Coyotes Set To Host Summit League Tourney

South Dakota players celebrate a point during a home match earlier this season. USD will host the 2021 Summit League Volleyball Tournament, beginning Thursday at the Sanford Coyote Sports Center. USD, the second seed, will face either Denver or South Dakota State in the 7 p.m. semifinal on Friday.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The Press & Dakotan Will Have Coverage Of All 5 Matches In The Summit League Volleyball Tournament. Find Our Coverage In Print And Online At

VERMILLION -- The University of South Dakota and South Dakota State University volleyball teams are just two of the six Summit League volleyball teams vying for the Summit League championship and a trip to the NCAA Tournament this weekend at the Sanford Coyote Sports Center in Vermillion.

The Coyotes earned the second seed with a 15-3 record in the Summit League this season. The defending champions earned the right to host the tournament after taking the regular season crown in 2019.

The Coyotes are led by Elizabeth Juhnke, Sami Slaughter and Madison Harms at the net. Juhnke is up to 402 kills on the season. Slaughter has added 273 kills and Harms 232. Aimee Adams is also over 200 kills at 205.

Madison Jurgens continues her strong career as the Coyote setter, amassing 1,085 assists on the season and over 4,000 for her career.

Defensively, Lolo Weideman picked up 484 digs on the season to lead the Coyotes. Juhnke has 311 digs and Jurgens 232. Harms has picked up 116 blocks to lead the defense at the net. Maddie Wiedenfeld picked up 79 blocks.

The Coyotes get a first round bye for getting a top two seed in the six-team tournament.

The 2020 tournament was supposed to be held in Vermillion, but due to COVID-19, the season was moved to this spring, and was held at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls. Now, the Coyotes get a chance to host the tournament with an opportunity to go back to the NCAA Tournament.

The Jackrabbits made the tournament as the six seed, the final team into the tournament. The Jacks face No. 3 Denver Thanksgiving night at 7 p.m. in the Sanford Coyote Sports Center. That will be the second game of the evening.

Crystal Burk tallied 412 kills to lead the Jacks offense. Chloe Stitt added 330 kills and Ella Thompson 176. Carly Wedel picked up 790 assists for the Jacks.

Defensively, Tatum Pickar tallied 347 digs and Burk 279. Thompson has a team high 95 blocks.

The first game of the tournament will be between No. 4 Kansas City and No. 5 Oral Roberts. The match is set for 4:30 p.m. Thursday. The winner faces the top seeded Omaha Mavericks Friday afternoon.

The Mavericks have the top defense in the conference and lead the conference in kills. Omaha claimed its first ever regular season title with a 16-2 conference record. One of those two conference losses is against the Coyotes. Omaha recently defeated USD 3-1 in Vermillion.

The winner of KC and Oral Roberts faces Omaha in the semifinals Friday afternoon. The winner of the SDSU-Denver match gets the second-seeded Coyotes Friday night. The winner of each semifinal match plays Saturday at 2 p.m. in the Sanford Coyote Sports Center.

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