USF volleyball downs No. 13 Wayne State in straight sets


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (USF) — Averey Yaksich and Jordan Kuper combined for 35 kills to help lead the University of Sioux Falls Volleyball Team (15-9, 10-6 NSIC) to a 3-0 sweep over No. 13 Wayne State (18-6, 11-5 NSIC) in the Stewart Center on Tuesday night. 

The Cougars, who hit .391 on the night as a team, have now defeated three nationally ranked opponents this season, including two #13 opponents in consecutive home matches. USF has also clinched their fifth consecutive winning season, with a 15-9 overall record with just four regular season matches left on the year. USF also improved to 10-6 in a bunched up NSIC.

“It is really gratifying that our team is feeling some payoff after all their hard work,” said USF Head Coach Dan Mathews. “We have put in some time. To see them see the fruits of that labor was gratifying. We scored at a high level. Our left front players really scored well tonight. We had some real good offensive numbers from both our middle blockers. The passing and defense was outstanding. I am excited to get back to practice tomorrow. Let’s get back in the gym and see if we can get better,” added Mathews. 

Individually, the Cougars were lead on offense by the league’s top kills/set performer Averey Yaksich, who put down 22 kills and hit .500 percent. As a result, she averaged 7.4 kills per set tonight with her 21st double-digit kills match of the season. She also recorded her fifth match of 20 kills or more. Freshman Jordan Kuper also had 13 kills for USF while hitting .571 percent. She added six block assists. Fellow freshman middle blocker Jordyn Hamm had eight kills on eight attacks for a perfect 1.000 hitting mark and supplied an ace. Senior setter Krista Goerger had 45 assists and a service ace, while Schneider had a team-high three service aces. On defense, Nicole Jacobson had nine digs and Yaksich added seven. 

As a team, USF hit .391 (3rd best total as a team this year) with 52 kills on 110 attacks and just nine errors. In addition, USF had six service errors, 12 total blocks and 37 digs.

Scoring Summary – 

In the opening set, USF took a 12-11 lead on a service ace from Marlee Schneider. After Wayne State took a 20-17 lead, a side-out by USF and three straight points on offense gave USF a 21-20 lead. However, WSC scored three straight to take the 23-21 lead before a pair of Yaksich kills ended the short run and tied the set at 23. USF finished the set with a win on a 5-1 run as Yaksich had four of her 10 kills as she hit .563 for the set. She helped USF hit .298 as a team (18-4-47) . Kuper had four kills and three block assists in the set.  

In set two, WSC opened with a 3-0 run before a Kuper kill put USF on the board. After a 5-3 run, USF drew within 6-4. WSC led, 9-7, after Kuper had another kill. Jordyn Hamm’s serving led to a pair of points and a 9-9 tie. USF took a 16-13 lead after Yaksich’s 16th kill.  The Cougars finished the set with a 9-6 run for a 25-19 win to take a 2-0 overall match lead. 

In the final set and with the game on the line, a Yaksich kill helped the Cougars build a 9-8 lead over WSC. Down 13-10, WSC had a 3-0 run to tie the match at 13. Then, Kuper had her 11th kill to give USF a 14-13 advantage. With the match tied at 20-20, Kuper knocked home her 13th kill from the middle as USF took a 22-20 lead. The Wildcats tried to fight back, but in the end, it was all USF, taking a 25-22 third set win and clinching the 3-0 overall match victory. 

Later this week, the Cougars head back out on the road to take on #14 St. Cloud State and (RV) Minnesota Duluth. The Huskies and the Cougars face off in St. Cloud, Minn. on Friday, Nov. 5 at 6 pm, while the Bulldogs host the Cougars on Saturday, Nov. 6 at 4 pm in Duluth, Minn. USF returns home next weekend to host their last pair of regular season matches against Bemidji State and Minnesota Crookston. 

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