VERMILLION — The South Dakota Coyotes volleyball team won 25-12, 25-22, 25-19 against the North Dakota Fighting Hawks on Senior Day for players Lolo Weideman and Aimee Adams.
With the win, the Coyotes improve to 27-3 (16-2 Summit League). UND falls to 12-17 (9-9 Summit) with the loss.
“We wanted to bounce back from (our loss to North Dakota State) Thursday night,” Coyotes head coach Leanne Williamson said. (With) watching film from that match and talking with the team a little bit, we felt like we were in control of some things (today) that we didn’t control (Thursday). Going into today, we wanted to make that change.”
The Coyotes were ready to go in the first set, going on a 7-0 run to take a 16-6 lead. USD hit .458 in the first and ended up winning it 25-12.
“In the first set, we controlled our side,” Williamson said. “We controlled our energy (and) our engagement.”
In the second set, the Fighting Hawks responded by racing out to a 6-2 lead. The Coyotes responded with an 8-2 run to tie things at 11. Things went a bit back and forth throughout the set. Tied at 21, the Coyotes scored four of the last five points in the set to win 25-22. Despite hitting .195 in the set, Williamson credited the Coyotes’ defensive effort in the set.
“We had some good defensive plays (in set two),” she said. “One (play) in the second set (where we played good defense was) where we had multiple good digs and (Elizabeth) Juhnke had to layout and get a really good dig down the line. Those are the types of things that we have the capability of doing at a high level, and there were times tonight where we showed that.”
In the third set, Williamson pointed to the Coyotes’ serving and out-of-system defense as reasons for the team’s success, specifically on a 6-0 run to take a 20-13 lead.
“(Our serving) allows us to set up more efficiently,” she said. “Our timing was better on our block in those situations. Most of our runs came down to more so our serving, not necessarily getting aces, but getting them in on the run enough to make them a little more predictable.”
Elizabeth Juhnke led the Coyotes with 15 kills, hitting .353 in the match. Madi Woodin registered 32 set assists, while Weideman had 13 digs. Adams got the winning kill of the match, bringing her total to seven for the contest.
“It was pretty cool that Aimee got that last kill,” Williamson said.
“She constantly is putting in the time and the effort to be the best version of herself. That’s how you earn respect and trust (with her coaches and teammates).”
Williamson praised the job both Adams and Weideman have done leading the team as seniors. They have both put in the time to earn the trust and respect of their teammates.
“Lolo, coming back for her fifth year, has done incredible things this year on the defensive front,” Williamson said. “(She has) anchored down our defense as a team.
“(Lolo and Amy) stepped up a lot this year in terms of being a senior and understanding that things do end at some point. With that, they were not only really good at holding their teammates accountable, they were really good at trying to get the best out of everybody around them.”
UND was led by Maddy Hornyak’s 11 digs and nine kills. Peyton Sewell registered 12 set assists.
The Coyotes enter the Summit League Tournament as the No. 1 seed and will play Friday at Baxter Arena in Omaha, Neb.
“Going into next weekend, we get to recover a little bit,” Williamson said. We have the (first-round) bye, but I have no doubt that this team is going to be prepared to play for not only the seniors but for everybody in this program.”