The sixth weekend of the DII women's volleyball season opens with a thrilling top-10 matchup. Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference rivals No. 7 Concordia-St. Paul and No. 9 Southwest Minnesota State square off at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, Oct. 11, in the DII showcase game of the week.
Here's how you can watch and what you need to know about the top-10 match.
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Concordia-St. Paul vs. Southwest Minnesota State: How to watch
This NSIC rivalry is being featured as the DII showcase game of the week and is available to stream on the NCAA DII social media platforms. Tune in at 7 p.m. ET on Friday and you can stream live on Twitter and Facebook.
Concordia-St. Paul vs. Southwest Minnesota State: By the numbers
Both the Golden Bears and Mustangs enter the weekend 11-3 overall. More importantly, the two are in a four-way tie in the NSIC at 5-1, chasing No. 4 Minnesota Duluth who remains perfect in conference play at 6-0. Nine teams in the NSIC cracked this week's top 25, so every match from here on out matters, especially in the top 10.
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Here's how Concordia and Southwest Minnesota match up statistically:
Concordia-St. Paul vs. Southwest Minnesota State: Preview, who to watch
These teams know each other well. The two met earlier this season at the Colorado Premier Challenge, where Concordia won the championship match over the Mustangs, 3-1.
Concordia-St. Paul has become the benchmark of DII women's volleyball, with nine national championships since 2007. Neither of these two teams made it to the finals in Pittsburgh last season, however, as Washburn escaped the tricky Central, defeating the Golden Bears 3-2 in the regional finals.
The Golden bears hold the edge in the all-time series, 38-27. They have won four of the last five matches dating back to last season, including knocking the Mustangs out of the NCAA tournament in 2018 and the championship in Denver this year.
Angela Young is the one to watch for Southwest Minnesota State. Young has 204 kills thus far, an average of 4.0 per set, which bests anyone in the Concordia lineup. Jasmine Mulvihill paces the Golden Bears with 3.50 kills per set. Tori Hanson and Erin Fallert are the defensive specialists for Concordia, averaging 4.55 and 3.77 digs per set respectively, while Payton Hjerleid leads the way for Southwest Minnesota State with 3.59.
Southwest Minnesota State has some length to its roster, with regulars Zoe Lier, Meg Schmidt, Angela Young, and Jenna Walczak all listed 6-feet or taller, which is a distinct advantage over Concordia. That, however, has never slowed the Golden Bears before. This showed be another classic NSIC battle.