THIS WEEK: The Dakota State volleyball team (8-10 overall record) looks to bounce back in the winning column this week. The Trojans conclude their seven-match home stand Wednesday night versus in-state rival Dakota Wesleyan. First serve is set for 7 p.m. at the DSU Fieldhouse. DSU heads on the road Saturday for a triangular, hosted by the University of Minnesota-Morris. The Trojans face a pair of opponents from the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC). DSU face Northland (Wis.) (5-10) at 1 p.m. and host-team Minnesota-Morris (9-5) at 3 p.m. Both matches will be held in the Physical Education Center in Morris, Minn.
LAST TIME OUT: Dakota State recorded a win and three losses in the Independent Volleyball Jamboree last weekend at DSU Fieldhouse. The Trojans defeated Ashford (Iowa) in a five-set thriller (16-25, 25-20, 12-25, 25-23 and 15-12). DSU dropped the final three matches in the jamboree to Valley City State (29-27, 25-20 and 25-21), South Dakota Mines (25-23, 25-14 and 25-21) and Mayville State (25-22, 23-25, 25-22 and 25-16). Dakota Wesleyan lost their last six matches with the most recent loss at Concordia (Neb.) on Sept. 22 (25-17, 20-25, 24-26, 25-23 and 15-9). The Tigers will host Mount Marty (S.D.) on Tuesday night before heading to Madison on Wednesday. Northland defeated North Central (Minn.) and Finlandia (Mich.) pm Sept. 22. The Lumber Jacks will face Crown on Friday night and Minnesota-Morris in the triangular on Saturday morning. UMM lost to Martin Luther (Minn.) 3-0 on Sept. 21 and defeated Bethany Lutheran (Minn.) 3-0 on Sept. 22. The Cougars will play St. Scholastica (Minn.) on Friday night.
DSU-DWU IN-STATE RIVALRY: Dakota State had won the last four meetings with in-state rival Dakota Wesleyan. The most recent win for the Trojans was at the Corn Palace on Sept. 8 as part of the Corn Palace Classic in Mitchell, S.D. DSU defeated DWU in four sets by the scores of 25-27, 28-26, 25-16 and 25-15. Dakota State outhit Dakota Wesleyan 51-48 in kills. The Trojans recorded a hitting percentage of .189 in the match compared to the Tigers' .108. In the last meeting held at the DSU Fieldhouse on Oct. 19, 2011, the Trojans won a five-set thriller by the scores of 19-25, 25-10, 23-25, 25-21 and 18-16.
CHASING HISTORY: Two DSU players are close to achieving a milestone at Dakota State University. Kristen DiPaola is close to join the 1000-kill club as she currently records 854 kills in her career at DSU. Stacey Schuller amasses a total of 2008 set assists, which she is 17 assists short in move in the top 3 in DSU record book for most career assists.
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.
REGIONALLY SPEAKING: Dakota State is No. 6 in the latest edition of the independent weekly rankings. The rankings are used to determine for 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 (15-8); 2) Jamestown (N.D.) (13-3); 3) Ashford (Iowa) (13-7); 4) Mayville State (N.D.) (16-6) 5) La Sierra (Calif.) (14-7); 6) Dakota State (S.D.) (8-10) and 7) Valley City State (N.D.) (5-15).
DIPAOLA SMASHES 90 KILLS IN JAMBOREE; TOP IN NATION IN KILLS AND KILLS PET SET: Kristen DiPaola smashed a total of 90 kills in four matches in the Independent Volleyball Jamboree. She averaged 6.1 attacks per set in the two-day event. DiPaola recorded 30 kills versus Mayville State, the second time this season she had 30 kills in a single match (tied for second most kills in a single match in DSU record bookâ€”at Mount Marty on Sept. 4 in Yankton, S.D.). After the jamboree, DiPaola moved to the top in the nation in total kills (363) and kills per set (5.3).
DSU IN THE NATIONAL RANKINGS: According to the NAIA-DakStats statistical website as of Monday, Dakota State ranks 25th in the nation in total digs (1148) and 43rd in digs pet set (16.6). The Trojans are 35th in total kills (825) and 42nd in total assists (715). Stacey Schuller ranks 16th in the nation in total assists with 655. She averages 9.5 assists per set, which is 42nd in the nation. Katie Green is 29th in the nation in total digs of 315.
TROJANS QUICK LEADERS: Kristen DiPaola leads DSU with 18 service aces (0.3 aces per set). She amasses a total of 363 kills this season (5.3 kills per set). Stacey Schuller produces 655 set assists (9.5 assists per set). Katie Green leads DSU's defense with 315 digs (4.6 digs per set). Taylor Mosco have a total of 50 blocks (0.7 blocks per set) for the Trojans.
GOING WEST: Dakota State will be heading west next weekend (Oct. 5-6) as they travel to Denver, Colo. The Trojans will play in the Johnson & Wales (Colo.) tournament, facing Sterling (Kan.), Southwest (N.M.) and host-team Johnson & Wales.
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.
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. 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 plays three matches in the Johnson & Wales (Colo.) tournament next weekend in Denver, Colo. The Trojans face Sterling (Kan.) on Friday, Oct. 5 (5 p.m. Central Time/4 p.m. Mountain Time). DSU plays two matches on Saturday, Oct. 6 against Johnson & Wales at 11 a.m. Central Time (CT)/10 a.m. Mountain Time (MT) and Southwest (N.M.) at 1 p.m. CT/12 p.m. (MT).
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director