Volleyball to Defend Title at Division I Independent Championships This Week
Nov. 8, 2004
2004 Division I Independent Volleyball Championships
Orem, Utah * McKay Events Center (8,000)
University of Northern Colorado Bears (20-8) vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders (15-13)
Match #29 * Thursday, November 11, 2004 * 10:00 a.m. MT
University of Northern Colorado Bears vs. IPFW Mastodons (19-9)
Match #30 * Thursday, November 11, 2004 * 5:00 p.m. MT
University of Northern Colorado Bears vs. South Dakota State Jackrabbits (17-11)
Match #31 * Friday, November 12, 2004 * 10:00 a.m. MT
University of Northern Colorado Bears vs. North Dakota State Bison (10-17)
Match #32 * Friday, November 12, 2004 * 5:00 p.m. MT
University of Northern Colorado Bears vs. Texas-Pan American Broncs (10-17)
Match #33 * Saturday, November 13, 2004 * 10:00 a.m. MT
University of Northern Colorado Bears vs. Utah Valley State College Wolverines (9-12)
Match #34 * Saturday, November 13, 2004 * 5:00 p.m. MT
The Series: UNC leads TAMU-CC 2-0, IPFW 1-0, South Dakota State 18-8, Texas-Pan American 3-0 and Utah Valley State 5-0 in the respective all-time series. North Dakota State leads the Bears 20-18 in the all-time series.
The Coaches: Ron Alexander is 83-13 (.865) in his third season as Northern Colorado's head coach (also his third season overall as a head coach).
Frances Kinnison is 68-95 in her fifth year at TAMU-CC and 114-151 in her eighth year overall. Kelley Hartley is 115-67 in her sixth season at IPFW and 253-132 in her 10th year overall. Andrew Palileo is 86-43 in his fourth year at SDSU and 171-88 in his eighth season overall. Dave Thorn is 95-121 in his seventh year at UTPA. Sam Atoa is 157-58 in his sixth season at Utah Valley State.
Radio: Every match this week can be heard on 1010 KSIR and free online at KSIR.com and UNCBears.com. KSIR's Jeremy Weathers will have the play-by-play.
The University of Northern Colorado women's volleyball team will conclude its 2004 season this week by attempting to defend its crown at the Division I Independent Championship. This year's tournament will be held on the campus of Utah Valley State in Orem. The Bears will battle Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (10 a.m.) and 2002 D-I Independent Champion IPFW (5 p.m.) on Thursday, South Dakota State (10 a.m.) and North Dakota State (5 p.m) on Friday and Texas-Pan American (10 a.m.) and Utah Valley State (5 p.m.) on Saturday.
THE BEAR FACTS
UNC was a perfect 4-0 at the Independent Championships last year, winning 12 of 14 total sets they played in on the way to the title.
History was made on Saturday night at Butler-Hancock Hall, as the Bears extended their home-court winning streak to 29 (the second longest streak in the country) as senior All-American Erin Deffenbaugh had 22 kills and hit .525 as she set the NCAA career record for attempts, surpassing the five-year old mark of 6,091. In the process, she moved into No. 6 spot on the NCAA career kills list and needs only one more kill to move into fifth place. She will most likely finish her career second all-time in kills and has an outside shot at No. 2.
The Bears also reached the 20-win plateau on Saturday, marking the 22nd time in 29 total seasons they have won 20 or more matches in a year. Right now, the Bears are one of only 29 Division I teams with 20 or more wins this season.
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi: The Islanders have lost five of their last six matches overall, beating only Prairie View A&M 3-0 on Oct. 30. Last time out they were swept by North Dakota State and they will host Texas A&M-Kingsville on Monday night before heading to the D-I Independent Championship. Lauren Smith's 3.00 kills/game leads the team.
IPFW: The Mastodons had a seven-match winning streak snapped last week when they were swept at Valparaiso. IPFW is the only team at the Independent Championship that UNC has not played this season. IPFW won the title two years ago and hosted the event last season when the Bears claimed the championship. Fabiana Souza's 5.00 kills/game leads all D-I Independent players.
South Dakota State: The Jacks have won eight in a row entering this weekend's tournament, and are the only D-I Independent to beat UNC this season, winning 3-1 in Brookings in October. SDSU hasn't lost since falling to UNC 3-2 on Oct. 13 in Greeley. Minette Ridenour's 3.46 kills/game leads the team.
