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Ronni Munkeby (left) and Ellen Krueger (right) have helped UND to wins in four of its last five matches and a spot in the Big Sky Conference tournament.
Volleyball looks to keep rolling
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Updated: Tuesday 11/14/2012 22:22:16 (ET)
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North Dakota (15-14, 10-8 Big Sky) takes its hot streak on the road, finishing out the balance of the 2012 regular season schedule at Northern Arizona and Southern Utah on Thursday and Saturday, respectively. UND-- who has won four of its last five matches-- has already clinched a spot in the upcoming conference tournament Nov. 23-24 in Greeley, Colo.
NAU is tied for the most overall wins in the Big Sky Conference with 22 (Idaho State) ... The Lumberjacks are second in the league in hitting percentage (.247) and allow the lowest opponent hit percentage (.167) ... Two NAU palyers are in the top five in the Big Sky in hitting: Sydney Kemper (.345, 2nd) and Payton Bock (.319, 5th) ... NAU won the previous meeting this season, a 3-0 win in Grand Forks (Oct. 13)
SUU remains a game back of the final playoff spot for the Big Sky Tournament ... The Thunderbirds got a big win at Montana State last week to remain in the hunt ... Senior Ana Mailoto is third in the conference in kills (3.83 kills/set) ... UND was a 3-0 winner in the previous match-up this season (Oct. 11) ... Lexi Robinson had 14 kills to lead the way for North Dakota in that match as UND outhit SUU, .324 - .138.
Five Big Sky teams have clinched spots in the upcoming postseason league tournament. Idaho State, Portland State, Northern Arizona, host Northern Colorado and North Dakota are all guaranteed to finish in the top six of the conference standings with two matches to play. Montana State and Southern Utah are still in the mix for the final seed with the Bobcats holding a one-game edge.

UND can lay claim to the fifth seed in the Big Sky Tournament with a win this week. The five seed will play the four seed in the opening round of the tournament while the six seed gets the third seed. Both of the top teams in the tourney earns byes into the semifinals.

Junior co-captain Lisa Parlich was named Big Sky Conference Volleyball Co-Player of the Week on Nov. 13, becoming the first North Dakota player to earn the weekly volleyball award after a standout week that saw UND earn a berth in the conference postseason tournament. The junior from Delavan, Wis. hit .305 for the week and had 15 total blocks as UND earned its first-ever Big Sky weekend sweep (Thursday vs. Portland State, Saturday vs. Eastern Washington). She started the week with a 17-kill, 4-block performance at Northern Colorado Monday in a close five-set loss to the Bears. Thursday, her 10 kills and four blocks were key in North Dakota handing Portland State just its third conference loss of the season. Saturday, after just two kills in the first two sets, Parlich recorded six kills and seven total blocks (1 solo, six assisted) over the final two sets. In that final set, UND rebounded from an 11-4 deficit and fought off seven different set-point opportunities for Eastern Washington before eventually winning, 33-31.

Ronni Munkeby was named to the 2012 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.

First-team Academic All-District® honorees advance to the Capital One Academic All-America® Team ballot, to be selected later this month.

Munkeby-- a 4.0 grade point average student in physical education, exercise science and wellness-- is the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) President at UND and a Dean’s List member. She was the recipient of the 2011-12 UND Female Sioux Service Award, volunteering for several organizations: including the Big Event, Altru Spin for Kids, Special Olympics, Grand Forks Public Library, Girl Scouts and more.

North Dakota fought-off seven different set-point attempts by Eastern Washington in earning a 33-31 victory in the fourth set to take a 3-1 win in the home finale on Nov. 10. EWU had an opportunity to even the match at two sets apiece on seven different occasions with service but UND was able to side out each time and with the score 31-30 EWU, scored three straight points to end it. The 33-31 score (14 extra points) was the longest set in UND history since the NCAA moved to rally scoring in 2001.

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