THIS WEEK: The North Dakota State women's volleyball
team opens a five-match home stand when sixth-place NDSU (5-11, 2-4) hosts
eighth-place South Dakota (7-10, 1-4) at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5, and third-place
Kansas City at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, at the Bentson Bunker Fieldhouse
(1,206) in Fargo. The Bison have eight
of their next 12 matches at home after playing 14 of the first 16 on the road.
TICKETS & PARKING: Tickets for NDSU home
volleyball matches are available in advance at the Bison Sports Arena ticket
office, online at GoBison.com/tickets, or by telephone toll free at (888)
231-NDSU. General admission tickets are
$8 for adults and $5 for youth ages 3-17, and reserved tickets are $10. Game day tickets are sold at the Bentson
Bunker Fieldhouse. Doors open 1 hour
prior to the match. Free parking after
4:30 p.m. is available in the CF and SF lots adjacent to the Bentson Bunker
Fieldhouse, Visitors Lot E, and the RF lot south of the Bison Sports Arena.
ON THE WEB: Live video of all NDSU home volleyball
matches is available by subscription to NDSU All Access on GoBison.com. Prices are $9.95 monthly, $29.95 every four
months and $79.95 annually. This year's
webcasts will be produced by the Bison Information Network with Ryan Nelson
calling the play-by-play. Games will
re-air on SU TV channel 84 and will be available to NDSU All Access subscribers
on-demand. Live stats for all NDSU home
games are available on GoBison.com free of charge and also through the NDSU
Bison mobile app for Android, iPhone and iPod Touch.
THE SERIES: Friday will be the 50th meeting between North
Dakota State and South Dakota dating back to 1978. NDSU leads the series 45-4 including a pair
of 3-0 victories last year. Saturday
will be the 16th meeting between North Dakota State and Kansas City dating back
to 1982. NDSU leads the series 15-0
including a 3-1 victory in Kansas City and a 3-2 win in Fargo last year.
ABOUT SOUTH DAKOTA: The Coyotes have lost
five straight to drop to 7-10 overall and 1-4 in The Summit League and are
coming off a 3-2 home loss to Kansas City last Saturday. Four starters and the libero return from last
year's 14-18 team that placed sixth in the league with a 7-11 mark. USD is third in the Summit League-only stats
averaging 13.76 kills per set. Sophomore
outside hitter Kendall Kritenbrink ranks 34th in the nation with a
team-high 4.15 kills per set and is second in the league-only stats with 4.52
kps. Head coach Matt Houk
(Milwaukee, 2003) has a 71-68 record in his fifth season at South Dakota.
ABOUT KANSAS CITY: The Kangaroos have won
four of their last five matches and are 11-7 overall and 4-2 in The Summit
League after winning 3-2 at South Dakota last weekend. Three starters return from last year's 12-17
team that placed eighth in the league with a 6-12 record. UMKC leads The Summit League in service aces
with 94 overall and 36 in its first six league matches. Senior outside hitter Emily Lucas
leads the league-only stats with 4.85 kills per set and 14 service aces.
Freshman defensive specialist Taryn Miller leads the team with 4.37 digs
per set and 26 service aces. Head coach Christi
Posey (Kansas, 1982) has a 23-24 record in her second season at Kansas
LAMBERTSON OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
North Dakota State senior middle hitter Megan Lambertson was
named Summit League co-Offensive Player of the Week on Monday after hitting
.508 and averaging 4.11 kills per set as the Bison split a two-match road
trip. Lambertson had 16 kills in a 3-1
win at Oakland and followed with a career-high 21 kills and nine digs in the
3-2 loss at Fort Wayne. Lambertson has
hit .400 or better in seven of the last eight matches, ranks 43rd nationally
with a .375 hitting percentage overall, and leads the Summit League stats by 80
points with a .437 mark in league play.
FIRST NCAA RPI RELEASED: North Dakota State
checked in at No. 143 in the first NCAA Rating Percentage Index released
Monday, Oct. 1. NDSU was sixth among
Summit League members behind Fort Wayne (55), South Dakota State (123), Oakland
(124), IUPUI (125) and Kansas City (136).
The Bison have seven losses against opponents in the Top 100 including
Minnesota (12), Oklahoma (14), Northern Colorado (52), Wichita State (54),
Wisconsin (56) and New Mexico State (99).