North Dakota State: The Bison have won four in a row and five of their last six entering this week, after winning only six matches prior to the winning streak. There most impressive accomplishment was sweeping UTPA on their home court at Noon and then driving to Corpus Christi and sweeping TAMU-CC at 5:30 p.m. on the same day (last Saturday). Sheila Parrish leads the team with 3.54 kills/game.
Texas-Pan American: The Broncs lost a pair of matches last week, including being swept by North Dakota State on Saturday in their final home match of the season. Heather Bravo's 3.30 kills/game leads the team while libero Carol Marcengo has been a five-time D-I Independent Defensive Player of the Week selection this season and leads the team with 6.10 digs/game.
Utah Valley State: The Wolverines have played two of their last three matches against UNC, losing 3-2 in Orem and 3-0 in Greeley last Saturday. In-between they swept Boise State at home. Deise Borghetti leads the team with a 4.28 kills/game average and had 30 kills in a match earlier this season.
Series History: UNC and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi have played once each the past two years, with the Bears winning 3-0 each time. This will be their second matchup on a neutral court. UNC and IPFW have only met once, last season in Fort Wayne and the D-I Independent Championships; the Bears won that matchup 3-1. UNC and SDSU have met 26 times, win UNC winning 18 of those, including four of the last five. SDSU did win 3-1 in Brookings earlier this season. NDSU leads the all-time series with UNC 20-18, and are one of only three teams (BYU & West Texas A&M being the others) to hold an advantage in the all-time series after 10 or more meetings. UNC has beaten UTPA in all three meetings over the past two years, sweeping all three matches. UNC and Utah Valley have met five times, including twice in the past two weeks. The Bears are 5-0 all-time against UVSC.
NORTHERN COLORADO NOTES
Deffenbaugh Sets NCAA Career Attacks Record: With her sixth swing in Nov. 6's match with Utah Valley State, senior All-American Erin Deffenbaugh broke the five-year old NCAA record of 6,091 career attacks, in moving into first in NCAA history. Deffenbaugh now has 6,135 attacks and is putting a lot of space between herself and the old record (note - the record is a Div. II record because her stats are grandfathered into D-II after playing her first three seasons as a D-II player). Deffenbaugh became the all-time UNC leader in attempts on Sept. 11 at Portland State, when she had 53 attempts and passed Teale Goble (5,137) on the list. The record not only put her into the the UNC record books, but moved her ahead of Goble and into the NCAA all-time Top 10. She tied her career-high for attacks (77) in a 3-2 win at Utah Valley State on Oct. 27. She is now nearly 1,000 attempts ahead of Goble.
Deffenbaugh Up to No. 8 in NCAA Career Kills: With a kill in game two against North Dakota State (Oct. 8), senior Erin Deffenbaugh officially entered the NCAA All-Time Top 10 kills list, passing Mesa State's Amy Miller (2,228). She now has 2,410 kills and has moved up to No. 6 on the career list and needs 267 to break the NCAA Division II career mark (a category she is "grandfathered" into because she played her first three years at the D-II level), a mark that will be difficult to reach with only six matches remaining. Deffenbaugh, the UNC all-time leader in kills, is chasing down Pavla Melicharova of Northwood, who had 2,676 kills from 1993-96 (448 total games). She needs only one kill to move into fifth place all-time and 28 to move into sole possesion of fourth place. She should finish her career as No. 3 or No. 4 all-time but does has an outside shot at No. 2.
Division I Independent Championship History: This year's tournament will be the fifth time the D-I Independent Championship has been held. Texas-Pan American won the inaugural title in 2000 (held in Shreveport, La.) and repeated as champions the next year on their home court. IPFW was victorious in 2002, winning in Corpus Christi, Texas while Northern Colorado swept their way to the tournament title in 2003 in Fort Wayne, Ind. UNC's Linnea Kiilsgaard was named the MVP of last year's event while Maggie Ledall also earned All-Tournament team honors.
Deffenbaugh and Wiggins Named to All-Academic Team: Erin Deffenbaugh and Amanda Wiggins were named to the Division I Independent All-Academic Team on Nov. 3. The pair were two of 15 total players selected to the team. Deffenbaugh carries a 3.83 gpa in interdisciplinary studies liberal arts (IDLA)-English and will most likely make the prestigious CoSIDA Academic All-District team which will be released on Thursday. Wiggins holds a 3.86 gpa in finance and was the other UNC selection.
