SMSU VOLLEYBALL: No. 9 SMSU opens weekend at No. 7 CSP for featured NCAA DII Showcase

Independent file photo SMSU’s Payton Hjerleid passes the ball during their match against Upper Iowa last Friday. The Mustangs will begin its weekend against No. 7 Concordia-St. Paul this Friday.

MARSHALL — The No. 9 Southwest Minnesota State volleyball team (11-3, 5-1 NSIC) travels to No. 7 Concordia-St. Paul (11-3, 5-1 NSIC) Friday for a conference matchup selected in the NCAA DII Showcase to be aired on the NSIC Network, Division II Twitter, and Division II Facebook pages.

•SMSU will then travel to Minnesota State on Saturday for a 2 p.m. matchup at the Taylor Center in Mankato.

•SMSU went 1-1 last weekend with a sweep over a then-ranked, No. 22 Upper Iowa and a three-set loss to Winona State on Saturday.

Mustang leaders

•Junior Angela Young leads the team offensively with 204 kills and a 4.00 kills per set average.

•Emma Thomssen leads in assists with 323 and Alisa Bengen is right behind with 309.

•Payton Hjerleid leads the team defensively with 182 digs and 3.57 digs per set.

•Hjerleid also leads in service aces with 18.

•Zoe Lier leads in blocks with 48 including 36 block assist and 12 block solos.

•SMSU has a 15.10 kills per set average and a .252 hitting percentage.

What you need

to know

•SMSU notches the No. 9 spot in the latest AVCA poll released on Monday. This marks the 181st poll that SMSU has been featured in the Top-25.

•SMSU is one of nine NSIC schools ranked in the Top-25. Minnesota Duluth leads the way at No. 4. Concordia-St. Paul is ranked No. 7, Northern State at No. 8, followed by SMSU at No. 9, St. Cloud State at No. 11, Wayne State at No. 15, Upper Iowa at No. 18, Winona State at No. 19, and Sioux Falls tied with Barry at No. 24.

•The game can be seen on the NSIC Network, on the Division II, NSIC, Concordia-St. Paul and Southwest Minnesota State Facebook pages (pending your approval), on the DII Twitter page at @NCAADII and through the Periscope app at @NCAADII.

•The game will also be available in Concordia’s video portal. The game will be produced by the NCAA’s production partner, Niles Media Group.

Concordia-St. Paul match preview

2019 Record: 11-3 overall, 5-1 NSIC

Head coach: Brady Starkey, 17th season

Mascot: Golden Bears

Series History

•CSP holds a 38-27 advantage in the all-time series dating back to 1976.

•SMSU and CSP met once this season in the Colorado Premier Challenge championship match as CSP claimed a 3-1 match victory.

•SMSU went 1-3 last season versus CSP with the last a five-set loss at the NCAA Tournament.

Concordia-St. Paul notes

•Head coach Brady Starkey in his 17th season holds a 534-61 overall record and 287-19 record in the conference.

•Under Starkey, CSP has 16 NCAA Tournament appearances, 15 NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen Appearances and 14 NSIC Championships.

•Jasmine Mulvihill leads the Golden Bears with 196 kills and a 3.50 kills per set average. Erin Fallert is close behind with 173, and NSIC Preseason Player of the Year, Sara Macek, has 132.

•Payton Nutter paces CSP with 429 assists with a 7.94 assist per set average.

•Tori Hanson leads the defense with 255 digs and 4.55 digs per set.

•Fallert was named NSIC Defensive Player of the Week as she recorded her eighth and ninth double-double of the season.

Minnesota State match preview

2019 Record: 9-5 overall, 2-4 NSIC

Head Coach: Lori Rittenhouse-Wollmuth, fifth season

Mascot: Mavericks

Series History

•SMSU trails the all-time series 27-31 dating back to 1971.

•SMSU has won 15 of the last 16 matches with the last being a sweep over MSU in Marshall on Oct. 27, 2018.

Minnesota State notes

•Head coach Lori Rittenhouse-Wollmuth is in fifth season and has a 74-55 overall record.

•Morgan Olson leads the offense with 188 kills and 4.37 kills per set.

•Mara Quam leads the Maverick defense with 196 digs and 4.17 digs per set.

•Bre Maloney paces WSU with 415 assists and 9.88 assist per set average.

•Ashton Lee leads the Mavericks at the net with 36 blocks and 0.80 blocks per set.

•MSU is on a four-match losing streak with losses to Augustana and No. 15 Wayne State last weekend.

Conference rankings

•SMSU leads the conference in team assists per set with 14.98.

•SMSU also ranks in the top-five in multiple catergories: fifth in aces per set (1.57), fourth in blocks per set (2.11), second in kills per set (15.12), second in team assists (733), third in team attacks per set (37.37), second in team kills (711), fourth in team service aces (80), second in team total blocks (107.5).

•Lydia Sussner is ninth in the conference in hittting percentage with a 0.373 mark.

•Angela Young ranks third in total kills with kills 204 and fourth in total attacks with 515.

•Payton Hjerleid ranks ninth in service aces with 18.

Up next

The Mustangs head to Wayne, Neb., for a mid-week matchup versus No. 15 Wayne State on Tuesday, Oct. 15 for a 6 p.m. match.

— Content courtesy

of SMSU Athletic



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