South Dakota tops Denver to advance to Summit League Championship

The South Dakota Coyotes beat Denver in straight sets to advance to the Summit League Championship.
Published: Nov. 26, 2022 at 12:30 AM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (Dakota News Now) - The South Dakota Coyotes beat Denver in straight sets to advance to the Summit League Championship, and one game away from securing an NCAA Tournament berth.

The Coyotes received a match-high 15 kills from Elizabeth Juhnke in a three-set sweep over Denver in the Summit League Tournament semifinals. Game scores went 25-21, 26-24, 25-18.   

With the win, the Coyotes will compete for the Summit League Tournament Championship Saturday at 2 p.m. It will be South Dakota’s fifth title game appearance in head coach Leanne Williamson‘s nine seasons. 

South Dakota had a healthy offensive effort tonight with five players clocking kills on the stat sheet. Aimee Adams followed Juhnke’s match-high with eight kills while Kylen Sealock added seven kills and two blocks. Denver (19-12) was led by two players in double-digit kills as Hailey Green had 12 and Memphis Glasgow had 10 kills. Libero Gianna Bartalo recorded a match-high 17 digs for the Pioneers. 

The Coyotes came out hot straight out of the gate, hitting .278 as a squad while holding Denver to just three first set blocks. Set two saw the momentum shift slightly in favor of Denver, as they held a lead over the Coyotes through the majority of a second set that saw seven tie scores and just three lead changes. It was tied at 24-24 as South Dakota and Denver traded points until a block from Adams and Brynn Paumen secured the second set victory. It was all South Dakota from there as they swept Denver in the sixth meeting in the conference tournament.

South Dakota will compete for the Summit League Tournament Championship Saturday at 2 p.m., facing the Mavericks of Omaha.