Fifth Largest Crowd Sees Match at Butler-Hancock; Bears Nearly Set Average Attendance Mark: In eight home matches this season, 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.
Seniors Go Out With Win: The trio of UNC seniors, Danelle Angus, Erin Deffenbaugh and Maggie Ledall, played their last home match on Nov. 6 and helped the Bears defeat Utah Valley State 3-0. Each was honored in a pre-match ceremony as they completed their home volleyball careers. The trio finished with a 35-3 record in their four years (38-4 for Deffenbaugh who sat our last year with a knee injury). As a group they won more than 100 total matches in their UNC careers.
20+ Win Plateau: With a 3-0 win over Utah Valley State (Nov. 6), the Bears won 20 matches in a season for the 22nd time in school history (in 29 total seasons). It is the third consecutive year they have reached the mark and fifth time in the last six years. Currently only 29 Division I teams in the country have 20 or more wins this season.
Alexander to Coach 100th Match on Nov. 12: When UNC battles North Dakota State on Nov. 12 at the Division I Independent Championships, the match will mark the 100th for head coach Ron Alexander at UNC. Through 96 matches, Alexander holds a 83-13 (.865) record, which will be the best in program history after 100 matches (legendary coach Linda Delk had a 63-37 record after 100 matches).
Angus Joins Top Five Block Assists Club: With six blocks assists against UW-Milwaukee, senior Danelle Angus increased her career block assists total to 276, which moved her past Cara Miller and into fifth place on the UNC career list. She now has 287 block assists and needs 16 more to move past Stacey DeJong, who is now a volunteer assistant with the program, and into fourth place. Angus has 324 total career blocks, which is 18 away from fifth place on that list.
Ledall Approaching 1,000 Career Kills: Senior Maggie Ledall now has 950 career kills which puts her only 50 kills away from joining the 1,000 kill club. She has six matches left this season to accomplish that feat. If she does reach the mark, she'll become the 12th member of the elite group.
Deffenbaugh Enters NCAA Career Top 10 Consecutive Games Played List: By playing in all five sets against UW-Milwaukee (Oct. 23), Erin Deffenbaugh played in her 457th consecutive set, moving her unofficially into 10th place in NCAA history (the NCAA does not officially recognized the record since she sat our last season with an injury). She has now played in 469 consecutive sets which ranks her eighth all-time. By playing in three more games Deffenbaugh will move into the No. 7 spot in history and should finish her career in the No. 5 spot all-time.
Ledall Hitting Lights Out; Ranks No. 14 in Country in Hitting: Senior tri-captain Maggie Ledall had an outstanding year hitting the ball in 2003, setting the school single-season record for hitting percentage at .413 (326-75-608), shattering the previous season record of .339 which had stood for 16 years. Ledall also set the single-match record when she hit .857 (12-0-14) in a win over Shippensburg (Sept. 12). And she has been almost unstoppable this season, hitting .500 or better in 10 of her last 18 matches (including .706 versus both UMKC and North Dakota State and .889 against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi). Ledall currently has a career hitting percentage of .336 (950-272-2018), which, if the season ended today, would be the new record, breaking the mark of .327 set by Julie Colville (1986-87). As of last week, Ledall ranked 14th in the country in hitting percentage (.399) and is among the nation's best with players from USC, Tennessee and Florida among others. After last week's matches she is up to .400 overall and should be ranked near the top 10 in the country when the new numbers are released on Tuesday.
Tops Among D-I Independents: The Bears have won six of their last seven matches against fellow Division I Independents, and play their final six matches this season against D-I Independents. On the year the Bears are 8-1 against D-I Independents, tops among the group (only two other D-I Independents have three wins against fellow Independents). The Bears 20-8 overall record is also tops among all Independents, one ahead of the 19 wins by IPFW.
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 16 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 41 of the last 42 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.
How Sweep It Is: Over the past three seasons, the Bears have won 54 matches in 3-0 fashion (including 25 of their 32 total victories during the 2003 season, which was a school record, and 11 times in 2004). On the other hand, opponents have a very hard time of sweeping Northern Colorado, as the Bears have been swept only three times in the Ron Alexander Era (Oct. 3, 2002 at Augustana, Sept. 18, 2004 at Utah and Sept. 29, 2004 at Wichita State).
