Northern Colorado at UND
Friday, Nov. 8- 7:00 p.m.
Betty Englestad Sioux Center
Sacramento State at UND
Saturday, Nov. 9- 7:00 p.m.
Betty Englestad Sioux Center
North Dakota will play four of its final six regular season matches at home beginning with Friday’s tilt against Northern Colorado. UND sits atop the Big Sky Conference standings by two games heading into the weekend.
North Dakota came back and won another five-set match, this time at Idaho State and then defeated Weber State the next night to improve to 13-1 in the Big Sky Conference.
SCOUTING THE BEARS
Northern Colorado, the defending Big Sky Conference Tournament champion, is fighting for its postseason life sitting in seventh place, three games behind the final playoff spot ... UNC is sixth in the league in hitting percentage (.210) and allows teams to hit .206 against (fourth-best) ... The Bears’ 15.02 digs per set average in second in the league ... Kendra Cunningham is ninth in the Big Sky in kills (2.98/set) and is tenth in points (3.46/set) ... All three regular-season Big Sky Conference meetings between the schools have gone to five sets ... UND’s earlier win this season was just the third in 33 matches all-time with UNC.
SCOUTING THE HORNETS
Sacramento State is tied for sixth place in the Big Sky standings ... Sac State boasts two of the top six hitters in the conference based on kills per set as Sloan Lovett averages 3.34/set for fourth-best and Kayla Beal is sixth at 3.14 a set ... The Hornets allow the most service aces in the league on average, with opponents generating 1.65 per set this season ... North Dakota has won all three meetings between the schools.
WE’RE THE TOPS
North Dakota finds itself as the Big Sky leader in a host of different categories statistically. UND is tops in team hitting percentage (.259), assists (12.87/set), kills (13.81/set) and blocks (2.62/set).
BATTLE OF THE MIDDLES
Friday’s match against Northern Colorado features four of the top six hitters in the conference with both middle hitters from each squad appearing among the league leaders. UND’s Lisa Parlich leads the bunch-- and the Big Sky-- with her .387 hitting percentage with Ronni Munkeby third with .327 clip. UNC’s Brianna Strong and Andrea Spaustat are fifth (.310) and sixth (.308), respectively.
Freshman Anna Pioske recorded 44 combined kills in a pair of road wins for North Dakota last week, earning her Big Sky Conference Player of the Week accolades as announced by league officials Nov. 4. Pioske tallied a career-best 23 finishes in a five-set win at Idaho State and added 21 the following night at Weber State.
For the week, Pioske averaged 4.89 kills, 1.78 digs and 1.0 blocks per set. She hit .341 with 44 kills on 91 attempts with 13 errors. She becomes the third UND honoree as Ronni Munkeby won back-to-back awards on Sep. 23 and 30.
With its 3-2 win over Idaho State on Nov. 1, UND improved to 4-2 in five-set matches this season. That includes four straight wins in the deciding set and in three of those, North Dakota was down at least two sets to one to comeback to win.
IT’S IN THE BAG
North Dakota became the first team to clinch a berth in the Big Sky Conference Tournament. Six teams will converge on Portland, Ore. Nov. 29-30 for the postseason tournament with an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament on the line.
UND could potentially lock up a first-round bye this week with wins and some help. North Dakota’s sights are set on the regular season championship but the first step would be securing one of two first-round byes into the semifinal round. North Dakota could clinch at least the two seed this week with two wins and losses from Portland State and Northern Arizona-- who play each other on Saturday
Junior Nikki Husfeldt recorded a new career high with 65 assists in the five-set win at Idaho State Nov. 1. She followed up with 47 assists the next night to push her over 1,000 for the season.
SHE’S A GRAND PLAYER
Senior Ronni Munkeby (Lisbon, N.D./Lisbon) registered her 1,000th career kill in her last home match, becoming just the 15th member of that club in program history. With 25 kills in two wins last week at Idaho State and Weber State, Munkeby moved past Aileen Cahill for 14th place in the UND record books.
Career kill leaders at UND
1. Karla Danielson 1,732
10. Britta Hanson 1,141
11. Kristi Rasmussen 1,137
12. Jody Paperno 1,085
13. Renee Larson 1,039
14. Ronni Munkeby 1,026
15. Aileen Cahill 1,022
YOU BETTY RECOGNIZE
North Dakota is 75-36 all-time at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center, which opened prior to the 2004 season. Since 2008, UND is a staggering 53-10 (.841) including a school-record 13 wins in 2011.
EIGHT IS ENOUGH?
UND teams know plenty about running together long conference winning streaks in head coach Ashley Hardee’s tenure. Its most recent nine-match league winning streak is the fourth stretch of eight matches or more in a single season.
YEAR CONFERENCE STREAK
2010 Great West *12
2009 Great West *9
2013 Big Sky 9
2011 Great West 8
*These streaks ran concurrent for 21-straight league wins.
The University of North Dakota volleyball program holds a 611-716-3 (.461) record all-time since the first game was played on Sept. 22, 1976. Under head coach Ashley Hardee, UND is 106-41 (.721).
Senior Ronni Munkeby notched her 1,000th kill but teammate Lisa Parlich is close to that mark as well. Parlich sits at 907 kills entering the weekend. If Parlich reaches the mark, they would be just the third UND teammates to have 1,000 kills in the same season (2003- Emily Tuve, Heather Hanson & 2011- Devin Trefz, Annika Smed). Lauren Clarke is also at 931 digs and aims to become the 15th UND player to reach 1,000 in their career.
Two University of North Dakota volleyball student-athletes have been recognized for their hard work in the classroom in addition to their on-court achievements as senior Ronni Munkeby (Lisbon, N.D.) and sophomore Lauren Clarke (Naperville, Ill./Waubonsie) were each named to the 2013 Capital One Academic All-District® Volleyball First Team, selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America. The program recognizes the nation’s top student‐athletes for their combined performances athletically and in the classroom. Capital One has been the entitlement rights holder to CoSIDA’s Academic All-America teams programs since 2011.
The Academic All-District® teams are divided into eight geographic districts across the United States and Canada. Honorees are chosen from NCAA Division I, NCAA Division II and NCAA Division III participants, while the College Division team combines NAIA, Canadian and two‐year schools. District 6 is comprised of schools located in Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
First-team Academic All‐District® honorees advance to the Capital One Academic All-America® Team ballot, where first‐, second‐ and third‐team All-America honorees will be selected later this month.
North Dakota etched its 600th win in the program’s history with a Sep. 26 sweep of Weber State. Of those wins, 121 have come in its NCAA Division I era (since 2008).
CLIMBING THE LADDER
Head coach Ashley Hardee notched his 100th win on Thursday, Oct. 10 with a win over Eastern Washington. With a win on Saturday at Weber State, Hardee moved into third place on the UND coaching wins list. Here’s a look at where he stands all-time for UND coaching victories:
Lisa Kissee 137 wins (7 seasons)
Maria Bruggeman 124 wins (8 seasons)
Ashley Hardee 106 wins (5th season)
Carol Cooke 105 wins (7 seasons)
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.
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 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.
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 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.
The University of North Dakota softball team dropped a pair of games on the final day of the Shocker Softball Classic, losing 13-7 to San Diego State and 10-3 to Northern Illinois on Sunday. MORE