LUCKY 13! Coyote volleyball drops Denver to win 13th consecutive match

USD wins in four sets
USD wins 3-1
Published: Sep. 24, 2022 at 10:41 PM CDT
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VERMILLION, S.D.—South Dakota extended the nation’s longest winning streak to 13 games following a 3-1 win over Summit League favorite Denver Saturday inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center. After dropping set one 25-20, the Coyotes won 25-18, 25-16 and 25-20.

Who Stood Out

It was another high-kill tally for Coyote all-American Elizabeth Juhnke, who had a match-high 25 after setting a new career high with 28 in a five-set win against Omaha Thursday. Juhnke entered play Friday the national leader in kills and should remain near the top of the national leaders when the new numbers are released Monday.

But it wasn’t just kills. Juhnke offered a career-high seven blocks including two solos and dug a season-best 17 balls. She was credited with 30.5 points during the match.

For Denver (7-6, 1-1 Summit), it was Jordan Lockwood, a graduate transfer who competed on Pittsburgh’s Final Four team a year ago. Lockwood had 11 kills and 16 digs for her second double-double of the season. She also assisted on two of Denver’s 10 blocks. Middle blocker Brianna Green is one of the nation’s leaders in that category and contributed five assisted blocks and one solo.

Turning Point

Denver used two long runs near the start of the match to earn its one-set advantage, but South Dakota (13-1, 2-0) turned the Pioneers away in sets two and three. Denver totaled 17 kills and 16 errors in those two sets. South Dakota had 12 of its season-high 19 blocks in those middle sets.

South Dakota never trailed in sets two and four, and faced just one-point deficits twice early in set three before running away. Juhnke had seven kills in set two. She had 10 kills and no errors on 20 swings in set three. It was five kills, no errors and 14 swings in set four.

Notable

South Dakota held serve during the first week of conference play, defending home court against fellow favorites Omaha and Denver to join North Dakota State and North Dakota with 2-0 starts.

It was the defense that shined brightest for South Dakota, which held Denver to a .062 hitting percentage, its second-lowest of the season. Most notably, junior middle blocker Madison Harms tied a program record by tallying 12 blocks in a four-set match, something that has been done just twice before. And senior libero Lolo Weideman had a career-high 34 digs, which also tied the program record for a four-setter. The last time that number was reached was Lacey Ross back in 2002.

Quotable

“I think there were a couple of people who stepped up in some big moments towards the end and found ways to make plays even if it wasn’t always perfect,” said USD head coach Leanne Williamson. “Lolo was phenomenal and hit a career-high with 34 digs and she had 22 after the first two sets so she was all over the place. We had 19 blocks and 101 digs – that’s incredible – so I think our defense both on the back line and up at the net probably secured that one for us.”

Up Next

South Dakota takes to the road to face North Dakota State Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Fargo, North Dakota.