SMSU VOLLEYBALL: SMSU volleyball travels to USF for early week NSIC contest
MARSHALL – The top-ranked Southwest Minnesota State women’s volleyball team (10-0, 2-0 NSIC) looks to stay unbeaten this week as they travel south to Sioux Falls, S.D., for an early week conference match against Sioux Falls on Tuesday night in the Stewart Center.
SMSU Quick Hits
– SMSU took over the No. 1 ranking in the country for the first time since 2012 in last week’s AVCA top-25 poll.
– The Mustangs’ 10-0 start to the year is the best start to season in school history.
– Megan Larson and Taylor Reiss were recognized last week by the NSIC as Setter of the Week and Offensive Player of the week respectively.
– Larson became the program’s all-time leader in career assists in SMSU’s win over Ferris State on Sept. 8.
– Reiss became the 14th player in program history to surpass the 1,000 career kills mark in the Mustangs’ win over No. 1 Concordia-St. Paul.
– SMSU opened NSIC play with a pair of wins over No. 9 Augustana and No. 17 Wayne State
Sioux Falls Match Preview
– SMSU owns a commanding 12-1 all-time record against the Cougars.
– The Mustangs have won seven straight matches since the Cougars’ only win over SMSU back in 2013.
– SMSU dropped just one set in three matches against Sioux Falls last year.
– In the Mustangs 12 wins over Sioux Falls, SMSU has lost just six total sets and have been forced into five sets just twice.
– SMSU has swept 8 of 13 all-time matches against the Cougars.
Sioux Falls Team Notes
– Overall Record: 6-1
– Home Record: 1-1
– Current Streak: Won 1
– Sioux Falls had four non-conference matches cancelled when the Saint Leo Invitational in Tampa, Fla., was cancelled due to inclement weather.
– USF split its opening week of NSIC matches, dropping a five-set contest at No. 17 Wayne State before coming from behind to defeat rival No. 9 Augustana.
– The Cougars out-hit Wayne State .241 to .228 and had four hitters record nine or more kills, but lost in five sets.
– Against Augustana, the Cougars fought back from a 2-1 deficit to defeat AU for the third time in five years.
– USF’s defense held the Vikings to a .188 attack percentage while three Cougars posted 10-plus kills.
– The win over No. 9 Augustana was USF’s second victory over a top-10 team in the past two years and fourth overall against ranked competition in the same span.
– Bria Barfnecht was named NSIC Offensive Player of the Week after posting a pair of double-doubles with a .484 attack percentage last week.
Mustangs Quick out of the Gates
– SMSU is off to its best start in school history after winning its first 10 matches of the year.
– The Mustangs are already 7-0 over ranked opponents and have swept four of their ten eight opponents.
– SMSU won six of its first seven matches in 2016.
– The Mustangs’ longest win streak last season was 14 straight matches from Sept. 17 to Oct. 28.
– SMSU’s previous best start to a season was 7-0 which it accomplished in both 2010 and 2012.
To Be the Best; Beat the Best
– SMSU has started the year 7-0 against ranked opponents including its last six straight wins.
– SMSU defeated two more top-25 opponents last week as they beat No. 9 Augustana and No. 17 Wayne State to open NSIC play.
-The Mustangs had wins over three of the eight NCAA Region Champions during the 2016 season (Concordia-St. Paul, Palm Beach Atl., Angelo State).
– SMSU went 11-6 in 17 total matches against nationally ranked opponents in 2016.
– SMSU defeated defending National Champions and then No. 1 Concordia-St. Paul in the Colo. Premier Championship.
– The Mustangs will face No. 2 Concordia-St. Paul again on Oct. 28 in Marshall.
NCAA Statistical Rankings
Highlights of the latest NCAA Statistical Rankings Update:
– SMSU is one of just 10 remaining unbeaten teams in Division II.
– Megan Larson is third in assists per set (12.32) and total assists (359).
– Taylor Reiss is ninth in total kills (168) and kills per set (4.54), and fourth in attacks per set (13.49).
Mustangs in the
– SMSU took over the No. 1 ranking in the nation last week for the first time since 2012.
– SMSU has been ranked in the AVCA’s Top-25 for 151 consecutive polls and has made it into the nation’s Top-10 teams for 55 consecutive polls (dates back to Sept. 2006).
– The Mustangs finished 2016 ranked 2nd in the final AVCA Top-25 Poll of the year and were ranked 2nd in this season’s preseason poll.
SMSU Conference Openers
– SMSU has won 4 of its last 5 four conference openers after defeating Augustana in five sets last Thursday.
– The Mustangs are 9-5 under head coach Terry Culhane in conference openers.
– SMSU will follow up its early week matchup against Sioux Falls with a pair of road NSIC matches this weekend.
– The Mustangs will travel north this weekend as they face Bemidji State on Friday at 6 p.m., followed by a match against Minnesota Crookston on Saturday at 2 p.m.
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