2005 Final Northern Colorado Volleyball Weekly Release
THE BEAR FACTS
The 2005 season was one of many ups and downs, highlights and firsts for the University of Northern Colorado volleyball team.
The program took on a new coach in Lyndsey Benson, only the fourth head coach in program history, finished its last year as a Division I Independent and finished fourth at the Division I Independent Championships, an event it hosted.
After starting the season 0-3 and eventually 1-6, the Bears rebounded with a five-match winning streak midway through the season and won eight of nine over one stretch. The Bears then won their first two matches at the D-I Independent Championship, before dropping their final three matches and eventually their final five matches of the season to finish at 14-16 overall.
Northern Colorado set a new school record for home court winning streak (35), and had the longest home court streak in Division I at one point of the season. That streak came to an end with a 3-1 loss to IPFW at the D-I Independent Championships.
The Bears had four players named to the Division I All-Independent team, as Amanda Wiggins, Corrinne Chapin and Lizzy Rhoads each earned first-team honors and Abby Mayne was a second-team selection. Mayne was, however, named the Co-Defensive Player of the Year for her efforts at the libero position.
NORTHERN COLORADO NOTES
Four Named to D-I All-Independent Team; Mayne Named Co-Defensive Player of the Year: Four University of Northern Colorado women's volleyball players were named to the 2005 Division I All-Independent team and sophomore libero Abby Mayne was named Co-Defensive Player of the Year on Nov. 28. Three Bears were first-team selections including senior setter Corrinne Chapin, senior outside hitter Amanda Wiggins and junior middle blocker Lizzy Rhoads. Mayne was named to the All-Independent second-team as well as being named the Co-Defensive Player of the Year. Northern Colorado was one of three teams to have multiple first-team selections, as Utah Valley State had four and South Dakota State had a pair.
Bears Finish Fourth at D-I Independent Championship: After starting the 2005 Division I Independent Championship with a pair of victories, the Bears fell to IPFW in the final match of pool play and lost to Utah Valley State and IPFW in bracket play in the event they hosted at the Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion and the Student Recreation Center. Utah Valley State topped South Dakota State in the championship match to claim the team title.
School Record 35-Match Home Winning Streak Ends: With a 3-1 loss to IPFW on Nov. 11, Northern Colorado saw its 35-match home-court win streak come to an end at the Division I Independent Championship. The loss was the first at the Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion for Northern Colorado since Nov. 2, 2001 when North Dakota State topped the Bears 3-1. The winning streak had been the second longest in Division I, trailing only Ohio University (although it had been the longest winning streak at one point of the season, before Ohio U. passed them by).
Home Sweet Home: The Bears have been nearly unbeatable at home, posting a 265-50 (.841) record at home since Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion (formerly Butler-Hancock Hall) opened in 1976. The Bears had a 35-match winning streak at home (a school record), the second longest Division I home-court winning streak in the country, until falling to IPFW on Nov. 11. The Bears had the longest home winning streak until Sept. 29 when Ohio University won their 32nd in a row (Ohio had more home matches than the Bears this season). Prior to the IPFW loss, Northern Colorado had not lost at home since falling to North Dakota State by a 3-2 margin on Nov. 2, 2001. UNC was a perfect 12-0 at home in 2002, 8-0 in each 2003 and 2004 and are 6-2 in 2005 (they were 6-3 overall at home - one loss at the Student Rec Center is now included in the Butler-Hancock totals). The Bears are 54-5 at Butler-Hancock since the beginning of the 1999 season (the 2000 season was played at the Student Rec Center and not included in those totals). The 35 wins in a row at home established a new record, breaking the old record of 33 in a row set from 1985-87. The volleyball team played its 300th match in Butler-Hancock on Sept. 7, 2004 defeating the Wyoming Cowgirls 3-0 in front of 914 fans.
Wiggins and Alder Named to D-I Independent All-Academic Team: Senior Amanda Wiggins and junior Meredith Alder were two of 16 student-athletes selected to the Division I Independent All-Academic team on Nov. 15. Wiggins carries a 3.87 gpa in finance while Alder has a 3.86 gpa in communications.
