Sept. 10, 2011
Missoula, Mont. - Tahnee Reed and Kendal Kritenbrink combined for nine of the Coyotes' 15 service aces to lead South Dakota past Cal State Fullerton, 20-25, 25-20, 25-13, 20-25, 16-14, and win the Montana Invitational with a perfect 3-0 record.
Unfortunately for the Titans, they weren't able utilize a career-high 26 kills from junior Kayla Neto, dropping to 4-5 overall and 1-2 in the tournament. South Dakota, which came into the weekend just 1-5 on the year, now heads back home to Vermillion with a 4-5 mark.
All but a decisive third set were decided by five points or less and were closes within two points three-quarters of the way through. A breakdown for Fullerton in the third set saw them on the receiving end of seven of the Coyote aces while committing 10 of their 31 attack errors. In that set USD collected just six kills - but finished without an error. The Coyotes hit .273 in that third frame, but held Fullerton to just a .029 clip.
Overall, the Titans out-hit (.199 to .166), out-blocked (11.5 to 9.0), out-dug (80 to 64) and out-set (61 to 42) the Coyotes and were led by double-doubles from Neto (26 kills, 12 digs) and Bre Moreland (13 kills, 17 digs). But they struggled with the serve, committing 15 receiving errors, the last of which tied the fifth and deciding match at 14-14 and led to three straight Coyote points to end the match.
Leah Maurer flanked Neto and Moreland from the offensive side with 13 kills. Kritenbrink had 17 spikes and 13 digs to lead the way for South Dakota.
The Titans' next action will be against BYU and Utah State next weekend in their 2011 home openers. Friday and Saturday's matches will begin at 7 p.m. in Titan Gym.