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NCAA.com | October 4, 2013

Top 10 Preview

No. 1 Concordia-St. Paul

The Golden Bears (13-1, 5-0 NSIC) are set to face off against Minnesota-Crookston (6-7, 1-4 NSIC) and Bemidji State (5-8, 1-4 NSIC) this weekend for a pair of conference matchups. Concordia comes in playing well, having won 11 consecutive overall and 19 consecutive in NSIC regular-season play.

Concordia improved to 13-1 and 5-0 in NSIC play with a 3-0 week with wins against Minnesota State, Minnesota-Duluth and St. Cloud State. Friday's win against No. 1 UMD improved the Golden Bears' record against top-ranked teams to 7-0 during their championship run. The week started with a sweep of Minnesota State before Friday's five-set thriller with Minnesota-Duluth. Concordia capped off the week with another sweep over St. Cloud State to extend their NSIC regular-season winning streak to 19 and overall winning streak to 11.

No. 2 Minnesota-Duluth

Minnesota-Duluth returns to Romano Gym this weekend for homecoming, taking on a pair of Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference foes in Upper Iowa and Winona State before closing out its non-conference schedule with a home match on Tuesday against Northern Michigan.

The No. 2 Bulldogs (13-1, 4-1 NSIC) open a month of October in which they will leapfrog home and away weekends. UMD has played just three matches at home in 2013, and though they are undefeated, head coach Jim Boos' team is still looking to establish the home-court advantage that they have enjoyed in years past. The hope would be that this weekend could be the spark his team needs as they enter the long haul of the NSIC schedule.

No. 3 Tampa

Tampa will head to St. Leo, Fla. to face conference foe Saint Leo in a Friday-night match.

Last weekend, in consecutive sets, No. 3 Tampa defeated visiting Palm Beach Atlantic 3-0. The Spartans improved to 10-1 on the season while the Sailfish dropped to 10-3.

The Tampa defense took charge as the team totaled 11 blocks while libero Frances Cardenas led with a career-high 23 digs in the contest. Reigning Sunshine State Conference Defensive Player of the Week Meagan Burke continued her strong 2013 campaign with seven each of blocks and kills, swinging at a .500 clip. 

No. 4 Central Missouri

Central Missouri will take on Central Oklahoma and Pittsburg State in two home matches this weekend.

The Jennies improved to 14-0, 4-0 in the MIAA last weekend, after one non-conference and one MIAA match. The Jennies had their first five-set-match against No. 18 Truman last Wednesday. The Jennies lost the first two sets, 12-25 and 10-25, but won the next two sets, 25-17 and 25-22, to force a fifth set. Central Missouri won the fifth set of the match 20-18, maintaining their undefeated record. Through the match the Jennies had 50 kills, 63 digs, six serving aces, and eight blocks.

No. 5 Nebraska-Kearney

After playing just a non-conference match last weekend, 5th-ranked Nebraska-Kearney's schedule gets tougher and busier during the next 10 days.

UNK (13-1, 3-0) is at Emporia State on Friday night and then stops by 15th-ranked Washburn on Saturday afternoon.

The 10th-ranked Wayne State Wildcats then visit the Health & Sports Center on Tuesday night with the Lopers leaving for the East Coast next Thursday for three matches in two days in Connecticut and New York.

No. 6 BYU-Hawaii

BYU-Hawaii looks for another win as it heads to Oakland to face Holy Names on Friday. No. 6 BYU-Hawaii team won its first game of the first mainland road trip in three short sets (25-20, 25-14, 25-15) agaisnt Notre Dame de Namur on Wednesday.

No. T7 Angelo State

Angelo State returns to the Junell Center this weekend for Lone Star Conference matches against Eastern New Mexico and No. 11 West Texas A&M on the Stephens Arena court.

The Belles (10-2, 3-0 LSC ) have won 23 consecutive regular-season matches at home entering the weekend against the Zias (4-8, 2-1 LSC) and the Lady Buffs (12-3, 2-0 LSC). The Belles' last loss at home came in the postseason to WT in last year's LSC Championship final, while their last regular-season home loss came on Sept. 24, 2011 in a five-set loss to the Lady Buffs. ASU went 11-0 during the regular season at home last year and are currently 6-0 at home this year.

ASU will host ENMU on Friday before playing on Saturday against West Texas A&M.

No. T7 Southwest Minnesota

Southwest Minnesota State continues Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference action on the road in North Dakota this weekend. The Mustangs will play Mary on Friday night and Minot State on Saturday afternoon. The Mustangs are 2-1 on the road this season and have never lost to U-Mary or Minot State in program history.

Last weekend, Southwest Minnesota State swept a pair of Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference opponents to improve its season record to 10-3 overall, 5-0 in the NSIC.

No. 9 Western Washington

After opening the season with 10 road matches, No. 9 Western Washington entertains Northwest Nazarene on Thursday and Central Washington on Saturday in a pair of Great Northwest Athletic Conference matches at Sam Carver Gymnasium on the WWU campus.

The Vikings, who moved up two spots to No.9 in the latest American Volleyball Coaches Association/NCAA Division II Top 25 Poll, are 9-1 overall and 2-0 in GNAC action after opening league play last week on the road with sweeps of Montana State Billings and Seattle Pacific.

No. 10 Wayne State (Neb.)

No. 10 Wayne State will be on the road this weekend visiting MSU Moorhead on Friday evening and will then play on Saturday evening at Northern State. The Wildcats are 11-2 overall this season and 3-2 in the NSIC while the Dragons are 10-3 overall and 3-2 in league play and the Wolves are 10-2 overall and 3-2 in conference.

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