North Dakota (8-10, 4-4) prepares for its in-state rival Tuesday, heading to Fargo for its final non-conference tilt of the season. The Kelly Green will reach the midway point of their Big Sky schedule this week following their matches with Southern Utah and Northern Arizona.
HOMECOMING ON THE HORIZON
UND plays three matches this week, coming home to host Southern Utah Thursday and Northern Arizona Saturday. The match with the Lumberjacks is part of homecoming festivities on campus and is the final athletic event in a jam-packed day in Grand Forks.
SCOUTING THE BISON (7-11, 4-4 Summit)
NDSU is fresh off a weekend sweep of Summit League foes South Dakota and Kansas City ... The Bison are in the midst of a five-match home stand in which they'll play half of their home schedule (five of 10 total home matches) ... NDSU is led by senior Brynn Joki, who averages 3.61 kills per set ... Megan Lambertson hits a team-best .378 with a 2.87 kills-per-set average.
Tuesday's meeting marks the 75th all-time between the schools. NDSU holds the upper hand in the series, winning 69 of those games, but UND won last season's match for its first win in the series since 2002.
LAST TIME WE MET...
UND, in front of 2,394 raucous fans at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center, generated a 3-1 win over NDSU on Sept. 6 of last season. North Dakota scored nine of the final 10 points in the final set to record the win-- its first over the Bison since Oct. 5, 2002 when both schools were Division II members of the North Central Conference. Seniors Annika Smed and Devin Trefz each recorded 13 kills for UND to lead the way.
Bison senior outside hitter Brynn Joki will have her sister watching her Tuesday. Elder sister, Erin, is on the UND coaching staff and will be helping to surmise a plan to stop the Bison's top offensive threat. The youngest Joki recently surpassed the 1,000-kill plateau in her career at NDSU.
MAKE IT DOUBLE DIGIT DOUBLE-DOUBLES
Sophomore Lexi Robinson is tied for third in the Big Sky Conference with 10 double-doubles this season. She's generated at least 10 kills in 12 of the last 13 matches and has reached a season-high 18 finishes on two different occasions (vs. Rice, vs. Northern Colorado).
GET SOME SEPARATION?
A look at the Big Sky Conference standings shows a bunched-up group battling for the top six spots. The top six teams at the end of the regular season will converge on Greeley, Colo. on Nov. 23-24 on the campus of last season's champions, Northern Colorado. UND and Southern Utah are currently tied for that last qualifying position.
HOW CAN I ASSIST YOU?
North Dakota has a pair of current players climbing the charts in the career assists category in the school's all-time record book. Sophomore Nikki Husfeldt (Andover, Minn.) already ranks eighth all-time in career helpers while teammate junior Ellen Krueger (Lakeville, Minn.) is set to crack the top 10 very soon. A look below at the top 10 marks for career assists at UND:
|1. Holly Welter (1999-02)||4,698|
|2. Julie Kerr (1985-88)||4,025|
|3. Lisa Luebke (1989-92)||3,277|
|4. Megan Langseth (2006-09)||2,952|
|5. Lori Unger (1994-97)||2,860|
|6. Jamie Skadeland (01-04)||2,791|
|7. Allison Louwagie (2005-07)||2,496|
|8. Nikki Husfeldt (2010-pres.)||2,114|
|9. Jennifer Olson (1994-96)||1,310|
|10. Denise Gross (1989-93)||1,221|
|-- Ellen Krueger (2011-pres.)||1,116|
UND ON THE RADIO
A total of four UND matches will be available on the radio. 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. MSU and Oct. 1 vs. NC. The big showdown with in-state rival NDSU will be the lone road match broadcast (Oct. 8). 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.
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.