THIS WEEK: After suffering back-to-back defeats last weekend in North Dakota, the Dakota State University volleyball team (9-13 overall) looks to bounce back in the winning column as they play two matches this week. The Trojans head to Sioux City, Iowa to take on Briar Cliff (4-14) Tuesday night at Newman Flanagan Center. The junior varsity match starts at 6 p.m. with the varsity match to follow at 7:30 p.m. DSU returns back to DSU Fieldhouse on Friday night and hosts their in-state rival University of Sioux Falls (5-14) at 7 p.m.
LAST TIME OUT: Dakota State went 1-2 last week. Kristen DiPaola smashed 19 kills and Stephanie Kruggel tallied 10 kills as DSU swept Presentation (S.D.) (25-18, 25-14 and 25-18) on Sept. 28. The Trojans struggled last weekend, dropping a 3-1 defeat at Mayville State (22-25, 17-25, 26-24 and 15-25) on Sept. 30 and 3-0 defeat at Valley City State (8-25, 18-25 and 23-25) on Oct. 1.
THEME: Camouflage night is the theme for Trojans' home match versus the Cougars on Friday night. Wear your camouflage colors when you come to the match.
HOME COOKING: Through five home matches at DSU Fieldhouse, Dakota State had won four matches (Mount Marty, Briar Cliff, Valley City State and Presentation). The Trojans suffered its only setback to NCAA Division II South Dakota Mines in four sets (19-25, 25-21, 20-25 and 25-23).
LAST MEETING: Briar Cliff traveled to DSU Fieldhouse to take on Dakota State on Sept. 16. The Trojans won in a five-set thriller by the scores of 25-22, 21-25, 25-17, 23-25 and 15-7. Stephanie Kruggel led DSU's offense with 21 kills. Kristen DiPaola added 10 kills. Stacey Schuller produced 47 set assists. Marissa Van Driel recorded 14 kills for the Chargers. Brooke Maguire added 12 kills. Erin Frank had 37 assists. University of Sioux Falls won the last meeting with the Trojans on Oct. 12, 2010 at DSU Fieldhouse. The Cougars won in a five-set thriller (23-25, 25-19, 23-25, 25-20 and 15-12). Both teams will meet again later this month in the USF's Halloween Tournament in Sioux Falls.
SPIKE IT, DIPAOLA: Kristen DiPaola had recorded double digits kills in the last eight matches for the Trojans. She recorded a career high and school record 31 kills in a 3-2 comeback victory over Mount Marty on Sept. 20.
DIG IT, TROJANS: Dakota State is currently 25th in the nation in total digs with 1341 (according to DakStats-NAIA statistical website as of Monday, Oct. 3). The Trojans are 40th in the nation in digs per set with an average of 16.8 digs.
SET AND SPIKE IT: Stacey Schuller ranks 15th in the nation in total assists with 744. Kristen DiPaola is 17th in the nation in total kills with 279. Stephanie Kruggel records 262 kills for DSU, which is 24th in the nation.
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 will guide the Trojans' junior varsity volleyball program this fall. Becky Smith is in her first year as a student assistant coach.
LIVE STATS: Live stats and play-by-play will be available in all Dakota State's home games. The live stats are available on game day on www.dsuathletics.com under 'Live Games' tab above the 'Upcoming Events.'
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: www.streaming.dsu.edu/Athletics-Live.
UP NEXT: On Oct. 11, the Dakota State University volleyball team hosts NCAA Division III University of Minnesota-Morris in an annual 'Dig Pink" night. The junior varsity match starts at 6 p.m. with the varsity match to follow at 7:30 p.m.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director