GRAND FORKS, N.D.-University of North Dakota head volleyball coach Ashley Hardee announced juniors Ronni Munkeby (Lisbon, N.D./Lisbon) and Lisa Parlich (Devalan, Wis./Devalan-Darien) as his team's captains for the 2012 season. The duo will lead a young UND squad making its first tour in the Big Sky Conference. The pair are the leading returning point scorers for UND from a season ago.
Munkeby tallied 243 kills (2.25/set) in her sophomore season, leading the team on three different occasions. Her 86 total blocks ranked third on the team as well. She was named the Great West Conference Player of the Week on Sept. 20 after a phenomenal performance at the Stephen F. Austin Invitational. The Lisbon, N.D. product generated 35 kills in the three matches en route to Most Valuable Player honors. She totaled double-digit kills in all three UND wins, part of her nine matches with 10-plus kills on the season.
"Ronni has done many things for us in the past playing all three front row positions," Hardee said. "Now she's our co-captain and her leadership will be critical as we head into the Big Sky."
Parlich notched 211 kills (2.22/set) on the season and racked-up 100 total blocks (1.05/set) in 2011. The All-GWC Second Teamer ranked third in the league in hitting percentage (.288). She was named to the Green Bay/Country Inn and Suites All-Tournament Team after 29 kills in three matches. Her 14 finishes in the five-set win against the host Phoenix (Aug. 27) were a career high. She had at least one block in every match in which she played last season.
"Lisa had some breakout performances last year," Hardee said. "I'm looking forward to what she can accomplish this year. She has the ability to lead us both offensively and defensively."
UND is coming off a school-record 26-win season--its fourth-straight 20-win campaign--en route to a third consecutive Great West Conference tournament title. North Dakota was recently picked to finish fourth in the Big Sky Preseason Coaches Poll.
The team will host an alumni match this Saturday at 7:00 p.m. at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center. The regular season opens Aug. 24-25 at the Texas A&M tournament. UND's first opponent will be fifth-ranked Southern California on Aug. 24 at 10:00 a.m.