Wiggins Named to ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Squad: Senior Amanda Wiggins was named to the ESPN The Magazine All-District 7 team on Nov. 9. Wiggins was one of only seven student-athletes named to the all-district first-team from district VII out of a total of 53 who were nominated. Wiggins has a 3.87 gpa in finance and was a second-team Academic All-District selection as a sophomore in 2003.
Trio of Bears Honored on Senior Night: Seniors Amy Casselman, Corrinne Chapin and Amanda Wiggins were honored on Nov. 5 prior to a match with North Dakota State, their last regular season home match. The Bears won that match 3-0 as the group finished their career undefeated (30-0) in regular season matches at home. They finished their careers 34-3 overall in home matches following the D-I Independent Championships. On that Senior Night, Wiggins had 16 kills and hit .750, Chapin had 35 assists and Casselman added six digs.
Success Against Independents: Northern Colorado won its first five matches this season against fellow Division I Independent teams, before falling to Utah Valley State on Oct. 21. The Bears finished the year 9-4 on the season against fellow Division I Independents. The five wins were the second most of any D-I Independent versus fellow independents on the season (Utah Valley State won 12 matches).
Five Set Matches: Northern Colorado advanced to its first five-set match of the year on Sept. 3 at Wyoming. The Bears came out victorious 3-2 but were not as lucky the second time around, falling 3-2 at Long Island University (Oct. 1). They improved to 2-1 on the season in 5-setters with a 3-2 win at South Dakota State (Oct. 7) and lost to Utah Valley State 3-2 on Oct. 21. The Bears are 8-5 in their last 13 five-set matches.
Colorado Success: The Bears volleyball team has had tremendous success in matches played in the state of Colorado and against teams from the state of Colorado. UNC had won 17 consecutive matches against teams from the state of Colorado before falling to Denver on Nov. 25 (the last loss prior to that had been to Colorado Christian 3-2 on Sept. 18, 2001). Overall, the Bears had won 47 of the last 48 matches they played in the state of Colorado (against all opponents - only dropping a 3-2 match to CS-San Bernardino on Sept. 6, 2003 at the Premier Challenge in Denver) before losing five straight in the state of Colorado to end the season (two at the D-I Independent Championship in Greeley and two at the DU Thanksgiving Classic).
How Sweep It Is: Over the past three-plus seasons (2002-05), the Bears have won 63 matches (out of 127 total matches) in 3-0 fashion (including 25 of their 32 total victories during the 2003 season, which was a school record, and 13 times in 2004). At home over the past three years, the team has swept 22 of the 37 total matches it has played.
Northern Colorado to Host 2005 Division I Independent Championships: Northern Colorado will host the 6th annual Division I Independent Championships Nov. 10-12 at Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion. The eight teams competing in the event will be IPFW, North Dakota State, Northern Colorado, Providence, South Dakota State, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Texas-Pan American and Utah Valley State. Northern Colorado captured the team title in 2003 (with a 4-0 record) and tied for first last season (with a 5-1 record) before eventually losing a tiebreaker with IPFW and South Dakota State. The teams will compete in round-robin pool play on the 10th and 11th with the championship rounds being held all day (8 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 1 p.m., 4 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.) on the 12th. The Bears play Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Texas-Pan American and defending champion IPFW in pool play before advancing to the championship rounds. A full schedule of events can be accessed at: http://uncbears.collegesports.com/sports/w-volley/spec-rel/051105aac.html.
Bears Keep Drawing a Crowd: In eight home matches in 2004, the Bears drew 6,098 total fans for an average of 762, which was just 11 fans off the school record of 773 set during the 2002 season. That average was bolstered by 1,065 fans that saw the Bears play Utah Valley State on Nov. 6. That was the fifth largest crowd in Butler-Hancock Hall history and largest since 1,376 fans saw the Bears defeat South Dakota State for the North Central Regional Championship on Nov. 23, 2002. Since the beginning of the 2002 season the program has set seven of the top-10 and 12 of the top-20 crowds in Butler-Hancock history.
