with each game or each match, I just feel like we’ve bee able to learn while winning,” Williamson remarked.

Madison Harms is currently second in the Summit League Conference in hitting percentage at 41 percent, Lolo Weideman is second in digs per set at 4.2 and Elizabeth Juhnke leads the league in kills per set at 5.0.