Denver Volleyball Battles Tough but falls to South Dakota in Summit League Title Game

It may sound like a broken record, but this years DU women’s volleyball (27-2, 15-1) displays their mental toughness every time they step on the court and rebound from seemingly insurmountable deficits and, even, injuries. But Denver could only claw their way back so many times before their luck finally ran out today at Hamilton Gym. The scores were 25-27, 26-24, 25-19, 21-25, and 6-15 as the Pioneers fell in five games to South Dakota in the Summit League Championship game.

The Pioneers faced a talented and well coached South Dakota squad that was determined to spoil Denver’s home court coronation. The Coyotes jumped on Denver early each match and made some great digs, saves and kills to keep Denver on their heels. Denver lost the first game on extra points and rallied, again, in extra points to take the second game. Denver fell behind 8-1 in the third game but rallied for the win while the visitors took the fourth game to knot the contest. In the fifth and deciding game, Denver looked totally out of sync , falling 15-6.

There is no doubt that the semi-final injury to Denver’s outside hitter Katarina Marinkovic hurt Denver’s rotation and power game. While freshman Graceyn Tippens was steady in her place, the Pioneers were out of sync for much of the match. That being said, all credit goes to the South Dakota Coyotes who went on the road against an excellent Pioneer team to earn the Summit League Conference Championship. 

One of the more entertaining points for the Pioneers came on a volley from South Dakota that went off Tina Boe’s head and returned to fair play on the Coyotes end for a point for the Pioneers (See below).

Denver had a 43 RPI heading into the match and South Dakota had an RPI of 122. Only 64 teams make the NCAA tournament so it looks like Denver may be on the bubble to make the NCAA tournament. However the post-season plays out, watching this team compete this season has been a pleasure for fans who are witness to a program on the rise. Their record of 27-2 is a best-ever accomplishment in the history of DU volleyball.

2 thoughts on “Denver Volleyball Battles Tough but falls to South Dakota in Summit League Title Game”

  1. This reminds me of the DU ski team, where only one meet really matters in the whole season and how you ski on those four days in March determines if you are a Champion or roadkill. For a likely one-bid Volleyball league like the Summit, only the conference tourney final matters, and DU just did not get it done today. Sure, injuries happen, But this was a team DU should have beaten. Don’t get me wrong – 27-2 is a record-breaking season – a great season to be sure. However, if DU seniors don’t make the NCAAs this year, they will take today’s loss to their graves. Sad, indeed.

  2. This team was sure fun to watch. I hope they get a chance in the national tournament. If not, congrats on a terrific season.

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