Benson Named Head Coach: Lyndsey Benson was named the fourth head coach in Northern Colorado volleyball history (Rosemary Fri, Linda Delk, Ron Alexander) on Aug. 9 following the resignation of Alexander. Alexander, who compiled an 88-14 record in three years as head coach, resigned to take a position as a firefighter for the Union Colony Fire Rescue Authority in Greeley and spend more time with his family. Graduate assistant Lindsay Wischmeier was promoted to a full-time assistant position. Wischmeier played in every match of her four-year career at Nebraska and was the program's first-ever libero. She set the NU record for career digs (1,111) and averaged 3.35 digs/game for her career and helped NU to the 2000 National Championship. "I am excited and honored that at this stage in my coaching career, I have been afforded such an opportunity," Benson said. "We have a great group of leaders that will help with the transition, and this season is about the athletes, not about the coaching transition. We have a very talented group of student-athletes that have trained very hard in the off-season preparing for this fall. I expect this team to be very successful. Coaching is my passion and the University of Northern Colorado is not just another school for me. It is in my hometown, I attended Northern Colorado matches and camps as a child, and I wholeheartedly believe in the vision of Northern Colorado athletics and the volleyball program."
Benson is Fourth Youngest D-I Volleyball Head Coach: When Lyndsey Benson assumed head coaching duties on August 9, she became the fourth youngest Division I head women's volleyball coach in the country. Benson, 25, trails only Kristina Hernandez of Loyola (23), Allison Magner of UAB (24) and Holly Strauss of Connecticut (24) as far as youngest coaches.
Benson Nets First Win As Head Coach: First-year head coach Lyndsey Benson will look back to Sept. 3, 2005 as her first victory as a Division I head coach. Benson led the Bears to a 3-2 victory (30-28, 24-30, 30-26, 25-30, 15-9) over regional rival Wyoming at the UniWyo Cowgirl Classic).
The Continued Move to Division I: The 2005-06 sports season marks year No. 3 in the "reclassification" process to Division I for the Bears. On May 10, 2002 the UNC Board of Trustees voted unanimously to approve a move for the Northern Colorado intercollegiate athletics program to NCAA Division I. The 2002-03 sports year marked the last season for the Bears in the North Central Conference and the NCAA Division II level and was an "exploratory" year in the move. 2003-04 was the first season of the four-year reclassification period and last season (2004-05) marked year No. 2 before the program officially becomes a Division I school in 2007-08.
Bears to Join Big Sky Conference in 2006-07: As the Bears continue the reclassification to Division I, they have finally found a conference home. On July 1, 2006, the program will officially become a member of the Big Sky Conference and will compete against a full BSC schedule in 2006-07. The department's programs will not be eligible for Big Sky championships or NCAA berths until 2007-08, the program's first full year of Division I competition. Volleyball, however, was one of two UNC programs (wrestling being the other) that filed a petition with the NCAA and they will be eligible for NCAA postseason play beginning in 2006-07. In the Big Sky, the Bears will compete against the other eight Big Sky teams: Eastern Washington, Idaho State, Montana, Montana State, Northern Arizona, Portland State, Sacramento State and Weber State.
Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion to Get Upgrade: With the move to Division I and the Big Sky Conference, a student referendum was passed in April 2005, which gave $16 million dollars in improvements for Northern Colorado athletic facilities. Part of that money will go to renovating Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion with construction set to begin in May 2006 and be completed by August 2006 in time for the Bears to begin their first Big Sky Conference season. Butler-Hancock, which opened in 1976, will get brand new theater-style chairback seats and a new sound system among other things, in helping to spruce up the building that is now 30 years old.
Division I Independents: Once again this season, eight NCAA Division I Independent women's volleyball teams have joined forces to award Player of the Week awards. The teams are IPFW, North Dakota State, Northern Colorado, Providence, South Dakota State, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Texas-Pan American and Utah Valley State. Awards and statistics will be released on each Tuesday of the season starting Sept. 6. An index of award winners and other information on D-I Independent volleyball can be found at: http://uncbears.collegesports.com/sports/w-volley/spec-rel/071905aab.html.