NCAA ATTENDANCE RANKINGS: North Dakota State ranked
40th in the nation for average home attendance in the fourth NCAA Division I
attendance report issued Monday, Oct. 1. The Bison are averaging 1,046 fans
over two matches this year. NDSU
finished 51st last year drawing 11,543 fans over 12 dates for an average of
SUMMIT LEAGUE STATS: North Dakota State has
four players among the Summit League statistical leaders in the league-only
stats through Tuesday, Oct. 2. Brynn Joki ranked fifth with 3.76 kills
per set, Megan Lambertson was first in hitting (.437) and sixth in kills
per set (3.64), Catherine Yager was fourth with 10.00 assists per set, Andrea
Henning was second in service aces per set (0.36) and seventh in digs per
HENNING POSTS SCHOOL-RECORD 36 DIGS:
Senior libero Andrea Henning set an NDSU four-set match record
with 36 digs in the Sept. 8 victory over Drake.
She passed the previous mark of 34 digs by Kari Fagnan against
Western Illinois in 2007 and it was the second largest overall dig total in
school history behind Fagnan's 42 at UTEP in 2007.
HENNING, JOKI REACH MILESTONES: North Dakota State senior
libero Andrea Henning became the 20th player in school history to reach
1,000 career digs in the season opener at Northern Illinois. Henning has 1,271 digs and ranks eighth on
the NDSU career chart. Meanwhile, senior
outside hitter Brynn Joki became the 21st player in school history to
reach 1,000 kills Sept. 16 at South Dakota State. Joki is 19th in school history with 1,057
ALL-TOURNAMENT SELECTIONS: North Dakota State's Carissa
Whalen, Brynn Joki and Megan Lambertson earned all-tournament
team honors during the first three weeks of play. Whalen was all-tourney at Northern Illinois
where she hit a team-best .388 with 11 blocks in losses to Northern Illinois,
New Mexico State and Wichita State. Joki
was all-tournament at Northern Colorado where she averaged 3.80 kills and 3.10
digs per set in a win over Air Force and losses to Oklahoma and Northern
Colorado. Joki and Lambertson both were
picked at Wisconsin where Joki averaged
3.92 kills and 4.92 digs per set and Lambertson hit .359 with 30 kills and 14
blocks in three matches.
TOUGH NON-CONFERENCE SCHEDULE: North Dakota State's
non-conference schedule is among the toughest it has faced since beginning
Division I play. Five of the first seven
matches were against NCAA tournament teams from a year ago, two more await in
November, and 12 matches are against teams ranked in the top 100 of last year's
NCAA Rating Percentage Index. Minnesota
was ranked 10th in the American Volleyball Coaches Association poll and
Pepperdine has also been among the Top 25 all season. Oklahoma and Wichita State were receiving
votes in the poll the week of their matches with NDSU. The Bison ranked as high as 40th before
finishing 42nd in last year's NCAA RPI.
LAMBERTSON SELECTED TO A2 PROGRAM:
North Dakota State senior middle hitter Megan Lambertson was one of
48 athletes selected by USA Volleyball to participate in last summer's U.S.
Women's National A2 Team Program. South
Dakota State middle hitter Kelli Fiegen was the only other Summit League player
selected. NDSU's Brynn Joki was
BISON PICKED FIRST IN SUMMIT: For the fourth straight
year, North Dakota State was the preseason favorite to win The Summit League in
a vote of the league's head coaches.
NDSU collected six of the nine first-place votes ahead of second-place
Fort Wayne, which had the other three votes.
Oakland and South Dakota State tied for third place, IUPUI was fifth,
and South Dakota, Kansas City, Western Illinois and Omaha rounded out the poll
FOUR STRAIGHT LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIPS:
North Dakota State won its fourth straight Summit League regular-season
title last year with a 16-2 record in league play. NDSU won outright titles with a 16-0 record
in 2008 and an 18-0 mark in 2009 before tying with Fort Wayne for the 2010
championship with a 14-4 mark. NDSU tied
for second place at 12-4 in 2007.
THE COACH: Kari Thompson (Green Bay, 2003) has a
40-22 record in her second full season as head coach at North Dakota
State. Thompson was NDSU's top assistant
her first 4 1/2 seasons before taking over as interim head coach in October
2010. She went 9-2 in her interim role
and has guided the Bison to back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances. Thompson was a 2010 recipient of the American
Volleyball Coaches Association's "Thirty Under 30" award recognizing the top young
coaches in the country. She was a
three-year letterwinner at Green Bay, stayed one year as a volunteer assistant
with the Phoenix, and spent two years as a graduate assistant for volleyball
operations at Alabama before coming to NDSU in 2006.
THE SUMMIT LEAGUE: This is North Dakota
State's sixth year in The Summit League after reclassifying from Division II
and spending three seasons as a Division I independent. Other members are Indiana University-Purdue
University Fort Wayne (IPFW), Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
(IUPUI); University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC); University of
Nebraska-Omaha; Oakland University in Rochester, Mich.; University of South
Dakota; South Dakota State University; and Western Illinois University. The Summit League dropped from 10 teams to
nine this year with the addition of Omaha from Division II and the departure of
Southern Utah to the Big Sky Conference and Oral Roberts to the Southland