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UND hopes to celebrate a successful road trip this week in its final regular season road matches.
Huge final regular season road trip upcoming
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Updated: Tuesday 11/13/2013 03:35:15 (ET)
by UNDsports.com
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North Dakota at Portland State
Thurs., Nov. 14- 9:00 p.m CT
WatchBigSky.com

North Dakota at Eastern Washington
Sat., Nov. 16- 8:00 p.m. CT
WatchBigSky.com

ON TAP
North Dakota heads out for its final regular season road trip, making the trek to Portland State and Eastern Washington this week. UND will make the return trip to Portland in two weeks for the Big Sky Conference Tournament, held at Portland State.

QUICK SETS
*Thursday’s match at Portland State will be the 150th of Ashley Hardee’s career.
*A win would give North Dakota its 13th all-time 20-win season.
*Lisa Parlich (.378) and Ronni Munkeby (.328) are one and three in the Big Sky in hitting percentage.
*Portland State is 102 and UND 108 in the latest NCAA Division I RPI rankings (Nov. 11)
*North Dakota is 36th in the NCAA in average home attendance this season (1,152)

LAST WEEK
North Dakota suffered just its second league defeat Friday against Northern Colorado but rebounded nicely with a sweep of Sacramento State Saturday.

HUGE IMPLICATIONS
Thursday’s match at Portland State will go a long way in deciding the regular season champion in the Big Sky Conference. A Viking win would pull Portland State even with North Dakota at 14-3 while a UND win would give North Dakota a two-game edge and the tiebreaker (sweep of PSU) with three games to go (NAU and ISU each remain three games back of UND at 11-5 entering the week). A UND win would also mean that North Dakota’s magic number to secure a first-round bye (top two teams) would be just one (UND win or NAU loss-- ISU loses the tiebreaker with UND).

SCOUTING THE VIKINGS
Portland State has won five straight matches and is 7-1 since its Oct. 12 loss at North Dakota ... The Vikings are second in the league in kills (13.80/set) and sets the pace in the conference in assists (12.98/set) ... PSU’s 1.79 service aces per set is far and away the best mark in the Big Sky ... The Viks are also solid defensively, recording 15.17 digs pet set, second-best average in the league ... Leigh Haataja (.293, 7th) and Katie O’Brien  (.279, 9th) each appear in the top 10 in the Big Sky in hitting percentage ... Four different Vikings are in the top nine in the conference in service aces, led by Kaeli Patton’s 0.32 per set average (second) ... North Dakota outlasted PSU, 3-2 in an epic battle Oct. 12 in which four of the five sets were decided by the minimum two points.

SCOUTING THE EAGLES

Eastern Washington is still alive for a postseason berth, trailing sixth-place Sacramento State by two games and seventh-place Northern Colorado by a single game with four matches to play ... EWU hits .171 as a team while allowing opponents a .212 hitting percentage coming into the week ... North Dakota swept Eastern Washington, 3-0, on Oct. 10 for Ashley Hardee’s 100th career win.

ROARING 20s
UND head coach Ashley Hardee is one win away from leading North Dakota to another 20-win campaign. It would be the 13th 20-win season all-time at UND and Hardee would own four of those, more than any other coach in program history.:

20-win seasons
Ashley Hardee (one W shy of 4 in 5 seasons)
Lisa Kissee (3 in 7 seasons)
Carol Cooke (2 in 7 seasons)
Maria Bruggeman (2 in 8 seasons)
Kari Peterson (2 in 2 seasons)

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 (.252),  kills (13.81/set) and blocks (2.65/set).

GIMME FIVE
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.

TOURNEY SCENARIOS
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 cinch at least the two seed this week with a win over Portland State and a Northern Arizona loss.

HUSFELDT’S HELPERS
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 27 kills combined last week, Munkeby moved into 13th place in the UND record books. She needs just 88 to crack the top 10.

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. Ronni Munkeby    1,053
14. Renee Larson    1,039
15. Aileen Cahill    1,022

YOU BETTY RECOGNIZE
North Dakota is 76-37 all-time at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center, which opened prior to the 2004 season.  Since 2008, UND is a staggering 54-11 (.831) 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.

RECORD REWIND
The University of North Dakota volleyball program holds a 612-717-3 (.461) record all-time since the first game was played on Sept. 22, 1976. Under head coach Ashley Hardee, UND is 107-42 (.718).

APPROACHING MILESTONES
*Lisa Parlich sits at 929 kills entering the weekend.
*If Parlich reaches the mark, her and Ronni Munkeby (1,053)  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 968 digs and aims to become the 15th UND player to reach 1,000 in their career.
*Nikki Husfeldt already has 3,798 assists in her UND career.

DYNAMIC DUO
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.

600 SERIES
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        107 wins (5th season)
Carol Cooke     105 wins (7 seasons)

PIOSKE’S PLAUDITS
Freshman Anna Pioske recorded 44 combined kills in a pair of road wins for North Dakota at Idaho State and Weber State, 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.

SENIOR SPOTLIGHTED...TWICE
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.

WATCHBIGSKY.com
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.

 

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