Courtesy: Sacramento State Athletics
Recapping a magical volleyball season
Courtesy: Mitch Wigness, UND Media Relations
Release: 12/18/2017
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*North Dakota broke the program mark for wins this season (30), previous high 26. 
*UND repeated as the Big Sky Conference Tournament champions, defeating host Sacramento State in five. 
*The Fighting Hawks have finished atop the Big Sky North Division in three of the past four seasons. 
*UND’s attendance of 3,140 in the home opener (vs. NDSU) was the first-ever sellout for volleyball at The “Betty”.
*Faith Dooley is the UND career record holder for blocks (679), breaking a 26-year-old record.
*Her 679 career blocks were the most of any active NCAA player (all three Divisions).
*Her 202 total blocks this season led the NCAA. She ranked 13th in NCAA in blocks/set (1.46).
*She now owns the Big Sky Conference record for total blocks as well, surpassing that mark Nov 16 vs. Weber State.
*She repeated as the Big Sky Tournament Most Valuable Player.
*Dooley became UND's first-ever four-time all-conference honoree (three first team, one second team).
*Dooley won four Big Sky Player of the Week nods, three defensive (Aug 28, Oct 2, Oct 16- defensive, Sep 26 - offensive)
*UND had seven different players named to all-tournament teams with three different MVPs in pre-league tourneys. 
*Sydney Griffin became the fourth UND player all-time to reach 4,000 career assists and is now in 3rd place (4,230).
*Griffin tallied her first career triple-double (42 assists, 19 digs, 10 blocks) Oct. 5 at Sacramento State. It was UND’s first triple-double since 2014 (Nikki Husfeldt). She duplicated the feat (again against Sac State) with 56 assists, 12 kiills and 10 digs in the championship match of the Big Sky Tournament. 
*Her 1,434 assists this season were eighth-most in the NCAA. 
*North Dakota won five five-set matches this season.
*North Dakota recorded a school-record 20 consecutive home wins (Sep 22, 2016- Oct 26, 2017). 
*UND had a school-record 39 straight set wins at home. (Nov 5, 2016 - Oct 26, 2017) 
*Griffin totaled 19 career matches with 50 or more assists.  
*Three different players notched double-doubles this season (Griffin 18, Merseli 15, Dooley 4). 
*UND checked in at No. 18 in the final Mid-Major Top 25 Poll.

Senior setter Sydney Griffin was the only Big Sky player to notch a triple-double this season and she was one of only 11 in the country to do so more than once. Both triple-doubles came at Sacramento State, the latest one in the Big Sky Conference Tournament Championship match on Nov. 18.

Faith Dooley was again named the Big Sky Conference Tournament’s Most Valuable Player for the second consecutive season. Dooley ended the tournament with career highs in kills (19) and digs (10) in the championship match win over Sacramento State. 

North Dakota found itself among the leaders in the country in several team categories thi season. The Fighting Hawks were second in total digs (2,530), third in total attacks (5,239), fourth in total blocks (372.5), fifth in total kills (1,851) and sixth in assists (1,739) in all of NCAA Division I. HIGHEST IN THE SKYFaith Dooley became the all-time leader in total blocks in Big Sky Conference history and piled on to her school-record total as well. Dooley finished her standout career with 679 total blocks to her credit, surpassing Weber State’s Brittney Bisaillon, who had 657 from 2005-08.

North Dakota made history with its regular season and it is looking to make more in the postseason. Here are some records already tied or eclipsed in the program’s record books:
Prev. Record 2017 Record detailsMost wins in back-to-back seasons 51 55 (2010-11)Most wins 26 30 (26 wins in 1990, 2014 & 2016)Fewest sets lost at home 5 5 (8-0 in 2009)

North Dakota has been among the nation’s top teams in total digs in all four years under head coach Mark Pryor.  The top four single-season dig leaders also come from each of the past four years with McKenzie Hart and Alivia Fraase establishing the first through fourth-best single season numbers in that statistic:

North Dakota is at No. 18 in the final Mid-Major Top 25 poll.  The Fighting Hawks have been ranked in every week, appearing initially  at 15 with its highest ranking at 10 (two weeks). Now in its second season, the mid-major poll ranks schools not among the power-five conferences (ACC, SEC, Pac-12, Big 10 or Big 12).

Sidney Mattson made her first start of the season Nov. 9 in a key match against Northern Arizona with Sydney Griffin nursing an injury. The
sophomore dished-out a career-best 35 assists and added a career-high nine digs as North Dakota swept the match to remain in the running for the two-seed in the upcoming tournament. Griffin would return Saturday to post her 15th double-double of the season, registering 42 assists and a career-high-tying 22 digs in the four-set win over Northern Colorado. 