Nationally Ranked Teams: The Bears faced a first on Sept. 9-10 at the Montana State Holiday Inn Classic. It marked the first time they challenged a nationally-ranked Division I team, doing so twice in two days, taking on No. 9 Wisconsin and No. 14 Missouri; UW and MU won each match in 3-0 fashion. The Bears had never faced a nationally-ranked D-I team in the NCAA era, as you have to go back to the AIAW days (pre-1982) to find an instance of playing an opponent of that caliber. As a Division II team, the Bears faced plenty of nationally-ranked D-II teams but never a nationally-ranked D-I team.
Bears Increase Win Streak on Tuesday's: With a 3-0 win over Air Force on Tuesday, Sept. 13 UNC won for the 15th consecutive time on a Tuesday, dating back to Oct. 16, 2001 when the Bears lost 3-1 at Nebraska-Omaha. That match was the lone Tuesday match of the year for the Bears, who will take that streak into the 2006 season.
Season Openers: After a loss to Creighton (Aug. 26) Northern Colorado is now 23-7 all-time in season openers, including an 8-3 mark in the last 11 years. The Bears dropped last year's season opener to New Mexico (3-2) but had not lost a season opener prior to that since a 3-1 loss to UC Davis in 1996. Other season opening loses include West Texas State (1990), Regis (1988), Texas (1977) and Northern Arizona (1976).
Home Openers: After a 3-0 win over Air Force (Sept. 13), the Bears are 25-5 all-time in home openers and have won four straight at home to open the year. The last time the Bears suffered a loss in their home opener was to Metro State on Sept. 4, 2001.
Sisters Square Off: When Northern Colorado and Boise State squared off on Sept. 2 at the UniWyo Cowgirl Classic, junior middle blocker Meredith (Klein) Alder squared off with her younger sister Mandy Klein, a setter for the Broncos. Meredith and Mandy's mother, Carol Johnson-Klein, was an All-American at Northern Colorado in the early 80's and went on to serve as an assistant under Hall of Fame coach Linda Delk in 1982. Boise State won the match 3-1 while Alder added five kills and 12 digs; her younger sister had a match-high 53 assists.
Veal Named to All-Tournament Team at Bluejay Invitational: Sophomore middle blocker Dani Veal was named to the All-Tournament team at the Creighton Bluejay Invitational after averaging 3.00 kills/game and recording four blocks in two Northern Colorado losses. Veal matched her career-high with 11 kills in the team's loss to Creighton (Aug. 26).
Mayne Named to Holiday Inn Classic All-Tournament Team & D-I Independent Defensive Player of the Week: Sophomore libero Abby Mayne was the Bears lone representative on the All-Tournament team at the Montana State Holiday Inn Classic (Sept. 9-10). Mayne had 48 digs (4.80/game) in the Bears three matches, including 22 in a 3-1 loss to future Big Sky Conference foe Montana State. The Bears were 0-3 at the event, also losing to No. 9 Wisconsin and No. 14 Missouri. She also earned D-I Independent Defensive Player of the Week honors for her efforts at the event.
Franz Named D-I Independent Newcomer of the Week: Freshman outside hitter Liz Franz was named D-I Independent Newcomer of the Week on Sept. 7 after averaging 1.33 kills and 1.33 blocks/game in matches against Boise State and Wyoming at the UniWyo Cowgirl Classic. Against Wyoming, Franz had career-highs in kills (9) and blocks (9) as the Bears won for the first time in 2005.
Chapin Flirts With Triple-Double, Earns All-Tournament Team & D-I Independent Setter of the Week Honors: Senior setter Corrinne Chapin nearly recorded a pair of triple-doubles at Miami (Ohio), falling just a few digs short each time. Against Virginia Tech (Sept. 17), she had a career-high 11 kills, 47 assists and 9 digs and followed that performance by recording 10 kills, 52 assists and 8 digs against Miami University (Sept. 17). Although it is currently unclear when the last triple-double in Bears volleyball history occurred, it has been at least since the 1999 season - a span of six years. She did earn All-Tournament team honors at the Miami Best Western/Sycamore Inn Classic, after averaging 12.27 assists, 2.00 kills, 2.82 digs and 1.00 blocks/game in three matches. For the week she averaged 12.57 assists, 1.93 kills, 2.97 digs and 1.07 blocks/game in earning D-I Independent Setter of the Week honors for the first time in 2005. Chapin won the award six of the 10 weeks during the 2004 season.