Home Sweet Home: The Bears have been nearly unbeatable at home, posting a 259-48 (.844) record at home since the building opened in 1976. The Bears currently have a 29-match winning streak at home (the second longest in the country, trailing only Hawaii's 35 straight), last losing to North Dakota State by a 3-2 margin on Nov. 2, 2001. UNC was a perfect 12-0 at home in 2002 (and established four of the top five crowds in program history), were 8-0 last season and were 8-0 once again this year. The Bears are 48-3 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 Hall on Sept. 7, defeating the Wyoming Cowgirls 3-0 in front of 914 fans. The win over the Cowgirls has also sweet, as the two teams had not played each other in 21 years and UW had won six-in-a-row in the series.
Deffenbaugh `Digs' Her Way to No. 2 in School History: Erin Deffenbaugh recorded 16 digs against South Dakota State (Oct. 13) to pass former teammate Teale Goble and move into second place in school history for career digs (she now has 1,731 digs). She would need over 500 more for first place, so she will finish No. 2 in school history. Goble, who played at UNC from 1999-02, was there in attendance to see the performance.
Northern Colorado Formally Applies for Big Sky Membership: The University of Northern Colorado today formally applied to be a member of the Big Sky Conference on Oct. 29. In September, the conference invited Northern Colorado to apply as it considers expansion."We are honored to be considered for membership in the Big Sky Conference, which we consider to be one of the premier athletic conferences in the nation," said UNC President Kay Norton. "We believe that academically, athletically and geographically, the University of Northern Colorado is an ideal fit for the Big Sky Conference. We would be an asset to the conference, and we would love to rekindle athletic rivalries that in some cases date back to 1924. The Big Sky Conference comprises California State University-Sacramento, Eastern Washington University, Idaho State University, the University of Montana, Montana State University, Northern Arizona University, Portland State University and Weber State University. Big Sky Conference Commissioner Doug Fullerton said in an earlier release from the Big Sky Conference that university presidents from the conference will meet in early December to determine if the conference will expand. Northern Colorado submitted a questionnaire from the conference that asked for details on a variety of factors, including academic mission, athletics programs, travel costs, budgets, facilities and student-athlete performance in the classroom. UNC also presented the Big Sky Conference with an Institutional Profile. "Northern Colorado's coaches, student-athletes, donors, alumni, faculty and staff and fans are excited about the possibility of the Bears joining the Big Sky Conference," said Jay Hinrichs, director of athletics. "We are stepping up to a higher level of competition, and the universities in the Big Sky would give us an opportunity to compete against the best." Fullerton said in an earlier release that the conference will review the material from new members, plan site visits early in 2005, and possibly have a decision in the spring. The Bears were 3-0 against Big Sky teams on the volleyball court this season.
Bears Increase Win Streak on Tuesday's: With a 3-1 win over Weber State on Tuesday, Oct. 26, UNC won for the 14th consecutive time on a Tuesday, dating back to Oct. 16, 2001 when the Bears lost 3-1 at Nebraska-Omaha. UNC has never lost on a Tuesday during the Ron Alexander Era as head coach. UNC does not have another Tuesday match this season, meaning they'll extend the streak into a fifth different season next year.
Bears Win For First Time This Year Hitting Under .200: Against Weber State on Oct. 26, the Bears hit only .169 as a team in the four-set match, marking the first-time all-time they had hit below .200 and won a match. Prior to the match they had been 0-5 when hitting below .200.
Best Two-Year Stretch in School History: Over the past two seasons (2002-03), the UNC team has put together the best two-year stretch in school history, compiling a 63-5 (.926) record under head coach Ron Alexander. Counting the record from 2002-04, the Bears are currently 83-13 (.865) in the past three seasons. What is the best three-year stretch in school history? A .865 winning percentage (96-15) set by the 1993, 1994 and 1995 teams.
It Doesn't Happen Often, But It Did Recently: On Oct. 23, the Bears led UW-Milwaukee 2-0 before allowing the Panthers to come back and beat them 3-2 (30-22, 30-24, 27-30, 27-30, 5-15), marking only the second time in their last 242 matches that had happen. It also happened last year when the Bears led Cal State-San Bernardino 2-0 (Sept. 6) at the Premier Challenge before eventualy falling 3-2 (30-27, 30-15, 27-30, 30-32, 11-15). Before that instance you have to go back to Sept. 19, 1997 when the Bears had led 2-0 and lost the match (vs. Minnesota State, 15-13, 15-4, 8-15, 3-15, 11-15).
