Oct. 27, 2010

TIE AT THE TOP: Concordia-St. Paul is the third different Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference team in the last three weeks to climb to the top of the AVCA Division II Top 25, however, the Golden Bears will have to share the honor as they are with Wayne State. The two squads each have 758 poll points this week. Both teams have held the No. 1 spot during season and make up half of the four Top 5 squads that hail from the NSIC.

Freshman setter Amanda Konetchy averaged 14.57 assists per set in a 2-0 week for the Golden Bears, which included an upset of then-No. 1 Minnesota-Duluth, which propelled Concordia four spots in the rankings. The native of Victoria, Minn., raised her nation-leading assists per set average to 12.75 over the weekend, earning NSIC Setter of the Week honors.

The tie at the top of the rankings sets up a rare No. 1 vs. No. 1 match-up on Oct. 29 between the two squads. The Wildcats defeated the Golden Bears at the Metro/Region Tournament earlier this season, but CU leads the all-time series 20-8 and has won 19 of the last 20 meetings. The Golden Bears are 14-0 in the NSIC, while Wayne State is 12-2 in league play. Concordia will first face Augustana on Oct. 26, putting its 66-match NSIC regular season winning streak on the line.

ON A ROLL: Grand Valley State climbed four spots to No. 18 following a 3-1 defeat of then-No. 15 Northern Michigan on Oct. 24. The Lakers have now won 10 straight matches, and moved within one game of first place in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference standings behind NMU.

The Lakers tallied a season-high 17 total blocks against NMU, following up 15 blocks in a victory over Michigan Tech.

The victory was GVSUs third victory over a ranked opponent as the Lakers also downed then-No. 1 Concordia-St. Paul and then-No. 11 Lewis earlier in the season. GVSU puts a 10-match winning streak on the line against Saginaw Valley State on Oct. 26.

No. 7 Central Missouri stretched its winning streak to 13 matches, remaining on top of the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association standings with two league victories.

Senior middle blocker Abby Gruenbacher garnered MIAA Hitter of the Week honors after setting a team season-high in hitting percentage (.800) and knocking down 12 kills against Missouri Southern on Oct. 22. Gruenbacher also averaged 1.67 blocks per set for the week to spark the Jennies.

No. 9 Nebraska-Kearney will be vying for the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference regular season winning streak record when the Lopers face Chadron State on Oct. 26.

UNK cruised to its 39th straight RMAC regular season victory, sweeping Colorado Christian on Oct. 22 behind 17 kills from senior middle Jeri Walkowiak. The Lopers tied their own league record that was set between 2003-05.

If the Lopers set a new mark against Chadron State, they will look to keep it going against second-place Metro State on Oct. 29.

STORMING TO VICTORY: Wingate senior middle blocker Stormi Gale collected her third South Atlantic Conference Player of the Week award after helping the Bulldogs in a pair of league wins as they extended their league winning streak to 60 matches last weekend.

Gale averaged 4.57 kills and 3.29 digs per set, while hitting .459 for the match, highlighted by a season-high 19 kills in a win over Tusculum.

The native of Richmond, Texas, is hitting a league-leading .389 this season, and tops the schools all-time list with 3.57 kills per set.

The Bulldogs are 14-0 in SAC play and will look to stretch their 42-match home regular season winning streak by hosting Brevard College on Oct. 26.