THIS WEEK: Dakota State (11-14 overall record) volleyball team plays their final home regular-season match on Tuesday night at DSU Fieldhouse. The Trojans entertain Presentation (S.D.) (3-20) with the first serve set for 7 p.m. Seniors will be recognized prior to the match. In addition, DSU Faculty/Staff Appreciation night will be held. DSU heads to Nebraska this weekend for a pair of matches. The Trojans visit No. 23 Midland (Neb.) (15-8) on Friday night at 7 p.m. in Fremont at the Event Center. On Saturday afternoon, DSU makes the trip to the Lied Fitness Center in Omaha for a match-up with Saint Mary (Neb.) (12-16). First serve is slated for 3 p.m.
ON THE RADAR: Kristen DiPaola is 18 kills away for reaching a milestone for 1000th career kill at Dakota State University. She amassed a total of 491 kills last season. DiPaola currently have 491 kills this season, racking up a total of 982 career kills in her two-year stint with the Trojans.
SENIORS: Dakota State will be honoring three seniors on Tuesday night as they play their final home career match at DSU Fieldhouse. Katie Green (libero-Wright, Wyo.) had been with the DSU volleyball team for four years. She currently records 1301 digs and 76 service aces in her stellar career with the Trojans. Green recorded her career high digs of 39 in a match versus Waldorf (Iowa) on Sept. 1. Both Kristen DiPaola (outside hitter-Trinidad, Colo.) and Taylor Mosco (middle hitter/outside hitter-Pueblo, Colo.) were transfers from Trinidad State Junior College last season. DiPaola smashed a total of 982 career kills as of Monday and had set numerous records for most attacks in a single match at DSU. She currently holds the school record for most attacks in a single match with 31 kills at Mount Marty (S.D.) on Sept. 20, 2011. DiPaola also ranks first in the nation in kills per set (5.2) and second in total kills with 492. In addition, she have 56 service aces and 86 total blocks during her two-year career with the Trojans. Mosco leads the team in total blocks with 86 and amasses a total of 99 blocks in her two-year career at DSU. As of Monday, she racked up a total of 235 career kills and 17 service aces.
SCHULLER MOVES IN DSU TOP 3 CAREER ASSISTS: Sophomore Stacey Schuller (setter, Jackson, Minn.) is currently third in DSU volleyball record book for most career set assists. She records a total of 2242 career assists. Jill Weisser holds the DSU school record for most career assists with 3150 from 2000-2004. Katalin Varga is second with 2904 assists from 1994-1998.
REGIONALLY SPEAKING: Dakota State remains at No. 7 in the latest edition of the independent weekly rankings, released on Oct. 8. The rankings are used to determine the teams to qualify for the Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.) post-season tournament in November. The rankings are (overall record): 1) Cal State San Marcos (18-10); 2) Jamestown (N.D.) (19-4); 3) Ashford (Iowa) (17-14); 4) Mayville State (N.D.) (19-9); 5) La Sierra (Calif.) (17-9); 6) Valley City State (N.D.) (10-18); 7) Dakota State (S.D.) (11-14) and 8) Rochester (Mich.) (18-15).
A.I.I. INDEPENDENT VOLLEYBALL CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT: The Association of Independent Volleyball Conference Tournament will be hosted by Mayville State University in Mayville, N.D. on Nov. 9-10. The tournament will start with a pool play format on Nov. 9 with top two teams in each pool advancing to the single-elimination tournament and championship match on Nov. 10.
DSU IN THE NATIONAL RANKINGS: According to the NAIA-DakStats statistical website as of Monday, Dakota State ranks 37th in the nation in total digs (1558). The Trojans are 45th in digs per set (16.6). Kristen DiPaola leads the NAIA in kills per set with 5.2 average and second in total kills with 491. Stacey Schuller ranks 34th in the nation in total assists (889) and 45th in assists per set (9.5). Katie Green is 43rd in the nation in total digs with 420.