Deffenbaugh, Chapin and Mayne Earn D-I Independent Weekly Honors: On Oct. 19, three UNC players won D-I Independent Player of the Week honors, as Erin Deffenbaugh was awarded the Offensive Player of the Week, Corrinne Chapin won the Setter of the Week award and Abby Mayne was named the Newcomer of the Week. Deffenbaugh won the award for the fourth week during the season after averaging 4.83 kills, 0.58 aces, 3.25 digs and 0.17 blocks in UNC's three victories. Chapin won Setter of the Week honors for the fifth time in seven weeks after averaging 0.75 kills, 12.33 assists, 3.43 digs and 0.83 blocks. The freshman Mayne became the first Bear to earn Newcomer honors this season, after averaging 4.08 digs/game including a career-high 26 digs in a win over SDSU.
Mayne Nets 26 Digs; Team Gets 106: Freshman Abby Mayne put on a show to remember against South Dakota State (10/13) at Butler-Hancock Hall. The libero had a career-high 26 digs to help the Bears to a 3-2 win over SDSU. The 26 digs were the most since Kristi Krom had 29 against Utah Valley State in 2003 and Teale Goble had 30 against SDSU in 2002. In that match the Bears recorded a season-high 106 digs, the most since recording 123 digs against the same Jackrabbits squad on Nov. 1, 2002.
Back-to-Back Five Setters at Home: When UNC was forced to a fifth set against South Dakota State (10/13) after having played five sets against Air Force (10/5), it was the first time in four years the team had to play back-to-back five setters at home. Before this season it had been Sept. 29 & 30, 2000 when the Bears lost to Augustana and beat South Dakota State that they had played back-to-back five set matches at home.
Falcons Extend Bears at Home: Air Force was able to extend UNC to five sets at home on Oct. 5, marking the first-time in 17 matches the Bears had to play five sets in a home match. They had not gone five sets since a 3-2 win over South Dakota State on Nov. 1, 2002.
Bears Drop Set No. 1 at Home: South Dakota State took game No. 1 from UNC on Oct. 13, marking the first time since Nov. 2, 2002 that the Bears had dropped the opening set in a home match, a string of 17 matches (last versus Augustana - UNC went on to win that match 3-1). But the Bears were able to regroup and eventually win by a 3-2 margin.
Deffenbaugh and Chapin Win D-I Awards Once Again: On Oct. 12, Erin Deffenbaugh was named Division I Independent Player of the Week for the third time this season and Corrinne Chapin earned Setter of the Week honors for the fourth time. Deffenbaugh averaged 5.17 kills, 3.00 digs, 0.25 aces, 0.33 blocks and hit .284 in three UNC wins while Chapin averaged 13.25 assists, 1.00 kills, .50 aces, 3.42 digs and 0.75 blocks.
Chapin Named UNC Female Student-Athlete of the Month for September: Junior setter Corrinne Chapin was named UNC Female Student-Athlete of the Month for September after having an excellent month on the court. She was named Division I Independent Setter of the Week three of the four weeks in September as she helped lead the UNC team to a 10-6 record during the month. Chapin averaged 12.52 assists, 0.52 kills, 2.25 digs and 0.77 blocks per game and earned All-Tournament honors at the Best Western Regency Northern Colorado Classic, where she averaged over 15 assists per game in three matches. During the month, she had eight double-doubles and notched a career-high 63 assists in the season-opener at New Mexico. In six matches this year she has had 50 or more assists and twice she has recorded 14 digs in a match, and twice she has recorded five total blocks in a contest. Football's Ryan Palmer was the male award winner.
Deffenbaugh and Chapin Earn D-I Independent Honors Again: On Sept. 28, Erin Deffenbaugh was named Division I Independent Player of the Week for the second time this season and Corrinne Chapin earned Setter of the Week honors for the third time in four weeks. Deffenbaugh (who was also named Player of the Week on Sept. 7) earned MVP honors at the Best Western Regency Northern Colorado Classic after averaging 5.3 kills and 3.6 digs/game in three matches in the tournament as the Bears beat a pair of D-I Independents in Texas-Pan American (3-0) and North Dakota State (3-0) and 2003 NCAA Tournament team Robert Morris (3-1). For the week overall, in four matches Deffenbaugh averaged 5.69 kills, 4.31 digs, 0.23 blocks and hit .330. She had 21 kills and 20 digs in a 3-0 win over Metro State on Tuesday and capped the week with 23 kills and 18 digs in the Championship Match victory over Robert Morris. In the process she moved into 10th place in NCAA history in career kills. Chapin also earned All-Tournament team honors at the Best Western Regency Northern Colorado Classic after averaging over 15 assists/game. For the four-match week, Chapin averaged 15.08 assists/game, 3.15 digs/game, 0.54 kills/game and 0.62 blocks/game. She had 61 total assists (the second-highest total of her career) in the Championship Match win over Robert Morris where she also added four kills and two block assists. She helped the team hit .313 overall for the week.
