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NCAA.com | October 31, 2013

No. 1 Golden Bears open penultimate regular-season weekend

No. 1 Concordia-St. Paul

The Concordia Golden Bears volleyball team (22-1, 14-0 NSIC) returns to Gangelhoff Center to play host to the MSU Moorhead Dragons (14-8, 7-7 NSIC) and the No. 23 Northern State Wolves (18-3, 11-3 NSIC) for the penulitmate home conference weekend. 

Concordia currently holds a two game lead on Minnesota-Duluth and Southwest Minnesota State for first place in the NSIC and a three game lead over the Wolves of Northern State.

Concordia increased its lead in the NSIC to two games after its sixth consecutive sweep of a week in conference play. The Golden Bears haven't lost since Sept. 7 (20 matches) and haven't lost in their last 28 NSIC regular season games. CU began its week with a 25-15, 17, 17 sweep of Minnesota State in Mankato and held the Mavericks to just .080 hitting as a team. They followed it up with a hard fought four set win against Minot State on Friday and a quick sweep of the Mary Marauders on Saturday.

No. 2 Tampa

Tampa returns to action on Nov. 1 to play Florida Tech.

Wednesday, Tampa defeated Flagler in a three set sweep on Wednesday night in the Martinez Athletic Center.  The Spartans improve to 21-1 on the season while the Saints drop to 14-9.

No. 3 Minnesota-Duluth

Third-ranked Minnesota-Duluth find itself facing off with another top team as it plays host to No. 8 Southwest Minnesota State on Saturday afternoon but can not overlook its Friday opponents from Sioux Falls this weekend.

The Bulldogs (22-2, 12-2 NSIC) enter the weekend on a three-match winning streak after dropping just its second match of the season last time out at Romano Gym. UMD will look to bounce back in its return to its home court as it looks to stay in the hunt for a top seed in the NSIC tournament. UMD sits in a second place tie with Southwest Minnesota, two games back of No. 1 Concordia-St. Paul, and have both of those teams on the schedule with just six matches remaining.

No. 4 BYU-Hawaii

Moving up in the polls after a 3-0 week, No. 4 BYU-Hawaii looks to keep its win streak alive when it takes on Dominican on Thursday night and Holy Names on Friday.

BYU-Hawaii (18-1, 13-1) is coming off a three-set win against Dixie State, are undefeated at home and have won 11 consecutive matches. The Seasiders will be determined to stay that way when they welcome two teams to the Cannon Activities Center this weekend.

No. 5 Central Missouri

The Jennies return to action on Friday night in Bolivar, Mo. against Southwest Baptist. The Jennies return home to host Lindenwood on Saturday.

Central Missouri Jennies won its second match of the season against Missouri Southern, sweeping the Lions 25-18, 25-9, 25-22 on Tuesday night at the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.

No. 6 West Texas A&M

West Texas A&M will put its current 20 match home win streak on the line this weekend as they host rival Eastern New Mexico on Friday night, followed by a non-conference match with Southern Nazarene on Saturday afternoon.

The Lady Buffs continued to roll through Lone Star Conference play this on Tuesday night as they rolled the Cameron Aggies on the road in Lawton for WT's 15th consecutive win as they remained perfect in LSC play with a 11-0 mark to sit alone atop the league standings.

No. 7 Nebraska-Kearney

Nebraska-Kearney is at Pittsburg State and Central Oklahoma this weekend.

Senior middle hitter Ellie Pesavento became the 24th member of the 1,000 career kill club as 7th-ranked Nebraska-Kearney managed to beat rival Fort Hays State in four sets (-13, 22-25, -18, -11) Tuesday night.

The Lopers (22-3, 8-2) pushed their winning streak to four consecutive while the Tigers (12-13, 3-8) saw a six-match win streak come to an end.

No. 8 Southwest Minnesota State

Southwest Minnesota State will hit the road this weekend as the Mustanngs will travel north to take on St. Cloud State and No. 4 Minnesota Duluth. The Mustangs will look to improve upon their 5-2 road record this season. Head coach Terry Culhane is one win away from tying Jeri Madden's mark of 254 wins.

Jeri Madden (1971-85), SMSU's first head coach in program history,  finished her coaching career with an overall record of 254-204. Culhane is 253-68 and has averaged just over 24 wins per season during his 10 years at the helm.

No. 9 Wingate

Wingate travels to Tennessee this weekend for a pair of SAC road matches. The Bulldogs are at Carson-Newman on Friday. Wingate takes on Lincoln Memorial on Saturday. The 'Dogs swept both teams earlier this season in Cuddy Arena.

The Bulldogs are the only team remaining in the conference without a SAC loss. Every other team has at least five league losses. Wingate has won 30 consecutive league matches dating back to last season. The Bulldogs had their historic 83-match SAC winning streak snapped early during the 2012 season. Wingate has won its last 35 contests against conference opponents.

No. 10 Western Washington

With four weeks left in the regular season and the conference title still up for grabs, Western Washington faces two tough road matches this week, traveling to Central Washington on Thursday, and to Northwest Nazarene on Saturday for a pair of Great Northwest Athletic Conference contests.

WWU, the defending conference champion, is second in the league standings at 8-2, with Alaska Anchorage on top at 9-2 (15-8 overall). Northwest Nazarene is third at 8-3 (12-5 overall) and Central (11-8 overall) is tied for fourth with Seattle Pacific (11-8 overall) at 7-4.