USD volleyball tops Kansas City in four sets

After losing the first set, the University of South Dakota volleyball team won three straight sets to drop Kansas City 23-25, 25-21, 25-22, 25-17 in Summit League action on Friday night.

The Coyotes (11-14, 5-8) had strong play at the net with Kendall Kritenbrink (Gretna, NE) recording 19 kills and Melissa Firtko (Racine, WS) tallying eight kills and eight blocks. The Coyotes recorded 12.5 blocks and had 11 less attack errors (31-20) than the Kangaroos (15-11, 7-6).

Kim Bulaga (Crystal Lake, IL) and Sydney Dimke (Ham Lake, MN) added to the attack with nine kills, while Natalie Walseth (Inver Grove Heights, MN) rounded out the balanced attack with seven kills. Tori Kroll (Germantown, WS) had 45 assists.

Riley Haug (Gretna) led the defense with 23 digs and Bulaga had 20 digs.

Kansas City had three players record at least 10 kills. Skyler Muff and Emma Hagedorn both recorded 14 kills, while Emily Lucas had 12 kills. Taryn Miller had 25 digs in the loss.

The Coyotes split the season series with UMKC, and kept their conference tournament hopes alive for the weekend. South Dakota State (15-9, 7-5) topped Oakland 3-1 to pass Kansas City for the third spot in the conference. Oakland (13-11, 6-6) and North Dakota State (10-14, 6-6) are both a half game behind Kansas City for the fourth and final spot in the conference tournament. USD is two wins back of Kansas City with three matches left.

South Dakota will host South Dakota State next Friday at 7 p.m. and North Dakota State for Senior Day on Nov. 4 at 2 p.m. They will finish the season at Omaha on Nov. 10.

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