Rhoads Nets Double-Digit Blocks: Lizzy Rhoads brought her big block to the Miami Best Western/Sycamore Inn Classic. After five blocks in the opener and two in the second match, the junior recorded a career-high 11 blocks in a 3-1 win over Miami University (Sept. 17). It marked the first time in several years that a Bears player had 10 or more blocks in a match.
Bears Sweep by South Dakota State: In extending its Division I long home-court winning streak to 31 matches (Sept. 24), Northern Colorado did something they had not done in a decade, sweep South Dakota State. The rivalry between the teams dates back to 1979 and the squads met annually from 1989-2002 when both were members of the Division II North Central Conference. The 3-0 win by the Bears was the first over SDSU in 20 matches, dating back to the 1995 season. UNC and SDSU will play again in less than two weeks when the Bears travel to Brookings.
Wiggins and Rhoads Named to LIU Classic All-Tournament Team: Amanda Wiggins and Lizzy Rhoads were named to the All-Tournament team at the Courtyard by Marriott Long Island University Classic in Brooklyn. The Bears finished 3-1 as a team and were the tournament runners-up (falling to host LIU in the title match). Wiggins averaged 3.73 kills and 3.13 digs/game at the event while Rhoads averaged 3.20 kills and 1.47 blocks and hit .404 (48-10-94).
Chapin & Goble Earn D-I Independent Weekly Honors: Corrinne Chapin was named D-I Independent Setter of the Week (for the second straight week) and Lenay Goble earned Newcomer of the Week honors on Sept. 27. In the Bears lone match of the previous week (a 3-0 sweep of South Dakota State), Chapin had 46 assists, four kills, 12 assists and three blocks while Goble added 11 kills and hit .450. Goble also added two assists, two digs and three blocks.
Mayne Named Co-Defensive Player of the Week: Abby Mayne was named Division I Independent Co-Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 11 after averaging 5.44 digs/game in wins at South Dakota State and North Dakota State. The award was the second of the 2005 season for Mayne, who also won the award on Sept. 13.
Easy Like Sunday Morning: When the Bears played at Texas-San Antonio on Sunday, Oct. 30 it was the team's first Sunday match since Oct. 1, 1995 when they beat North Dakota State 3-1 at the Air Force Premier in Colorado Springs. The Bears fell 3-1 to UTSA.
First Canadian Playing For Bears: Freshman Natasha Jmaeff holds a special distinction in Northern Colorado volleyball history; she is the first Canadian to play for the program. Jmaeff, a native of Crescent Valley, British Columbia, was the MVP of the British Columbia Provincial Championships in 2004.
Bears Say Bye to Deffenbaugh: The 2005 season marks the first without All-American Erin Deffenbaugh since 2000, as the school's all-time leader in kills graduated following last season. Deffenbaugh finished her career No. 1 all-time in career attacks (6,465 - a Div. II mark because of the Bears transition to Div. I) and No. 3 in career kills (2,529).
A Sister Thing: When redshirt freshman Lenay Goble sets foot on the court this year, it'll mark the eighth time a set of sisters has played volleyball at Northern Colorado. Her sister Teale was an All-American from 1999-02 and served as an assistant coach in 2003. Six of the eight sets of sisters to play at Northern Colorado have done so at the same time.
It's All One Big Happy Family: Six current Bears volleyball players have a relation to someone now or in the past that have played for the UNC Athletics Program. (1) Junior Meredith Alder's mother, Carol Johnson-Klein, was an All-American volleyball player at UNC (1978-81); (2) Junior Lizzy Rhoads father played basketball for the Bears from 1968-71; (3) Sophomore Dulcie Stone's father played basketball (1971-74) for the Bears as did her uncle Don (1968-71) and her uncle Dale was a UNC football player (1974-77); (4) Redshirt freshman Lenay Goble's sister Teale was an All-American outside hitter for UNC (1999-02); (5) Sophomore Dani Veal's uncles' Dennis (1984-86) and Darren (1991-93) both wrestled while at Northern Colorado; (6) Freshman Abby Mayne's father did not play athletics at UNC, but he is currently the UNC Band Director, giving him a close association with the UNC athletics programs.