Sept. 19, 2005
University of Northern Colorado Bears (3-8)
vs. South Dakota State University Jackrabbits (6-8)
Match #12 * Saturday, September 24, 2005 * 7:00 p.m. MT
Greeley, Colo. * Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion (4,500)
The Series: The Bears lead the all-time series by an 18-11 margin.
The Coaches: Lyndsey Benson is 3-8 (.273) in her first season as a collegiate head coach. It is her third overall year with the Northern Colorado program.
Andrew Palileo is 97-52 (.651) in his fifth year at South Dakota State and 182-97 (.652) in his ninth year overall as a head coach.
Live Stats: Gametracker live stats available through links at UNCBears.com.
After four matches a week ago, the University of Northern Colorado women's volleyball team has a much slower week, as they play only once. The Bears host fellow Division I Independent South Dakota State on Saturday, Sept. 24 at Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion, as they look to extend Division I's longest home court winning streak to 31 matches.
THE BEAR FACTS
Northern Colorado opened its home season last Tuesday, sweeping past the Air Force to take sole possession of the nation's longest winning streak (30 matches - surpassing Ohio by one match). With the win the Bears have now won nine of 10 against the Falcons. UNC has also won 17 consecutive matches against teams from the state of Colorado, 42 of their last 43 total matches played in the state of Colorado and 15 straight matches on Tuesday.
The Bears wrapped up the week by playing three matches at the Miami Best Western/Sycamore Inn Classic, falling to Wright State and Virginia Tech before topping the host RedHawks. Senior setter Corrinne Chapin was named to the All-Tournament team after averaging 12.27 assists, 2.00 kills, 2.82 digs and 1.00 blocks/game and narrowly missing out on a pair of triple-doubles (coming up one dig short against Virginia Tech and two digs short against Miami).
The home match with SDSU is the team's last until Oct. 15 when they host Utah Valley State. Between now and then, the Bears hit the road for six matches, including a trip to play at South Dakota State.
South Dakota State: The Jackrabbits have lost two in a row entering this week and play at Kansas State on Wednesday and Air Force on Thursday before coming to Greeley. The two losses came right after the team had won four in a row (and 5 of 6 overall) including topping fellow D-I Independent North Dakota State. Minette Ridenour leads the team with 3.79 kills/game while Kristina Martin is second at 3.70 kills/game.
Series History: The Bears and Jacks have had quite a few memorable matches over the years, meeting 29 times previously, mainly when both teams were both members of the Division II North Central Conference. SDSU won two of three from the Bears last year, including knocking them off at the D-I Independent Championships, a loss that propelled IPFW to the team championship and prevented Northern Colorado from repeating as champions. The teams also met in the NCAA North Central Regional Championship in 2002 in Greeley, with the Bears winning 3-1 in front of the second largest crowd in Butler-Hancock history. UNC has won the last three in Greeley in the series and five of the last six.
NORTHERN COLORADO NOTES
Alder Has Breakout Weekend: Junior Meredith Alder put together a career week in four matches last week. She averaged 3.00 kills, and 1.29 blocks/game and increased her kills mark in each match (6, 8, 14, 14). After having a career-high of one block in a match entering the week, she had seven against Virginia Tech (Sept. 17) to establish a new career-high.
Chapin Flirts With Triple-Double, Earns All-Tournament Team Honors: Senior setter Corrinne Chapin nearly recorded a pair of triple-doubles last week, 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.
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.
Home Sweet Home; Bears Have Nation's Longest Home Court Winning Streak: The Bears have been nearly unbeatable at home, posting a 260-48 (.844) record at home since Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion (formerly Butler-Hancock Hall) opened in 1976. The Bears currently have a 30-match winning streak at home, the longest Division I home-court winning streak (1 more than Ohio University's 29 in a row). Northern Colorado last lost at home to North Dakota State by a 3-2 margin on Nov. 2, 2001. UNC was a perfect 12-0 at home in 2002 and 8-0 in each 2003 and 2004. The Bears are 49-3 at home since the beginning of the 1999 season (the 2000 season was played at the Student Rec Center and not included in those totals). The program record for home wins in a row is 33 set from 1985-87. The UNC volleyball team played its 300th match in Butler-Hancock on Sept. 7, 2004 defeating the Wyoming Cowgirls 3-0 in front of 914 fans.
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 has won 17 consecutive matches against teams from the state of Colorado, last losing to Colorado Christian (3-2) on Sept. 18, 2001. Overall, the Bears have won 42 of the last 43 matches they've 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. In order to keep that first streak alive the task will be tough this year, as the Bears have matches against Denver (Nov. 25) and Colorado (Nov. 26) left.
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.
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.
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 and have now won 7 of their last 10 five-set matches.
Chapin Paces Offense: In her first year as a starter in 2004, setter Corrinne Chapin paced the Bears offense on her way to Division I Independent Setter of the Year honors. Chapin dished out 1,683 assists in 131 games (12.85/game), which was the fourth highest total in school history behind Tatjana Smith (1,730), Michelle White (1,706) and Inge Otte (1,685). She now has 2,096 assists and is 1,496 assists out of fifth place in school history. Although she probably won't reach that mark, she has a good chance to finish sixth all-time, pretty good for a setter who has only started for two years.
How Sweep It Is: Over the past three-plus seasons (2002-05), the Bears have won 57 matches (out of 109 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 18 of the 29 total matches it has played, including
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 (10 a.m., 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 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.
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.
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.
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.
Success Over the Past Three Years: Entering the 2005 season, over the past there seasons (2002-04), the Bears have won 88 matches, seventh most among all Division I schools (Hawaii has the most at 100). In that time frame they have lost only 14 times, fifth best in the country (Hawaii leads the way with only five losses).
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.
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.
Northern Colorado Coaches Radio Show Now on Wednesday: Fans came now attend the Coors Light Northern Colorado Coaches Show each Wednesday afternoon at Noon at Old Chicago (2349 W. 29th St.). The event, which used to be on Monday's, is open to the public and the cost of lunch is only $7, as fans hear about the happenings of UNC Athletics from in-season coaches. KFKA's Troy Coverdale serves as host and the show airs on tape-delay on Newstalk 1310 KFKA at 7 p.m. that night.