Bears Claim Best Western Regency Northern Colorado Classic Title: UNC hosted its first in-season tournament in 11 years on Sept. 24-25 and claimed the title at the Best Western Regency Northern Colorado Classic, sweeping by Texas-Pan American and North Dakota State and beating 2003 NCAA Tournament team Robert Morris 3-1. The tournament was the first since hosting the Northern Premier (1991-93); UNC now holds a 13-2 record, three titles and an 11-match winning streak in tournaments it has hosted.
Deffenbaugh Earns MVP Award; Two Others Named to All-Tournament Team: After the Bears claimed the title at the Best Western Regency Northern Colorado Classic, senior All-American Erin Deffenbaugh was named Tournament MVP after averaging 5.30 kills and 3.60 digs/game and hitting .352. It marked the second time this season she has been the MVP of a Tournament (she was also at the Lobo Invite) and the seventh time in a row she has been named to the All-Tournament team at an event she has played at and a team has been announced. Senior Maggie Ledall also made the team after hitting above .500 in all three matches and averaging 4.20 kills and 1.90 digs/game. Junior Corrinne Chapin was the third member of the team as she averaged 15.00 assists and 2.90 digs/game while helping the UNC offense hit .328 for the tournament.
Volleyball Bears Eligible for Posteason in 2006, a Year Earlier Than Expected: The NCAA Membership Subcommittee has approved a request by the University of Northern Colorado Athletic Department for reclassification of UNC's women's volleyball and men's wrestling to Division I status. The effect is that stud ent-athletes in the two sports will be eligible for the Division I championships during the 2006-07 academic year. NCAA legislation allows a member school to have one male and one female sport, excluding football and men's and women's basketball, classified in a division other than that in which it currently is a member. The UNC Bears are in the third year of a five-year, NCAA-mandated transition process from Division II to Division I. "The volleyball program feels extremely honored to be chosen for this exemption," Alexander said. "Every program at UNC has student-athletes and coaches that work very hard and are also battling the challenges associated with the transition to Division I, and any of them could have been chosen for the early eligibility. We will work very diligently to represent our department well given this opportunity." South Dakota State University and North Dakota State University, both in their second year of reclassifying to NCAA Division I, also selected wrestling and volleyball.
UNC Suffers First 3-0 Sweep in Two Years, Winless Weekend in Three Years: The weekend of Sept. 17-18 was not very kind for the Bears, who went winless in a weekend for the first-time since Sept. 21-22, 2001 when they fell to Augustana and South Dakota State. The 3-0 loss to Utah was the team's first since falling 3-0 to Augustana on Oct. 32, 2002, a stretch of 59 matches.
School Record 26-Match Winning Streak Ends: The 3-2 loss to New Mexico on Sept. 3 did not only end the Bears road winning streak, it also ended its 26-match overall winning streak. Entering this season the Bears had not lost since Sept. 6, 2003 when they fell 3-2 to CS-San Bernardino.
Neutral Court Winning Streak Ends: With a 3-1 loss to Oregon on Sept. 10 at the Viking Volleyball Showcase in Portland, the Bears saw their 14-match winning streak on neutral courts come to an end; they hadn't lost a neutral site match since Sept. 6, 2003 when they fell to CS-San Bernardino in Denver. Earlier this season with a 3-2 loss to New Mexico on Sept. 3, the Bears saw their school-record 16-match winning streak on opponent's home courts come to an end (they hadn't lost before that since Oct. 3, 2002 at Augustana and were a perfect 9-0 on the road in `03). UNC is 27-6 (.818) at neutral sites in the Ron Alexander era and 28-7 (.800) under Alexander in road contests.
