The South Dakota Coyotes bested the Summit League-leading Omaha Mavericks volleyball team 3-2 Thursday. The Mavericks dropped to second in the Summit League standings. This loss is only their second Summit League loss and their first loss in nine games. Freshman outside hitter Amanda Hardt’s 17-kill effort was not enough to propel the Mavericks win streak to nine.
The Mavericks offense was statistically better, but neither their higher kill total nor hitting percentage were enough to make up for their errors. The Mavericks’ 15 service errors and 15 reception errors allowed the Coyotes’ marginally better defensive effort to lead them to victory.
The Mavericks started off strong winning the first set handedly 25-16. The Mavs didn’t lead the whole set as they started off with a four-point deficit. They pulled away after going on a 7-0 run that allowed them to take a two-point lead.
They continued on with this momentum carrying it into the second set, which they won 25-22. The momentum they had from the first set allowed them to come out firing in the second set, jumping out to an early 6-1 lead. South Dakota fought back, but it wasn’t enough to make it all the way back for the second set.
The momentum began to turn late in the second set, but it didn’t fully tilt in the direction of the Coyotes until midway through the third set. After facing a 5-1 deficit towards the beginning of the set, the Coyotes went back and forth with the Mavericks until pulling away at the end for a 25-20 victory. The fourth set saw a continuation of this back and forth as it resulted in the same fate, a 25-17 victory for the Coyotes.
The fifth and final set saw the Coyotes hold onto some momentum. They got out to a three-point lead to start the set and never looked back. The Mavericks never threatened the Coyotes in the abbreviated final set, which resulted in a 15-11 victory for the Coyotes.
The Mavericks will take on St. Thomas on Saturday, Oct. 21 to continue their bid for Summit League superiority. While this loss technically takes them out of first place, the Mavericks still have the most wins in the conference with eight, which is one more than conference leader Kansas City. A win in this match would have put their overall record at .500, but instead they will have to make due with their current 9-11 overall record.