Coyote volleyball beats SDSU 3-1

South Dakota’s Tahnee Reed, left, tries to tip the ball over South Dakota State’s Margit Hansing during their Summit League volleyball matchup Monday at the DakotaDome.?USD won 3-1 in South Dakota State’s first match in the DakotaDome since 2003. (Photo by David Lias)

With his team celebrating on the court, South Dakota head coach Matt Houk couldn't help but crack a wide smile.

Not only did his team pick up a huge conference win, it beat its in-state rival.

"That was a fun one," he said later, after his Coyotes beat in-state rival South Dakota State 20-25, 25-14, 25-19, 25-22 in Monday night's first-ever Summit League showdown between the two schools in Vermillion.

In what was the program's biggest home match since joining the Division I level, the Coyotes (10-8, 5-2) continued their success in their new conference home.

USD perhaps caught a struggling Jackrabbits (11-9, 3-4) team — losers of now five straight — at the right time, but it mattered little for the league newcomer.

"There's a sense of belief that's really starting to grow in this team," said Houk, whose team improves to 2-1 against SDSU over the past two seasons.

"At the start of the season, they were competing at a very high level against mid-major teams, and I think that really started to push them," he added. "And now, they're performing like that."

Still without freshman hitter Kendall Kritenbrink, USD hit .247 for the match and had three hitters with double-digit kills. Senior Tahnee Reed led the way with 19, while sophomore Natalie Walseth had 16 and junior Kim Bulaga added 12.

Though it was just another Summit League match, there was no doubt of a desire to beat the rivals, SDSU junior middle blocker Kelli Fiegen said.

"Both teams were obviously fired up because of the rivalry and all the history between us, so I think we were both were anxious to play this one," said the 6-foot-3 Parkston native, who had 14 kills.

The opening set was initially back-and-forth, but eventually, the more seasoned Jackrabbits pulled away.

After USD got within 18-19 on a Reed kill, the Jacks reeled off three straight points — two coming on kills from Fiegen.

SDSU later closed out the set 25-20 on a front-row block by Ashley Bartek, quieting the Dome crowd with the early victory.

The third set only proved that SDSU had no answer for the Coyote sluggers — Reed added seven kills and Walseth pounded home five.

The fourth set was back to being a little more even. USD led 23-20 before an SDSU timeout, which keyed the Jacks to two points. But it wasn't enough.

SDSU simply had no defense for USD's balanced attack.

As they have been trying to establish in the absence of Kritenbrink, that is exactly what the Coyotes want, Houk said.

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2 Responses to Coyote volleyball beats SDSU 3-1

  1. Dona Reed says:

    How can I order this photo and others of Tahnee Reed playing USD volleyball 2008-2011?

    Thanks,

    Dona Reed

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