USD falls to WIU, will face them again in Summit quarters

Ann Miller’s 25 kills led a quartet of Leathernecks to double-digit kills as Western Illinois topped USD volleyball 19-25, 25-22, 25-17, 15-25, 15-10 on Sunday in Western Hall. USD (18-12, 9-5) finished the regular season losing four straight and six of its last eight.

Mallory Gibson tallied 12 kills, Jordan Jackson added 11 kills and Heather Smith had 10 kills to add to the Leatherneck (12-17, 6-8) effort. Molly Murphy led WIU defensively with 20 digs while Sarah Fetter had 55 assists.

Western Illinois benefited from 13 Coyote attack errors in the second set and recorded 19 kills and 11 kills in the third and fifth sets respectively. The Leathernecks held a slight advantage in kills (65-59) and had an edge in digs (84-74).

USD’s Kendall Kritenbrink tallied 24 kills and became the first player in Coyote history to record 500 kills in a season. She started the match with a season total of 497 and is now six kills away from passing her sister Kristin (2007-2010) for second on USD’s all-time kills list at 1,396.

Kelsey Biltoft added 10 kills, Riley Haug had 17 digs and Tori Kroll added 45 assists to the Coyote effort.

USD dropped from a second place tie with Denver (16-11, 10-4) to a third place tie with Fort Wayne (17-13, 9-5) in the Summit League standings. Denver topped Omaha 3-0 to take the second seed and a first round by in the Summit League Tournament starting on Friday.

The Coyotes will take on Western Illinois at the Summit League Tournament on Friday, a 3:30 p.m. Central start.

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