VERMILLION — The top two teams in the Summit League volleyball standings faced-off Sunday in the Sanford Coyote Sports Center as the South Dakota Coyotes and Omaha Mavericks went toe-to-toe on Senior Day.

After taking the first set 27-25, the Coyotes dropped the three ensuing sets to fall to Omaha 3-1. The Mavericks won by sets scores of 25-27, 25-15, 25-23, 25-21.

“Up until now, we felt like we were in a good spot where we control our own destiny,” USD head coach Leanne Williamson said. “Thursday, we had a letdown from the second set there, but I felt like overall, we played to win, we played with the idea of going in and earning your points and playing not to lose. Tonight, there was a little bit of a switch with that.”

The Coyotes fell behind early in the first and second sets, before rallying to make things even. The Mavericks led 11-6 in set one, but USD rallied to get within one at 16-15. Set one took extra points, but the Coyotes prevailed 27-25.

In the second set, the Coyotes and Mavs were within a point of each other at 11-10 before a 4-0 Maverick run. USD called a timeout moments later as they trailed 18-11 and burned their second trailing 22-14. Omaha won the second set 25-15.

“I think the first set, we finished really well,” senior Madison Jurgens said. “I wouldn’t say we consistently played well in the first set. I think they pushed us in the beginning of the second set and we let that dictate the rest of the set.”

The third and fourth sets were back-and-forth with the Coyotes and Mavs tying 13 times and exchanging leads seven times in the third set. The Mavericks held a slim lead most of the final set, prevailing to win the match.

“From that point on, we weren’t very clean in serve and pass,” Jurgens said. “We had a lot of serving errors, a lot of out of sync serve-receive. I think we just let them push us and we didn’t really have a fight back.”

The Coyotes found themselves with 16 service errors and 20 attacking errors. The serve and pass pieces put the Coyotes out of sync a lot Sunday. Omaha had 12 serving errors and 24 attacking errors.

Shayla McCormick tallied 16 kills and 12 digs. Sadie Limback and Marriah Buss tallied 12 kills each. Sami Clarkson picked up 46 assists and Claire Mountjoy 19 digs.

Elizabeth Juhnke tallied 17 kills on 44 attacks for the Coyotes. Juhnke also had 10 digs. Madison Harms contributed 11 kills. Jurgens tallied 36 assists and 12 digs. Lolo Weideman tallied 17 digs.

The Coyotes now go on the road to finish the regular season at the two North Dakota schools with the possibility of a top two seeds on the line.

“We have two more opportunities to go 1-0, which is obviously our goal every single day,” Williamson said. “We have to capitalize on that so that we’re the best team that we can be come the conference tournament.”

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