VERMILLION, S.D. (KELO) — The USD women are in the Sweet 16 for the first time, thanks to a couple of upset wins last weekend. Several players stepped up for the Coyotes, including redshirt freshman guard, Maddie Krull.

Maddie Krull is scoring nearly seven points per contest this season, but that number rose following her 19 points scored in the first two games of the NCAA Tournament.

“I think it has a lot to do with coach P (Dawn Plitzuweit) talking about how you’ve got to want the ball in your hands,” USD redshirt freshman Maddie Krull said. “I think that helped change my mindset on the offensive end of the court for me. It has a lot to do with the confidence that the coaching staff and my teammates have in me.”

Courtesy: Molly Sheppard/USD Athletics

Krull’s scoring is down compared to last year, but her impact on the court goes well beyond the box score.

“She does a great job of trying to help us control the tempo of the game in a lot of ways, by starting our defense and getting some pressure on the ball ideally if we can or at least trying to get matched up or get us in a spot where we’re matched up,” USD head coach Dawn Plitzuweit said. “She’s kind of the leader on that end of the court for us.”

“She plays with a lot of passion, I would say, and that really drives her to keep going and to move on when you make a mistake as a young kid I think it can be easy to kind of hang your head and get down, but she just keeps rolling possession to possession an she works her tail off on d (defense),” USD redshirt senior Liv Korngable said.

Krull has been at USD for just two years, but she’s learned a lot thanks to the mentorship of two of the best in the Summit League, Chloe Lamb and Liv Korngable.

“Even though I play alongside of them, I look up to them as role models. Those are kids that can score at all three levels and those are guards that I aspire to play like in the following years here,” Krull said. “They take the time to really take me under their wing and they also bring a lot of confidence and encouragement to me.”

“Whatever it is, we are able to use those two as examples a great deal and seeing it, really really helps them,” Plitzuweit said.

Krull and the Coyotes will return to action on Saturday, March 26. They’ll meet Michigan in the Sweet 16 at 5:30 p.m.