TROJANS QUICK LEADERS: Kristen DiPaola leads DSU with 24 service aces (0.3 aces per set). She amasses a total of 491 kills this season (5.2 kills per set). Stacey Schuller produces 889 set assists (9.5 assists per set). Katie Green leads DSU's defense with 420 digs (4.5 digs per set). Taylor Mosco have a total of 66 blocks (0.7 blocks per set) for the Trojans.
LAST TIME OUT: The Trojans returned home on Oct. 13 and hosted Jamestown (N.D.) in an Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.) volleyball match. The Jimmies swept the Trojans in three straight sets (25-16, 25-13 and 25-23). Presentation (S.D.) dropped their seventh straight match, losing to Valley City State (N.D.) in four sets (21-25, 25-22, 25-13 and 25-20) on Oct. 13. Midland, member of the Great Plains Athletic Conference, won in a five-set thriller at Briar Cliff (Iowa) on Oct. 13. The Warriors won by the scores of 22-25, 25-20, 20-25, 25-12 and 15-11. Saint Mary's (Neb.) five-match winning streak was snapped by Ozarks (Mo.) on Oct. 13. Ozarks defeated the Flames in three straight sets (25-9, 25-19 and 25-15).
LAST MEETING: Dakota State swept Presentation (S.D.) in three straight sets in both teams' last meeting on Sept. 11 in Aberdeen, S.D. The Trojans won by the scores of 25-15, 25-23 and 25-16. Kristen DiPaola had 24 kills and three service aces for DSU. Taylor Mosco recorded six kills and 1.5 blocks. Stacey Schuller produced 22 set assists. DSU outhit PC 44-29 in kills and .255 to .144 in hitting percentage. Midland won the last meeting with the Trojans on Oct. 21, 2011 in a five-set thriller at DSU Fieldhouse. The Warriors won by the scores of 32-30, 23-25, 25-16, 23-25 and 15-12. Dakota State swept Saint Mary (Neb.) at the Corn Palace in Mitchell, S.D. on Sept. 8. The Trojans won in three straight sets by the score of 25-22, 25-18 and 25-18. DSU had a hitting percentage of .267 compared to the Flames' .157 hitting efficiency.
COACHES' CORNER: Amy Veenhof enters her fourth season as head coach at Dakota State. She has coached three all-conference players and seven NAIA Academic All-American scholar athletes. Megan Kusler is in her first season as an assistant coach. Lauren LaBar is in her first season as a student assistant coach.
STAY CONNECTED: Stay connected with Dakota State volleyball and athletics all season long at www.dsuathletics.com. The Trojans are also on Twitter; just log onto www.twitter.com/GoDaSUAthletics. The Dakota State University Athletics can be found on Facebook.
WATCH IT: All Dakota State home volleyball matches will be webcast live and free of charge. Fans wanting to follow the action can go to the following link: http://streaming.dsu.edu/Athletics-Live. Midland will be providing a live video streaming of DSU-Midland volleyball match on Friday night. Go to http://www.livestream.com/midlandathletics for more information. The link also will be available on www.dsuathletics.com in the 'Live Games' tab above the Upcoming Events.'
LIVE STATS/PLAY-BY-PLAY: Live stats and play-by-play will be available in all Dakota State's home games. The live stats link is available on game day on www.dsuathletics.com under 'Live Games' tab above the 'Upcoming Events.'
UP NEXT: Dakota State heads north to play their final three volleyball regular-season matches. The Trojans head to Jamestown, N.D. on Friday, Oct. 26 to play in the Jamestown (N.D.) triangular. The Trojans play Valley City State (N.D.) in the first match at 6 p.m. and host-team Jamestown in the night cap at 8 p.m. All matches will be held at the Hansen Center. DSU travels to Mayville, N.D. on Saturday, Oct. 27 for a match-up with Mayville State (N.D.). First serve is set for 5 p.m. at the Lewy Lee Fieldhouse.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director