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Coyotes Sweep UNO Behind Kritenbrink

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VERMILLION, S.D. – Freshman Kendall Kritenbrink recorded a match-high 15 kills to help the South Dakota volleyball team sweep Nebraska-Omaha, 26-24, 25-20, 28-26, in nonconference action Tuesday night at the DakotaDome. With the win, the Coyotes improved to 11-10, while UNO fell to 4-18.


Kritenbrink (Gretna, Neb.), playing for the first time since Sept. 24 after missing six matches with illness, hit .273 on 33 attack attempts, and also added three digs.  Junior Bailey Lupardus (Camdenton, Mo.), making her first start at setter of the season, had a career-high 38 set assists, while senior Tahnee Reed (Pierce, Neb.), junior Kim Bulaga (Crystal Lake, Ill.) and sophomore Amber Aschoff (Ankeny, Iowa) each posted eight kills. Sophomore Natalie Walseth (Inver Grove Heights, Minn.) had seven kills, while senior Carol Logato (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), had 23 digs.

The Coyotes faced a 9-3 deficit in the first set but chipped away at the lead. They trailed 12-11 but scored five of the next six points – sparked by three kills by Reed – to take a 16-13 lead.


The Mavericks came back to regain the lead at 23-20, but the Coyotes responded with four straight points – with Bulaga accounting for three kills – to regain the lead at 24-23. The set was tied at 24-24, but back-to-back kills from Bulaga and Kritenbrink helped the Coyotes earn a 26-24 win. Bulaga had five kills in the first set alone to spark the Coyote attack.


South Dakota got off to a good start in the second set, jumping to a 7-2 lead with Kritenbrink supplying three kills.  The Coyotes maintained that lead for much of the set until the Mavericks cut the gap to 21-20.


South Dakota weathered the storm, however, and scored the final four points of the set. Walseth and Kritenbrink had kills, while freshman Riley Haug (Gretna, Neb.) recorded a service ace on set point to give the Coyotes a 25-20 win.


The third set was close from the start, with the biggest lead for either team being two points. The third set at 16 ties alone. The score was tied at 21-21, but kills from Kritenbrink and Bulaga pushed the Coyote lead to 23-21.


The Mavericks scored four of the next five points to take a 25-24 lead. However, a kill by Reed tied the set at 25-25, keeping the Coyotes’ hopes alive.


With the set tied 26-26, it was back-to-back kills from Reed and Kritenbrink that finished off a 28-26 win for South Dakota.


Haug finished with 13 digs for the Coyotes, while Aschoff led with two service aces. Reed had two solo blocks.


The Coyotes venture back into Summit League play Friday at home against Southern Utah. The match begins at 7 p.m. at the DakotaDome in Vermillion, S.D.

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