USD volleyball outlasts Omaha 3-2


VERMILLION, S.D. – South Dakota prevailed on Friday inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center in a thrilling five-set match against Omaha in Summit League play.

The Coyotes, pushing their win streak to 11, won the first two sets before the visiting Mavericks stormed back to claim sets three and four before the hosts prevailed in the first set. Final tally was 25-21, 25-23, 20-25, 25-27 and 15-11.

South Dakota used the backing from the 1,277 fans in attendance for the Dakota Days match as strength to come out strong in the opening set and the ultimately in the fifth set to secure the win and remain unbeaten in Summit League play.

“First of all, what an incredible crowd behind us,” coach Leanne Williamson said. “We’re excited to have everybody in the SCSC creating that atmosphere for us.

“We know this wasn’t our best game, we just did not play to our potential. We had a lot of errors that we’re not used to making. On the flip side, Omaha, I mean, you’ve got to give them credit. They’re defense was incredible. They made our hitters think, they frustrated our hitters.”

Despite a season low .173 hitting percentage in the match, the Coyotes found a way to preserve and come away with the victory.

Sami Slaughter led the offense with 19 kills while Elizabeth Juhnke and Madison Harms had 11 kills apiece. Maddie Wiedenfeld chipped in nine kills and Aimee Adams came off the bench to give South Dakota a lift and provided four kils and a .573 hitting percentage.

“We had to use our depth again,” said Williamson. “Aimee came in and gave us some really good minutes, She hit over .500 and had some big kills for us in big moments. That’s what this team needs to continue to do.

“We had Brooklyn (Bollweg) come in and went on some big scoring runs for us. Those are things that we’re highlighting because those plays in those situations are extremely important for our success.”

Bollweg had two of the Coyotes seven ace serves in the contest, while Lolo Weideman chipped in three aces.

Madison Jurgens contributed 52 assists and seven digs and defensively Anne Rasmussen had 22 digs, Mehana Fonseca 11 and Juhnke 15.

South Dakota, defensively, limited Omaha to a .159 hitting percentage, marking the 10th time in the 11-game win streak that an opponent has hit under .200 in a match against the Coyotes.

South Dakota hits the road for the first time in Summit League play with Sunday’s 1 p.m. (CST) first serve against Denver.

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