Score: No. 1 Denver 3, No. 2 South Dakota 1
Records: Denver (23-7), South Dakota (25-7)
Location: Hamilton Gymnasium – Denver, Colo.
DENVER – The Denver Pioneers were able to defeat South Dakota 3-1 to earn its third Summit League Volleyball title Sunday afternoon. (25-12, 25-14, 11-25, 25-18). Denver also receives the league's automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.
The Pioneers started off set one with a 8-1 run, and kept that momentum to take set one 25-18. They were able to hold off South Dakota to a .000 hitting percentage.
Denver trailed twice, early in set two and broke the 2-2 tie and never trailed in the set again. DU ended the second set with 13.5 team blocks to Coyotes 0. DU also held USD to a -.068 hitting percentage.
South Dakota quickly ran out to a 7-1 lead in the third set, prompting the Pioneers to take a timeout. DU tied the set four times, the last coming at 22-22. USD would end the set with an ace from Jessen. The Coyotes held DU to a .089 clip. Denver started the fourth set with a 6-1 run and the five point deficit was to much for the Coyotes to overcome.
The Coyotes were appearing in their first ever Summit League Tournament final since joining the league. South Dakota's terrific season ends with an overall record of 25-7.
The fourth and final set started off with a 6-1 run for Denver. South Dakota was able to cut the five-point deficit to one twice, at 13-12 and 14-13. From their Denver went on a 4-0 run.
Inside The Box Score
- South Dakota had one players achieve a double-doubles in the match: Audrey Reeg (15 kills, 14 digs).
- Denver was led by Kayla Principato and Latham, with 12 and 10 kills respectively.
- Cassidy Rooke of Denver posted a match-best 27 digs while Lauren Mattison led the Coyotes with 21 digs.
- Denver outhit South Dakota in three of the four sets, holding the Coyotes to -.071 attack percentage in the second set.
- Tournament MVP Ruth Okoye tallied eight kills on 19 attempts for a .368 percentage. Okoye had only one attacking error the entire tournament.
News & Notes
- This is Denver's third straight tournament title, having reached the championship match in each of its first four seasons in The Summit League.
- Since joining the league in 2013, Denver is 34-1 on its home floor against league opponents. They are 14-0 at home this season vs. all opponents.
- The Pioneers are the first team to threepeat as tournament champions since Valparaiso (2003, '04, '05).
- South Dakota reached its first ever Summit League Championship since joining the league.
Nola Basey, Denver
Gabby Fisher, IUPUI
Lauren Mattison, South Dakota
Emily Minnick , North Dakota State
Laura Miols, Oral Roberts
Ruth Okoye, Denver (MVP)
Cassidy Rooke, Denver
Audrey Reeg, South Dakota
Natalie Seiler, Fort Wayne
Denver earns The Summit League's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The NCAA Selection Show is scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 27 at 9:00 p.m. ET on ESPNU.