In 2019, as then-freshman Elizabeth Juhnke burst onto the scene, South Dakota went 31-3, 16-0 in the Summit League. But the Coyotes were upset in the Summit tournament and instead of the NCAA, ended up in the NIVC, where it lost in the final to Georgia Tech.
This year, with Juhnke again leading the way (she’s first in the Summit League in kills with 337, 4.21/set, and second on USD’s team in digs with 269), South Dakota is 15-6 after going 12-3 in Summit play. The Yotes stumbled late in the season, losing back-to-back matches, both in five, to Kansas City, but ended the regular season with two sweeps of Western Illinois.
Then in the Summit semifinals, South Dakota beat Kansas City in five, and in the final, in a match nothing short of gripping, the Yotes came back from being down 0-2 to Denver to win 19-25, 26-28, 27-25, 26-24, 19-17.
In this interview, we talk to, in order, junior libero Lolo Weideman (4.51 digs/set this season), Juhnke (who had 23 kills in the Summit final), junior setter Madison Jurgens (10.07 assists and 2.92 digs per set), and the team’s only senior, Sami Slaughter (236 kills, 2.81/set, 64 blocks), the outside who got the match-winning kill against Denver: