North Dakota (10-11, 5-5 Big Sky) enters the second half of the Big Sky Conference schedule, returning trips to Montana and Montana State this weekend. UND is currently in fifth place with 10 matches to play in the regular season.
SCOUTING THE GRIZZLIES
(5-14, 3-7 Big Sky)
UM has won back-to-back matches for the first time this season, defeating Sacramento State and rival Montana State in its last two matches ... Brooke Bray is one of the most efficient hitters in the Big Sky, tallying a .344 hit percentage to date, good for third-best in the league ... Bray is also second in the BSC in blocks per set with her 1.28 average ... North Dakota won the previous match-up this season, winning 3-0 (26-24, 25-15, 26-24) back on Sept. 15 for UND’s first-ever Big Sky victory.
SCOUTING THE BOBCATS
(11-7, 5-5 Big Sky)
MSU is tied with UND for fifth place in the conference heading into this weekend’s matches ... Hitter Sarah Horton leads the Big Sky in kills, averaging 4.18 per set this season ... Macy Page is also among the leaders in kills with a 3.32 kills/set mark, good for seventh in the league ... The Bobcats won a tight five-set decision in Grand Forks back on Sept. 13 in the league opener for both schools.
LUCKY NUMBER 13
Sophomore Lexi Robinson has a streak of four straight double-double matches, giving her a Big Sky-leading 13 on the season. She has recorded at least 10 kills in each of the last nine matches and 15 of the past 16.
SECOND TIME AROUND
The Big Sky schedule has reached the midway point and all 11 teams will be flipping home and away from earlier matchups. Teams are jockeying for position to get into the top six spots in the conference standings for a postseason tournament berth. Northern Colorado, by virtue of its championship last season, will host the Big Sky tourament this year on Nov. 23-24.
North Dakota has endured six of its losses this season on Saturdays, going 3-6 overall. UND has five Saturday matches remaining on the regular season schedule and only the upcoming match against Montana State is against a school currently in the top six in the league standings (Weber State, at Sacramento State, Eastern Washington, at Southern Utah).
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.
Butler took control of a tight contest with visiting North Dakota thanks to a 18-2 run to close the first half and went on to register a 79-64 victory on Saturday at Hinkle Fieldhouse. MORE