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Lauren Clarke (left), Felicia Ulrich (center) and Lisa Parlich (right) and UND host the season's final two home matches this weekend.
Televised match opens final homestand
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Updated: Friday 11/07/2012 15:32:25 (ET)
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Portland State at North Dakota
Thurs., Nov. 8 -- 7:00 p.m.
Betty Engelstad Sioux Center
Midco Sports Net/Fox College Sports (DirecTV 623), Big Sky TV

Eastern Washington at North Dakota
Sat., Nov. 10 -- 7:00 p.m.
Betty Engelstad Sioux Center
Big Sky TV

North Dakota (13-14, 8-8) hosts its final home matches this week when it welcomes first-place Portland State and Eastern Washington to the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center on Thursday and Saturday, respectively. Through eight weeks of the Big Sky Conference schedule, UND has split every one of them.

SCOUTING THE VIKINGS (18-9, 14-2 Big Sky)
Portland State comes into the week tied for first place in the conference with just two league losses ... PSU suffered setbacks to Montana State and Northern Arizona for its only conference losses ... The Vikings were 3-1 winners over UND in Portland, Ore. back on Oct. 6.

SCOUTING THE EAGLES (4-23, 4-12 Big Sky)

After a 0-18 start to the season, EWU has responded with wins in four of its last five matches to leap out of the cellar in the Big Sky standings ... The Eagles have a pair of road wins in that stretch ... EWU has faint hopes alive for a postseason berth, trailing the sixth and final spot by four games with four to play ... UND won, 3-1, in the team’s prior meeting (Oct. 4).

Sophomore Lexi Robinson is third in the Big Sky Conference with 15 double-doubles this season. She’s generated at least 10 kills in 22 of 27 matches this season and has reached a season-high 18 finishes on two different occasions (vs. Rice, vs. Northern Colorado).

Four Big Sky teams have clinched spots in the upcoming postseason league tournament. Idaho State, Portland State, Northern Arizona and host Northern Colorado are all guaranteed to finish in the top six of the conference standings with four matches to play. Montana State and North Dakota are currently tied for fifth place on the league ladder with MSU holding the tiebreaker due to its sweep of UND this season.

All but one conference team is still in the hunt for a Big Sky postseason tourney berth. While Montana State and North Dakota have the clear inside track for the fifth and sixth seeds, Sacramento State, Southern Utah,  Montana and Eastern Washington could each force a multi-way tie with four matches to play.

North Dakota has remained consistent through the Big Sky Conference season. UND has played six league schools twice and has duplicated the outcome every time including by the same score on five occasions. A look at UND’s mirrored results thus far:

Opponent 1st mtg 2nd mtg
Montana W, 3-0 W, 3-0
Montana State L, 2-3 L, 2-3
Northern Colorado L, 2-3 L, 2-3
Sacramento State W, 3-1 W, 3-1
Weber State W, 3-2 W, 3-2
Idaho State L, 1-3 L, 0-3
Portland State L, 0-3 ??
Eastern Washington W, 3-1 ??
Northern Arizona L, 0-3 ??
Southern Utah W, 3-0 ??

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.) moved into seventh place all-time in career helpers on Monday 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:

Career Assists
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 (2001-04) 2,791
7. Nikki Husfeldt (2010-pres.) 2,497
8. Allison Louwagie (2005-07) 2,496
9. Jennifer Olson (1994-96) 1,310
10. Denise Gross (1989-93) 1,221
-- Ellen Krueger (2011-pres.) 1,135

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