SIOUX FALLS, S.D. –League play for the Summit League volleyball team is underway and continues action this weekend. Eight of our nine members will be taking the court Friday with South Dakota coming into league competition with an 11-1 overall non-conference record, while Denver (8-4) and North Dakota (8-6) round out the top three.
Around The League
- Reigning Summit League Offensive Player of the Week Katie Crowe guided the Mastodons to a 3-0 record in the final weekend of non-conference action and to their first league victory of the regular season. She notched a double-double in the 3-0 win over Western Illinois recording 11 kills and 10 digs for her seventh double-double of the year. Purdue Fort Wayne will return to the court Friday playing host to Denver.
- The Coyotes finished non-conference play with an 11-1 record and are currently riding an eight-match win streak. This week's defensive player of the week, Anne Rasmussen totaled 42 digs in two matches and averaged 6.00 digs per set as the Coyotes posted wins over Northern Illinois and Bradley. USD hosts a pair of league matches this weekend with Oral Roberts scheduled for Friday and North Dakota on Sunday.
- Denver finished 2-1 in the final weekend of the preseason after coming off a five-set comeback win over Santa Clara and sealed the weekend with a 3-0 sweep of Montana at the Thin Air Challenge. Pioneer freshman Brianna Green was a dynamic presence on the defensive end. The middle blocker finished the weekend averaging 2.00 blocks per set after she registered a career-high and team-high 10 blocks against Montana. She currently ranks fourth in the nation in blocks per set (1.70). Denver opens up league play against Purdue Fort Wayne Friday.
- The Fighting Hawks split two matches at the UND Classic. Senior Ashley Brueggeman recorded 11 kills and 11 digs in UND's 3-2 victory over Eastern Washington to become the 18th player in North Dakota history to reach 1,000 kills. Juniors Lydia Rutten and Sara Antic were named to the UND Classic all-tournament team for their efforts in helping the Fighting Hawks finish second. North Dakota will open league action on the road at Omaha (Friday) and South Dakota (Sunday).
- Omaha finished the Grand Canyon Invite with a 1-2 weekend record. The Mavericks lone victory came Saturday afternoon over CSUN (3-2). Sophomore Sadie Limback recorded 18 kills in the match to tie her career-high for the third time. Juniors Claire Leonard and Anna Blaschko followed Limback with double-digit kills in the match as they tallied 17 and 14, respectively. Omaha will stay inside Baxter Arena on the opening weekend of league play hosting North Dakota Friday and North Dakota State Sunday.
- North Dakota State looks to break a three-match losing streak as it opens Summit League play on the road at South Dakota State Friday and at Omaha on Sunday. The Bison head into league play with 15 double-doubles this season. Sophomore Kalli Hegerle has claimed seven of those and four triple-doubles. She currently ranks second in the nation in triple-doubles.
- The Golden Eagles look to end a seven-match losing streak. ORU ended the final weekend of non-conference matched up against Clemson and No. 7 Minnesota. Senior CeCe Madison posted double-doubles in both matches as she led the team with 4.43 kills, 3.29 digs and 0.71 blocks per sent. Madison and the Golden Eagles open league play at defending league tournament champion South Dakota Friday.
- South Dakota State fell to 3-9 after an 0-3 weekend at the Jackrabbit Invitational. Makenzie Hennen recorded 50 total kills and averaged 4.17 kills per set in 12 sets. Hennen tied her career-best of 24 kills against Milwaukee and posted double-doubles against Valparaiso (12 kills, 11 digs) and Kansas City (14 kills, 13 digs). SDSU opens league play hosting North Dakota State in Brookings, S.D., on Friday and matching up against Western Illinois at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, S.D., on Sunday.
- The Leathernecks dropped their opening match of league play to the Mastodons (3-0) in Fort Wayne. Junior Mackenzie Steckler, sophomore Mariah Mitchell and freshman Elle Shult led the defensive pack for WIU against the Mastodons with four total blocks each in the match. Steckler currently ranks sixth in the nation in total blocks (70) and 16th in blocks per set (1.52).