For the first time in school history, the USD volleyball team has reached the 20-win mark for wins in a season. With the victory, USD improved to a school record 20-7 overall and now are 4-5 in NCC play. North Dakota dropped to 5-19 overall and 0-9 in the NCC. Prior to the game, USD honored seniors Ashley Gross (Norfolk, NE) and Megan Freeman (Council Bluffs, IA).
Junior Laura Slagter (Roseville, MN) led USD to the win by hitting a career-best .778 as she converted 14 kills on 18 attacks and no errors. At one point in the match, Slagter was 11 for 11 on kills. USD freshman Kristin Kritenbrink (Gretna, NE) also hit a career-best .429 with 13 kills on 28 attacks and just one error. Also reaching double digits in kills for USD was Kathleen Hruska (Sioux Falls) with 10. Hruska hit a career-best .769 with 10 kills on 13 attacks and recorded a match-high four block assists. USD setter Gina Baldwin (Mitchell) had a double-double with 38 assists and 11 digs. Overall, the Coyotes hit .475 with 53 kills on 99 attacks and just six errors. USD had 46 assists, 41 digs and six team blocks.
UND was led by Britta Hanson and Tara Holmen, who each recorded eight kills. They hit just .040 with 29 kills on 101 attacks and 25 errors. UND also had 27 assists and 35 digs.
The Coyotes opened the match with a 30-13 decision in game one as USD hit .400 (12K-2E-25A). UND struggled offensively with a -.075 hitting percentage (10K-13E-40A). USD, which received six kills on 10 attacks from Kritenbrink, jumped to a 16-3 lead and cruised to the game one victory.
In game two, USD rolled to a 30-19 win by outhitting UND, .405 (21K-4E-42A) to .147 (11K-6E-34A). Slagter led USD with eight kills on eight attacks. After the Coyotes jumped to a 16-9 lead, UND rallied to within three points (17-14) but could not close the gap any further. USD had a 8-0 run to gain control of the match at 25-14. Both Hruska and Kritenbrink had four kills in the game.
The Coyotes hit .625 (20K-0E-32A) in rolling to a 30-12 game three decision. USD jumped to a 15-4 lead and built the advantage to 24-9. UND hit just .074 (8K-6E-27A) for the game. The Coyotes were led by Slagter with five kills.
USD will now conclude the regular season with four road matches beginning on Friday, Nov. 2 with a nonconference match against Minnesota-Crookston at 7 p.m. in Crookston, MN.