North Dakota puts its five-match winning streak on the line this weekend when it returns to Big Sky Conference play at Sacramento State Saturday. The trip concludes with a Monday showdown at defending league tournament champion Northern Colorado.
UND hit .500 as a team in routing in-state rival North Dakota State, 3-0 Monday at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center. A state-record 2,688 fans witnessed North Dakota taking its third straight win in the series behind 15 kills by freshman Anna Pioske and 21 kills and no errors combined from its senior co-captains Ronni Munkeby and Lisa Parlich.
SCOUTING THE HORNETS
Sacramento State is 7-8 overall and 2-2 in the Big Sky Conference heading into Thursday... The Hornets are led by sophomore Sloan Lovett, who is third in the league points (4.03/set) ... She is third in the Big Sky in kills and (3.43/set) and tops the conference in service aces (.44/set) ... Sacramento State is second in hitting percentage as a team, trailing UND by 27 percentage points (.263-.236) ... The Hornets put the brakes on a six-match losing streak last week by defeating Northern Arizona (3-1) and Southern Utah (3-0) at home.
SERIES WITH SACRAMENTO STATE
North Dakota took both matches last season, both by 3-1 margins ... North Dakota rallied from down 13 in the fourth set of the home win on Nov. 6 ... UND trailed 17-4 and then took 17 of the next 20 points to turn the tables and eventually take that set, 25-22 for the win ... UND is now 2-0 against Sacramento State all-time.
SCOUTING THE BEARS
UNC is 5-9 overall and 1-3 in the conference coming into the weekend ... The defending league tournament champions sit in a tie for eighth place currently in the standings ... Junior Brianna Strong is the Bears’ main offensive weapon, hitting .269 this season, eighth-best in the league ... She is also third in the Big Sky in blocking (1.22/set) ... UNC leads the conference is digs at 15.34 per set with senior Merideth Johnson setting the pace at 5.18 per set.
SERIES WITH NORTHERN COLORADO
A rivalry grew with Northern Colorado last season as UND played the Bears to a pair of five-set matches in the regular season with UNC scraping out wins both times ... UNC also won in the league tournament played in Greeley, Colo. (3-0) ... All-time against Northern Colorado, UND is 2-30.
ON THE HORIZON
UND hosts a pair of huge matches over homecoming weekend, welcoming Eastern Washington on Thursday and Portland State on Saturday at the Betty. The following week sees UND travel to Southern Utah and Northern Arizona to wrap up the first half of the conference season.
The University of North Dakota volleyball program holds a 602-713-3 (.458) record all-time since the first game was played on Sept. 22, 1976. Under head coach Ashley Hardee, UND is 97-40 (.708).
YOU BETTY RECOGNIZE
North Dakota is 71-36 all-time at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center, which opened prior to the 2004 season. Since 2008, UND is a staggering 49-10 (.831) including a school-record 13 wins in 2011.
North Dakota etched its 600th win in the program’s history with Thursday’s sweep of Weber State. Of those wins, 121 have come in its NCAA Division I era (since 2008).
Senior Ronni Munkeby tallied a pair of 13-kill matches to help North Dakota to a perfect 2-0 road week at Montana State and Montana, Sep. 20-21. The Lisbon, N.D. native also added seven total blocks and a service ace on the week. She was honored as the Big Sky Conference Player of the Week for her efforts.
She also won the award the following week for her 29 combined kills in wins over Weber State and Idaho State. Munkeby tied a career-best with 19 kills in the win over the Bengals.
WHOOOAAA, WE’RE HALFWAY THERE....
North Dakota hit an incredible .500 as a team in the Sep. 30 win over North Dakota State. That mark was easily the best of the season and was just shy of the all-time record set back in 1991, a 3-0 trouncing of South Dakota that produced a .534 hit percentage.
North Dakota only had FIVE attack errors in that NDSU win, including only one in the final two sets combined. Seniors Ronni Munkeby (13 kills) and Lisa Parlich (8 kills) combined for 21 kills without an attack error.
WE’RE GOING STREAKING
Head coach Ashley Hardee’s team is off to a 4-0 start in league play. He has several impressive winning streaks in conference play in his five seasons at the helm including a 21-match streak that spanned two seasons in the Great West Conference.
2009- 9 straight GWC wins * (11-1 finish)
2010- 12 straight GWC wins * (12-0 finish)
2011- 8 straight GWC wins (8-2 finish)
*these streaks ran consecutively
RIGHT ON PAR-LICH
Senior Lisa Parlich was named to the UND Classic All-Tournament Team. It marks the second straight season for that honor after she was the MVP of the 2012 tourney.
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.
HITTING THE BOOKS
The UND volleyball team earned the American Volleyball Coaches Association’s Team Academic Award with a cumulative 3.461 grade point average last season. The award, which was initiated in the 1992-93 academic year, honors collegiate and high school volleyball teams that displayed excellence in the classroom during the school year by maintaining at least a 3.30 cumulative team grade-point average on a 4.0 scale or a 4.10 cumulative team GPA on a 5.0 scale.
UND ON THE WEB
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.
UND ON THE RADIO
A pair of key UND matches will be available on the radio as well. Tune in to hear Paul Ralston’s call for the NDSU showdown at the Betty as well as the home macth vs. Eastern Washington. The matches will be aired on KKXL-AM 1440 (Grand Forks) , WDAY-AM 970 (Fargo) and KNDK 95.7 FM (Langdon).
UND ON TV
Midco Sports Network will televise three UND volleyball matches 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 match is the highly-anticipated in-state battle with North Dakota State on Sep. 30. An Oct. 24 Big Sky match against Montana is the second on the docket and the Nov. 21 match against Northern Arizona rounds out the TV schedule. All three matches will air in high definition. Check MidcoSports.com for channel availability in your area.
UND heads west with five-match win streak on line
Courtesy: Mitch Wigness, UND Media Relations