Oct. 12, 2010

TOP ‘DOGS: After a one-week hiatus, Minnesota-Duluth regained its No. 1 spot in the AVCA Division II Top 25 thanks to a pair of losses by previously top-ranked Wayne State (Neb.) last week.

Two weeks ago, then-No. 2 Wayne State upended the then-No. 1 Bulldogs in a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference showdown, taking over the top spot from UMD. However, the Wildcats first-ever No. 1 ranking did not last long as they fell at No. 16 Minnesota State and No. 3 Southwest Minnesota State, dropping to No. 4 in the latest poll.
The Bulldogs will put their No. 1 ranking on the line at St. Cloud State in a NSIC match on Oct. 12.

MUSTANG MARY: Southwest Minnesota State sophomore middle blocker Mary Groth earned NSIC Offensive Player of the Week for the second straight week after sparking the Mustangs to a pair of victories over tough league foes.

The native of West Bend, Wis., averaged 5.25 kills and 5.62 points per set as the Mustangs knocked off Augustana and then-No. 1 Wayne State. Groth tallied 14 kills against the Vikings and then registered a career-high 28 kills in the 3-2 upset of the Wildcats.

SMSU moved up to No. 2 in the latest AVCA Division II Top 25 - the highest ranking in program history - after the successful week. The Mustangs are 6-2 against Top 25 opponents this season, and are one of five NSIC squads appearing in this weeks poll. SMSU returns to action at St. Cloud State on Oct. 15.

SWEPT AWAY: Western Washington handed then-No. 12 Seattle Pacific its first loss of the season, sweeping the previously unbeaten Falcons on Oct. 9.

Sophomore outside hitter Marlayna Geary posted 14 kills and a .387 hitting percentage in the defeat of SPU following the Vikings 3-0 victory over Montana State Billings, and was named Great Northwest Athletic Conference Player of the Week for her efforts.

The Vikings moved into a tie with Seattle Pacific for first place in the GNAC standings at 8-1, and inched up one spot to No. 16 in the latest poll. They head to Western Oregon and Saint Martins this weekend as they battle to stay on top of the league standings.

SPARTANS SURGE: The University of Tampa moved up two spots to No. 3 in the latest AVCA Division II Top 25 after a pair of key Sunshine State Conference victories over Barry and Nova Southeastern last weekend.

Sophomore middle blocker Danielle Selkridge averaged 3.78 kills and 4.17 points per set while hitting .625, and garnered the Spartans first Sports Imports/AVCA Division II Player of the Week award since 2003. Selkridge hit an incredible .714 with 23 kills in the Spartans five-set win over Barry.

Tampa will put its five-match winning streak on the line with three non-conference matches at the South Region Crossover on Oct. 15-16.

STILL PERFECT: Northern Michigan improved to 15-0 on the season with a sweep of Ohio Dominican on Oct. 9 as the Wildcats remained one of two unbeaten teams in Division II womens volleyball. No. 22 Dowling College is also unbeaten at 14-0.

The ‘Cats moved up a spot to No. 13 in the latest national poll and sit on top of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference North Division standings with an 11-0 mark. No. 12 Hillsdale College is also unbeaten in GLIAC play, and is in first place in the leagues South Division with a 12-0 record.

NMU will head to Aurora, Ill., on Oct. 15-16 to test its flawless season record at the 2010 Mizuno GLIAC/GLVC Crossover Tournament beginning with a match against Rockhurst on Friday.