DENVER, Colo. -- A big blocking effort at the net from Denver lifted the top-seeded Pioneers to the Summit League Volleyball tournament title Sunday afternoon over second-seeded South Dakota.
The hosts tallied 17.5 total blocks in handing the Coyotes a four-game setback 25-12, 25-14, 22-25, 25-18 in the championship match at Hamilton Gymnasium between the regular season co-champions.
South Dakota's first-ever trip to the title match saw them post just a .076 hitting percentage while recording 47 kills and 34 errors.
“We obviously didn’t come out and play our best volleyball today,” said South Dakota head volleyball coach Leanne Williamson. “Denver played extremely well, and I was very happy with how the team fought back in the third set."
Audrey Reeg, a senior and Summit League player of the year, had a match-high 15 kills to pace the Coyotes (25-7).
After Reeg’s 15 kills, sophomore Hayley Dotseth had 13 kills and freshman Elizabeth Loschen added 10 more. Reeg tallied 14 digs for her second double-double off the tournament.
Junior setter Brittany Jessen recorded 39 assists and Mattison had five. Jessen tallied 11 digs for a double-double. Defensively, Mattison led the Yotes with 21 digs.
Dotseth and redshirt junior Meagan Kerns both had two total blocks. Senior Lindsey Brown had four kills and Kerns three for the former Maple Valley-Anthon-Oto athletes.
“Our season is not defined by this match," said Williamson. "We made history for our program by winning the regular season conference title and making it to the tournament championship match. We will use that going forward. What I am most proud of for this team is how they went through this season. They worked extremely hard and did it with class. I’ve been saying it all year, this team is special and they will continue to be.”
Reeg and sophomore libero Lauren Mattison were named to the all-tournament team.