Never before had the UND volleyball team beat Northern Colorado twice in one season, until 2017. UNC owns a commanding 36-7 all-time mark against North Dakota, dating back to the Division II days in the North Central Conference. North Dakota has now won three straight over UNC, also a first in the all-time series. 

UND head coach Mark Pryor reached the 100 win plateau in his four seasons at North Dakota with the team’s regular season finale win over Northern Colorado. That win also gave UND its 27th of the season to set a new program record for wins. With the three wins at the Big Sky Conference Tournament, UND is 7-2 in the league tournament under his direction and is 23-3 in November. UND has set or tied the school record for wins three different times. (26 in 2014 and 2016, 30 in 2017).

Senior setter Sydney Griffin nearly pulled off a very rare quadruple-double in the Oct. 5 match at Sacramento State. She was just two kills shy of pulling the stunt, settling for her first career triple-double (42 assists, 19 digs, 10 blocks) and UND’s first triple-double since Nikki Husfeldt did it back in 2014. She’d turn another triple-double, again against Sacramento State, with 56 assists, a career-high 12 kills and 11 digs. 

Jordan Vail collected a career-best 19 kills Nov. 4 at Idaho, tied for the most by a Fighting Hawk athlete this season. The junior has now tallied double figures in kills in 13 of her last 16 matches played. 

Sophomore Alivia Fraase surpassed the 1,000 career dig mark on Oct. 30 against Iowa State. She became the 19th UND player to surpass that mark but just the second to do so as a sophomore (Lauren Clarke, 1,051 from 2012-13). Fraase’s 583-dig total last season was tied for second-best at the school in a single season and she added 567 already this season, a total that is fourth-highest in a single season at UND. 

Since the Big Sky Conference went to divisions in 2014, UND has won the North Divisions three of the four, including tying with Idaho this season at 12-4. The only year North Dakota wasn’t atop the division at season’s end was in 2015 when a slew of injuries kept UND one game behind the leaders in the division. 

Senior Faith Dooley won the Big Sky Conference’s Player of the Week award four times after earning the defensive nod October 16th. She has had the top defensive honor three times and was the offensive winner on Sep. 26. The Fighting Hawks have had at least one player win a weekly award in seven of the 12 weeks.

North Dakota State mustered just 40 points combined in UND’s 25-18, 25-9, 25-13 sweep Wednesday at the Betty. It marked the fewest number of points scored by the Bison against North Dakota since the best-of-five series was universally adapted (1985). UND has now won six of the eight meetings between the schools in the Division I era. 

North Dakota got out to a fast start to the season, playing 10 matches in the span of the first nine days. It involved matches in four states (Mississippi, Georgia, New Mexico, Texas). 

North Dakota zapped another “Power 5 Conference” school (ACC, SEC, PAC-12, Big 10 or Big 12) with its 3-2 win over Ole Miss Aug. 25th. It was the second it less than a calendar year after last season’s 3-1 win over the ACC’s Clemson on 9/8/16. UND also defeated Mississippi State from the SEC back in 2014. 

Senior Faith Dooley became the school’s all-time leader in career blocks, eclipsing the mark in the win over Louisiana Tech on Aug. 26, 2017. She surpassed Karla Danielson’s mark which had stood since 1991.  

Dooley is now the Big Sky Conference’s all-time blocks leader after notching seven in the opening round win over Weber State in the Big Sky Tourney. Dooley had 20 total blocks in the three matches combined at the Big Sky Conference Tournament and was named the tourney’s MVP for the second straight season. 

Faith Dooley became just the 17th UND player all-time to reach 1,000 kills in her career and only the fifth to do so as a junior. She finished at 1,438 kills, which puts her in 3rd place all-time at UND. 

Senior Sydney Griffin became just the fifth UND player to notch 3,000 career assists as UND lost to Georgia Tech, 3-0, on Aug. 27. Griffin reached the plateau in just two full seasons and a handful of matches (86 matches played).  She notched career assist No. 4000 at Idaho on Nov. 4. 

Sydney Griffin had 1,434 assists this season, third-most by a UND player in a single season. She now has three seasons in the top eight all-time at the school:

The University of North Dakota volleyball program holds a 717-757-3 (.484) record all-time since the first match was played on Sept. 22, 1976.

North Dakota is 124-45 (.728) all-time at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center, which opened prior to the 2004 season.  Since 2008, UND is a staggering 101-19 (.842) including a school-record 13 wins in 2011. North Dakota is 56-11 (.836) at home the past five seasons. 

North Dakota finished at 71 in the Ratings Percentage Index, its fourth year under the 100 mark. UND has never finished lower than 170 in its nine years of eligibility in the RPI in NCAA Division I, averaging 109 in that span. 

2009, '10, '11 Great West champs
2013 Big Sky regular season champions
2016 Big Sky regular season champions
2016 Big Sky Tournament champions
2017 Big Sky Tournament champions
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