The USD women’s volleyball team breaks all-time wins record with 3-0 decision over Northern State

The USD women's volleyball team breaks all-time wins record with 3-0 decision over Northern State
The University of South Dakota women's volleyball team broke the school record for wins in a season with a 3-0 (30-22, 30-27, 30-14) decision over Northern State University in non-conference action on Saturday night at the DakotaDome.

With the victory, USD improved its record to 19-6 on the season. The Coyotes' 19 wins this season breaks the record of 18 held by USD teams in 1976 (18-7), 1977 (18-17), 2003 (18-10) and 2004 (18-10). Both the 2003 and 2004 squads were coached by current USD head coach Brian Lamppa.

Leading the way for the Coyotes was junior Laura Slagter (Roseville, MN) who recorded her 10th double-double of the season. Slagter had a match-high 13 kills and hit .226 while also recording 21 digs. Senior Ashley Gross (Norfolk, NE) had 10 kills on 16 attacks and hit .500. Gross also recorded two assists, three digs and three block assists. Junior libero Amber Kobus (Columbus, NE) had 26 digs as she recorded double digits for the 25th straight match this season. She now has 1,386 digs in her career which ranks third on USD's career chart. Kobus, who owns the single season mark for digs in a season with 615 in 2006, has 503 digs this season which is the fourth best single season total in school history.

South Dakota received 41 set assists from sophomore Gina Baldwin (Mitchell) while junior Kathleen Hruska (Sioux Falls) recorded seven kills and five block assists. Overall USD hit .283 as a team with 49 kills on 120 attacks. The Coyotes had 45 assists, 80 digs and 10 total team blocks. Northern State, which fell to 11-11 on the season, was led by Stephanie Perez with nine kills. NSU hit .089 with 37 kills on 146 attacks while also recording 33 assists and 51 digs.

USD started slow but game-by-game improved its hitting against NSU. The Coyotes, led by Slagter's six kills, captured game one by a 30-22 decision as USD hit .140 (13K-7E-43A). NSU hit just .061 (12K-9E-49A). The Coyotes had a 6-3 run to grab a 24-17 lead and cruised to the win in game one.

In a closely contested second game, the Coyotes prevailed 30-27. In a game with seven tie scores and four lead changes, USD hit .362 (22K-5E-47A) while NSU was at .280 (17K-3E-50A). Once again, Slagter led the Coyotes with six kills on 13 attacks. NSU was led by Stephanie Perez with five kills on 11 attacks. The Coyotes used an 11-4 run to grab a 21-14 lead. However, the Wolves fought back and trailed by just two points at 26-24 and 29-27 before Gross had a kill to provide USD with the win.

South Dakota wrapped up the match with a 30-14 decision in game three. The Coyotes hit .367 with 14 kills on 30 attacks while NSU was at -.085 (8K-12E-47A). Consecutive kills by Kristin Kritenbrink (Gretna, NE), who had eight kills in the match, provided USD with a 13-5 lead. The Coyotes built the lead to 25-10 when Jenna Hatfield (Jr., Norfolk, NE) recorded a kill. Hatfield also ended the game with a kill at game point.

Next for the Coyotes is a pair of home matches on Oct. 26-27. USD will host 12th-ranked Minnesota State at 7 p.m. on Oct. 26 and North Dakota at 8 p.m. on Oct. 27.

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