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NCAA.com | September 20, 2013

Preview: No. 1 Minn. Duluth opens NSIC play

No. 1 Minnesota Duluth

No. 1 Minnesota Duluth finally returns to its home floor at Romano Gym this week after an 8-0 start on the road this season.

After an impressive opening weekend, the Bulldogs continued to roll in Kenosha, Wis., this week at the Wisconsin-Parkside tournament, making a clean sweep of their opponents in each of their four matches. Now, the No. 2 Bulldogs return home on Tuesday evening with a non-conference match versus Michigan Tech before opening NSIC play against the Minnesota-Crookston on Thursday.

No. 2 Concordia-St. Paul

No. 2 Concordia-St. Paul is to set to begin NSIC conference action this week with a pair of matches against Upper Iowa (4-5) and Winona State (3-6).  The Peacocks will be in town this Thursday to take on the Golden Bears. Concordia then travels to Winona to take on the Warriors.

The Golden Bears are a perfect 12-0 all-time against the Peacocks. Upper Iowa's last trip to St. Paul came back on October 7, 2011, with the Golden Bears picking up the sweep. Upper Iowa has only taken one set ever from CU. Upper Iowa played in the UW-Parkside this tournament and picked up one win in their four matches. After dropping both their matches on Friday to Indianapolis in five sets and Lewis in three sets they were able to bounce back and knock off Gannon in their first match on Saturday. They would finish the tournament with a 3-0 loss to Wisconsin-Parkside.

No. 3 Tampa



No. 4 BYU-Hawaii

No. 4 BYU-Hawaii is home for two matches this weekend to begin Pacific West Conference play. The first comes against Chaminade Friday night.

The Seasiders are 5-0 to start the year in non-league matches and are set to begin a difficult PacWest schedule. Last year, BYU-Hawaii ran the table in conference to a perfect 16-0 record.

No. 5 Nebraska-Kearney

Fifth-ranked Nebraska-Kearney entertains two more MIAA foes this week when Pittsburg State stops by Friday night and Central Oklahoma visits Saturday.

UNK (9-1) began conference play by sweeping Fort Hays State Tuesday night. At the same time, UCO (9-0) was sweeping Pitt State (3-6) at home.

No. 6 Central Missouri

The Jennies take on their second and third conference teams this weekend, one match at home against Southwest Baptist and one on the road against Lindenwood. Southwest Baptist and Lindenwood have not faced a conference opponent yet this season.

The Jennies improved to 10-0, 1-0 in the MIAA, with a 3-0 win against Missouri Southern on Tuesday night at the UCM Multipurpose Building. The match took just 65 minutes, as the Jennies rolled to the 25-9, 25-10, 25-16 win.

No. 7 Wayne State (Neb.)

Wayne State, ranked seventh in this week's AVCA Division II Top 25 Coaches Poll, makes their 2013 home debut Thursday evening hosting Sioux Falls in the NSIC opener for both teams. 

The Wildcats are off to an 8-0 start while the Cougars bring a 7-1 record to Wayne.

No. 8 UC San Diego

This week's contests at San Francisco State and Sonoma State kick off a seven-match road swing for the Tritons, the longest stretch the team will be away from La Jolla during the regular season.

The Tritons went 4-0 in UCSD Invitational play last week, topping California Baptist (3-1), Point Loma (3-0), No. 10 Fresno Pacific (3-1) and Alaska Anchorage (3-0). They now hold a 24-1 overall record in their own tourney, which includes a 21-match win streak. UCSD's perfect record last week made it 8-0 in tournament play this season as the Tritons won all four of their match-ups the week prior at Cal State San Bernardino's Coyote Classic.

No. 9 Angelo State

No. 9 Angelo State opens Lone Star Conference play this weekend with Midwestern State (7-2, 0-1 LSC) and Cameron (4-5, 0-1 LSC) coming to the Junell Center.

The Belles (6-2, 0-0 LSC) will host MSU on Friday before taking on the Aggies on Saturday. ASU is coming off a 2-2 week where it beat then No. 3-ranked Nebraska-Kearney (8-1) and Metro State before falling to No. 2 Concordia-St. Paul (8-1) and No. 10 Southwest Minnesota (5-3).

No. 10 Southwest Minnesota State

No. 10 Southwest Minnesota State will open its 20-match Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference schedule on the road this Thursday night in Sioux Falls with a match against Augstana. SMSU (5-3) will return home two days later to play host to No. 7 Wayne State (Neb.). Last season SMSU went 18-2 in the NSIC to capture a share of the regular season title -- its first conference title since 2001. 

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