North Dakota heads back to the University of Minnesota for the opening rounds of the NCAA Tournament Friday and Saturday. UND made its first trip to the national tournament last season and fell, 3-0, to the top-ranked Gophers.
*North Dakota has broken the program mark for wins this season (30). *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 (672), breaking a 26-year-old record.
*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 has won four Big Sky Player of the Week nods, three defensive (Aug 28, Oct 2, Oct 16- defensive, Sep 26 - offensive)
*Her 195 total blocks this season lead the NCAA. She ranks 18th in NCAA in blocks/set (1.44).
*UND had seven different players named to all-tournament teams with three different MVPs in pre-league tourneys this season.
*Sydney Griffin became the fourth UND player all-time to reach 4,000 career assists and is now in 3rd place (4,204).
*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 kills and 10 digs in the championship match of the Big Sky Tournament.
*Her 1,408 assists this season are fourth-most in the NCAA. *North Dakota has 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 has 19 career matches with 50 or more assists.
*Three different players have notched double-doubles this season (Griffin 18, Merseli 15, Dooley 4).
*UND checks in at No. 18 in the latest VolleyballMag.com Mid-Major Top 25 Poll.
Senior setter Sydney Griffin was the only Big Sky player to notch a triple-double this season and she is 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.
A ONE, A TWO, A THREE
North Dakota finds itself among the leaders in the country in several team categories. The Fighting Hawks pace all NCAA Division I schools with 2,484 digs, they ranks second in blocks (363.5) and are third in kills (1,820).
HIGHEST IN THE SKY
Faith Dooley became the all-time leader in total blocks in Big Sky Conference history and continues to add to her school-record total. Dooley now has 672 total blocks to her credit, surpassing Weber State’s Brittney Bisaillon, who had 657 from 2005-08.
North Dakota is now at No. 18 in the VolleyballMag.com 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).
THE SERIES WITH THE GOPHERS
Minnesota has won all four previous meetings against North Dakota. Friday’s meeting will be the third in the last two seasons between the schools.
ALL-TIME VS. MINNESOTA
12/1/17 ?? (A) $
12/2/16 L, 0-3 (A) $
9/16/16 L, 1-3 (A)
11/7/80 L, 0-2 (A)
11/9/79 L, 0-2 (A)
$ - NCAA Tournament
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.
“MARK”ING HIS TERRITORY
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).
FLIRTING WITH A QUAD
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 15 matches played.
I CAN DIG IT
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’s added 560 already this season, a total that is fourth-highest in a single season at UND.
FORCE OF THE NORTH
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.
DOOLEY DOES IT AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN
Senior Faith Dooley has now 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.
DID I HEAR A NINER IN THERE?
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).
BECAUSE YOU GOT TO HAVE-A FAITH
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.
BIG SKY BLOCKS
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.
KILLIN’ IT, TOO
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 currently sits at 1,434 kills heading into this week, which puts her in 3rd place all-time at UND.
MOVING ON UP
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.
GRIFFIN SEASON ASSISTS
Sydney Griffin has 1,408 assists this season, fourth-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 717-756-3 (.484) record all-time since the first match was played on Sept. 22, 1976.
PUTTING TEAMS TO BETTY BYE
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.
FIGHTING HAWKS 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.
FIGHTING HAWKS ON RADIO
The UND Sports Home of Economy Radio Network will pick up UND’s NCAA Tournament matches and they will air over 1440-AM KKXL in the Grand Forks area. They will also be streamed online at UNDsports.com. Paul Ralston will handle the play-by-play.
VIDEO FOR NCAA TOURNAMENT
GopherSports.com will handle the video streams for this coming weekend at the NCAA Tournament. Check UNDsports.com for links to UND contests.
North Dakota enters the NCAA Tournament with a 70 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.