August 26, 2014
THIS WEEK: Dakota State (S.D.) (2-1 overall record) plays their first home volleyball match of the season Wednesday evening as they host Morningside (Iowa) (4-0) of the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC). There will be a junior varsity match at 6 p.m., followed by a varsity match at 7:30 p.m. at DSU Fieldhouse. DSU will play four matches in the Corn Palace Invitational Friday and Saturday in Mitchell, S.D.
BEST START SINCE 2006: The Trojans kicked off their 2014 campaign in the Mustang Invitational and finished with a 2-1 record, the best start in the first three matches of the season since 2006. DSU dropped a hard-fought season-opening match versus Saint Ambrose (Iowa) in four sets, but bounced back to win the final two matches. The Trojans defeated Hannibal-LaGrange in three straight sets and host-team Mount Mercy (Iowa) in four sets. The final match of the Mustang Invitational versus Ashford (Iowa) was canceled due to wet floor, creating unfavorable playing conditions. In 2006, Dakota State opened the season with two straight victories and extended their best start with a 4-1 record.
TWO TROJANS SELECTED TO NSAA PLAYERS-OF-THE-WEEK: The North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) has selected two Dakota State volleyball athletes in the first edition of the Players-of-the-Week, announced on Aug. 25. Stacey Westby was named to NSAA Volleyball Setter-of-the-Week after she was selected to the Mustang Invitational last weekend. She registered a total of 66 set assists in the invitational (6.0 assists per set) and recorded a double-double of 30 assists and 15 digs versus Saint Ambrose (Iowa). Carly Rozell was chosen as NSAA Volleyball Offensive Player-of-the-Week. She smashed a total of 32 kills and averaged 2.9 kills pet set in three matches. Rozell hit .288 and added 25 digs (2.3 digs per set). She had two solo blocks and eight block assists. Rozell recorded two double-doubles in the tournament.
CORN PALACE CLASSIC: Dakota State will be competing in the two-day Corn Palace Classic event on Friday and Saturday. The Trojans will face a pair of foes from the North Star Athletic Association Conference in the classic. DSU opens up the classic with a match-up with Dickinson State (N.D.) on Friday at 3 p.m. and play in the night cap versus host-team Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) at 7 p.m. The Trojans face Valley City State (N.D.) at 12 p.m. and Johnson & Wales (Colo.) at 2 p.m. on Saturday afternoon. All matches will be held at the Corn Palace in Mitchell, S.D. The matches with Dickinson State and Valley City State will be counted as non-conference matches.
NATIONAL RANKINGS: According to the DakStats-NAIA statistical website as of Tuesday, Dakota State is ranked in three different categories. The Trojans are 25th in the nation in blocks per game (2.3) and 35th in digs per set (16.8). DSU is 40th in the nation in hitting percentage of .209. Katherine Gonzalez is 46th in the nation in digs per set with an average of 4.6 digs.
TEAM LEADERS: Carly Rozell leads the Trojans' offense attack with 32 kills and averages 2.9 kills per set. She leads the team with five service aces (0.5 aces per set) and ten blocks (0.9 blocks per set). Stacey Westby produces 66 set assists through three matches this season (6.0 assists per set). Katherine Gonzalez leads the Trojans' defense with 50 digs (4.6 digs per set).
CHASING HISTORY: Dakota State's Stacey Westby is inching closer to breaking a new DSU Volleyball school record for most career assists. She is currently 37 assists away for tying the school record, where she accumulated a total of 3,113 set assists after the completion of Saturday's match. Jill Weisser holds the DSU school record for most career assists with 3,150 assists from 2000-04.
LAST MEETING: Morningside (Iowa) won the last meeting by outhitting the Trojans 47-19 on Aug. 28, 2013 in Sioux City, Iowa. The Mustangs swept DSU in three straight sets by the scores of 25-11, 25-21 and 25-20. The Trojans swept Dickinson State (N.D.) in three straight sets (25-19, 25-21 and 26-24) in both teams' last meeting on Sept. 3, 2011 as part of the Corn Palace Classic. Dakota State hit .259 in the match compared to the Blue Hawks' .087. The Trojans swept the season series with their long-time rival Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) last season, winning both matches in four sets. DSU split a pair of meetings with Valley City State (N.D.) with each team winning on the road. The Trojans won the last meeting with Johnson & Wales (Colo.) on Oct. 6, 2012 in the Johnson & Wales Tournament in Denver. Dakota State won by the scores of 25-19, 25-23, 17-25, and 25-12.
THREE-MATCH HOME STAND: The Trojans continue their busiest schedule next week as they kick off their three-match home stand. Dakota State will host Mount Marty (S.D.) on Sept. 3, Grace (Neb.) on Sept. 5 and Waldorf (Iowa) on Sept. 6.
DOUBLE-DOUBLES: Two DSU players posted double-doubles in the season-opening match versus Saint Ambrose (Iowa) on Aug. 22. Carly Rozell had 11 kills and 13 digs. Stacey Westby added 30 assists and 15 digs. In the Mount Mercy (Iowa) match on Aug. 23, Rozell added another double-double of 17 kills and 12 digs.
LAST TIME OUT: Dakota State went 2-1 record in the Mustang Invitational on Aug. 22-23. After dropping a hard-fought season opening match versus Saint Ambrose (Iowa), the Trojans went on to win two straight matches versus Hannibal-LaGrange (Iowa) and Mount Mercy (Iowa). Morningside (Iowa) went undefeated in its home tournament, defeating Valley City State (N.D.), Central Methodist (Mo.), Evangel (Mo.) and Mayville State (N.D.). Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) defeated Dickinson State (N.D.) in Dickinson on Aug. 23 in four sets. Valley City State (N.D.) was winless in four matches in the Morningside Tournament.
COACHES' CORNER: Amy Veenhof enters her sixth season as head coach at Dakota State. She has coached five all-conference players and nine NAIA Academic All-American scholar athletes. Her teams had been named to NAIA Scholar Team four times. Megan Kusler is in her third 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 on https://www.facebook.com/DSUTrojanAthletics.
WATCH & LISTEN: Dakota State will be carrying a live video and audio broadcast of the volleyball matches on Wednesday night. Go to http://streaming.dsu.edu/Athletics-Live to watch the match. Jon Hunter, the Voice of the Trojans, will do the audio broadcast for DSU Athletics home events this season. The links also will be available on www.dsuathletics.com on the 'Live Games' tab above the 'Upcoming Events.'
LIVE STATS/PLAY-BY-PLAY: Dakota State will be providing the live stats/play-by-play in volleyball on Tuesday and Saturday nights. Go to http://www.dakstats.com/WebSync/Pages/Team/TeamSchedule.aspx?association=10&sg=WVB&sea=NAIWVB_2013&team=1962 and click on the letter 'W'. The link also will be available on www.dsuathletics.com on the 'Live Games' tab above the 'Upcoming Events.'
UP NEXT: Dakota State kicks off their three-match home stand on Wednesday, Sept. 3. The Trojans welcome their in-state rival Mount Marty (S.D.) with a junior varsity game at 6 p.m., followed by a varsity match at 7:30 p.m. DSU continues their home stand versus Grace (Neb.) on Friday, Sept. 5 with a junior varsity starting at 6 p.m. and varsity at 7:30 p.m. On Saturday, DSU hosts Waldorf (Iowa) with a JV match at 1:30 p.m. and varsity match at 3 p.m. All matches will be held at the DSU Fieldhouse.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director