North Dakota (4-6) officially opens Big Sky Conference play this week, hosting Montana State and Montana on Thursday and Saturday, respectively. UND is a combined 3-1 all-time against the Montana schools.
SCOUTING THE BOBCATS (6-2)
MSU is 6-2 in the midst of its season-opening stretch of matches away from home (10) ... The Bobcats do not open the home portion of their schedule until Sept. 20 ... Sarah Horton leads the team with 129 kills (4.03/set) ... Three of MSU's eight matches have been decided in a fifth set ... UND won the lone match-up between the schools, a 3-1 victory on Sept. 5, 2009.
SCOUTING THE GRIZZLIES (2-7)
Montana is coming off hosting duties for the four-team Montana Invitational this past weekend ... UM dropped decisions to Furman and Texas Tech surrounding a five-set win over Towson ... Kayla Rena is their top weapon offensively, with 105 kills this season (2.92/set) ... Montana has won the first set four times this season, but has just one win in those matches ... UND is 2-1 all-time against the Grizzlies with meetings in each of the last three seasons ... North Dakota cruised to a 3-0 sweep last season in the UND Classic (Sept. 2).
THE "SKY" HAS OPENED
The UND volleyball team will be the first North Dakota team to make the foray into Big Sky Conference play. Thursday's conference opener with Montana State will be the first official conference game for a UND sport in its new league. Women's soccer opens conference play on Sept. 21 against Sacramento State while football officially opens Big Sky play a day later at Sac State (UND's Potato Bowl win over Portland State was a non-conference game).
MUNKEBY ALL-TOURNEY AGAIN
Junior Ronni Munkeby was honored with her second all-tournament accolade last weekend when she was named to the Magnolia Invitational All-Tournament team Saturday at Ole Miss. She was also an all-tourney member in the season-opening Texas A&M Invitational (Aug. 24-25).
HITTING IT TOGETHER
Entering Big Sky Conference play, a pair of UND hitters find themselves among the leaders in hitting percentage in the conference. Junior co-captains Lisa Parlich and Ronni Munkeby each appear in the top 10 statistically through Sept. 9. Parlich is second in the league with a .340 clip while Munkeby sits in 10th with a .275 hitting percentage.
ON THE ATTACK
Felicia Ulrich hit .476 against Alabama A&M last Friday and Ronni Munkeby registered a .526 hitting clip against Ole Miss Saturday to give UND four of the top seven individual single-match attack percentages this season. Lisa Parlich's career night against South Dakota (.778--15 kills, 1 error, 18 attempts) leads the Big Sky.
Big Sky Individual Match Highs (Attack percentage, min. 12 kills)
|1. Lisa Parlich||0.778||15-1-18||vs. South Dakota||8-31-12|
|5. Felicia Ulrich||0.529||12-3-7||vs. South Dakota||8-31-12|
|6. Ronni Munkeby||0.526||12-2-19||at Ole Miss||9-8-12|
|7. Felicia Ulrich||0.476||13-3-21||vs. Alabama A&M||9-7-12|
COMING UP ACES
Felicia Ulrich recorded five service aces at Ole Miss Saturday. That total tops the Big Sky Conference for a single match this season. UND is also tied for the top team total for service aces in a single match with a dozen against Stephen F. Austin (9-1-12).
Sophomore Lexi Robinson leads UND with five double-doubles this season. That total leaves her two shy of Portland State's Jaklyn Wheeler for most in the Big Sky Conference this season. Robinson is averaging 11.3 kills and 11.0 digs per match early in the season.
UND ON THE INTERNET
UNDSports.com is the official online home of University of North Dakota athletics. UNDSports.com is a veritable one-stop shop for the most hard-core UND fan, featuring breaking news, feature stories, game notes, live and archived video webcasts, FREE audio, FREE live stats, podcasts, blogs, player profiles, merchandise, photo galleries, news feeds, camp registration and much, much more.
BIG SKY TV
All UND home matches and every Big Sky road match will be available via free video webcast through Big Sky TV. Go to UNDSports.com for more details.
UND ON THE RADIO
Three UND matches will be available on the radio as well. Tune in to hear Paul Ralston's call on Sep. 1 for the Green Bay match and catch a pair of Big Sky matches: Sept. 13 vs. Montana State and Oct. 1 vs. Northern Colorado. The matches will be aired on KKXL-AM 1440 and WDAY-AM 970.
UND ON TV
Midco Sports Network will televise three UND volleyball games as part of its broadcast deal that includes football, men's hockey, women's hockey, men's basketball and women's basketball. The first televised volleyball game comes on Sept. 13 when UND hosts new Big Sky foe Montana State. BSC defending champion Northern Colorado visits BESC on Oct. 1 and Portland State rounds out the TV schedule on Nov. 8. Check MidcoSports.com for channel availability in your area.