THIS WEEK: The Dakota State University volleyball team prepares for their postseason action this weekend in Phoenix, Ariz. The Trojans will compete in the Association of Independent (A.I.I.) postseason tournament, starting with pool play on Friday. The semifinals and championship matches will take place on Saturday. The tournament is held at the Fultz Memorial Gymnasium on the campus of Arizona Christian University.
A.I.I. VOLLEYBALL TOURNAMENT: Six teams will compete in the A.I.I. volleyball tournament this weekend. The tournament kicks off with pool play on Friday. No. 1 seed La Sierra (Calif.), No. 4 seed Mayville State and No. 5 seed Dakota State is in Pool A. No. 2 seed Cal State San Marcos, No. 3 seed Jamestown and host-team No. 6 seed Arizona Christian is in Pool B. The top two teams from each pool will qualify to the semifinals on Saturday. The semifinal winners will advance to the championship match late Saturday night. Each semifinal winners will earn an automatic berth to the NAIA Volleyball National Championship Opening Round on Nov. 19 at campus sites.
MATCH TIMES: The A.I.I. pool play kicks off on Friday morning as Dakota State faces La Sierra at 11 a.m. (Central Time)/10 a.m. (Mountain Time). The Trojans will play their second match of the day against their former Dakota Athletic Conference (DAC) member Mayville State. First serve is set for 7 p.m. (CT)/6 p.m. (MT). The semifinals take place on Saturday. The first semifinal starts at 4:30 p.m. (CT)/3:30 p.m. (MT), while the second semifinal match starts at 7 p.m. (CT)/6 p.m. (MT). The semifinals winners will advance to the championship match at 9 p.m. (CT)/8 p.m. (MT).
LAST MEETING: Dakota State (16-20 overall record) and La Sierra (20-2) will meet for the first time in team history. DSU and Mayville State (23-17) split their two meetings in the regular-season with each team winning 3-1 on their own home court. The Comets won the first meeting in Mayville, N.D. on Sept. 30 by the scores of 25-22, 25-17, 24-26 and 25-15. Dakota State defeated Mayville State in the second meeting in Madison, S.D. with the scores of 15-25, 25-23, 25-22 and 25-19.
COACHES' CORNER: Amy Veenhof enters her third season as head coach at Dakota State. She has coached one all-conference player and five NAIA Academic All-American scholar-athletes. Jessica VanLoy is in her first season as an assistant coach. She guides the Trojans' junior varsity volleyball program this fall. Becky Smith is in her first year as a student assistant coach.
FOLLOW A.I.I. TOURNAMENT: Follow the A.I.I. volleyball tournament page on http://www.dakstats.com/WebSync/Pages/Tournament/TournamentPage.aspx?association=10&sg=WVB&tour=701. The link will also be on www.dsuathletics.com above the 'Upcoming Events' on the 'Live Games' tab. The tournament page can also be found on this link: http://www.acufirestorm.com/documents/2011/11/3/A.I.I._VB_Tour.pdf.
UP NEXT: The NAIA Volleyball National Championship Opening Round is held on Saturday, Nov. 19 at campus sites. The A.I.I. volleyball tournament semifinals winners from Nov. 12 will earn an automatic berth to the national tournament.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director