Wiggins Makes Return: Junior Amanda Wiggins suffered a torn abdominal muscle against New Mexico (Sept. 3) and missed the next six matches for the Bears. She made her return on Sept. 14 at Air Force, recording seven kills, including sparking the Bears in game number two with four kills.
Deffenbaugh Record Lows in Kills/Hitting: As amazing as her career has been, it is remarkable that it took senior Erin Deffenbaugh 111 career matches before having a negative attack percentage. That is what happened to the All-American on Sept. 18 at Utah, where the big and physical Utes were able to stop her, holding her to a career-low five kills and a -.030 hitting percentage. But she made sure that feat did not repeat itself, as in her next match she recorded 21 kills and 20 digs in a 3-0 victory over Metro State (9/21).
Deffenbaugh Named to Viking Volleyball Showcase All-Tournament Team: Senior All-American Erin Deffenbaugh made it 6-for-6 in tournament honors, as she was named to the All-Tournament team at the Viking Volleyball Showcase after averaging 3.50 kills, 2.36 digs and 0.71 blocks/game in three matches as UNC compiled a 1-2 record.
Deffenbaugh and Chapin Earn D-I Independent Honors: Erin Deffenbaugh and Corrinne Chapin earned Division I Independent Player of the Week honors on Sept. 7 after having outstanding weeks at the Lobo Invitational. Deffenbaugh averaged 4.79 kills, 2.29 digs and hit .277 to earn Player of the Week honors while Chapin averaged 12.0 assists, 1.71 digs, 0.50 kills and 0.57 blocks per game to earn Setter of the Week honors.
Chapin Repeats as D-I Independent Setter of the Week: Junior setter Corrinne Chapin won her second consecutive Division I Independent Setter of the Week honor on Sept. 14 after she averaged 0.76 kills, 12.24 assists, 0.41 service aces, 2.35 digs and 0.88 blocks as the Bears defeated rival Wyoming (3-0) and Portland State (3-2) and lost matches to undefeated Oregon (3-1) and Gonzaga (3-2). Chapin had 57 assists in UNC's win over Portland State, to go along with 12 digs and four blocks. She has had three straight matches of 53 plus assists and 10 plus digs and has four double-doubles on the year.
Deffenbaugh Named Comcast Lobo Invitational MVP; Bears Claim Second Place: It did not take long for senior All-American Erin Deffenbaugh to show the volleyball world that she was back at 100 percent. In her first weekend back after sitting out the 2003 season with an injury, Deffenbaugh recorded 67 kills (4.79/game), had 2.29 digs/game and hit .277 on her way to earning Tournament MVP honors at the Comcast Lobo Invitational. She helped lead the Bears to a 2-1 overall record and second-place finish at the event, as UNC defeated Creighton (3-1) and Montana (3-2) after losing to New Mexico (3-2) on the first day. The Bluejays won the points for/against ratio tiebreaker as they were +24 in points ratio (thanks to a 30-12 slaughtering of the Lobos in the final game of the final match) while the Bears were +16.
Division I Independent Preseason Favorites: In a preseason vote of coaches and sports information directors, the UNC volleyball team received 12 of a possible 14 first-place votes and was picked as the 2004 Division I Independent favorite. The vote was unanimous in favor as UNC when you consider that coaches and SID's were unable to vote for their own team. The Bears won last year's championship by going a perfect 4-0 at the event held in Fort Wayne, Ind. IPFW, the 2002 D-I Independent Champions, received the other two first-place votes and was picked second; the Mastodons return five starters from last year's team. They were follwed by Texas-Pan American who returns 12 letterwinners and five starters from a 19-15 squad of a season ago. UTPA narrowly edged first-year Division I program North Dakota State who was 25-9 and made the NCAA Tournament in their final year of Division II play in 2003. Utah Valley State was picked fifth overall and return four starters from last year's first-year Division I squad that was 10-14. Another first-year Division I program, South Dakota State, was picked sixth while Texas A&M-Corpus Christi was picked seventh. The 2004 Division I Independent Championship will be held Nov. 11-13 on the campus of Utah Valley State in Orem, Utah.
Bears Win AVCA Team Academic Award: The UNC volleyball team was one of a record-number 304 volleyball teams to receive the 2003-04 American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Team Academic Award as announced at the beginning of August. The award, initiated in the 1992-93 academic year, honors both college and high school teams that displayed excellence in the classroom by maintaining at least a 3.30 cumulative team grade-point average on a 4.0 scale and a 4.10 cumulative team GPA on a 5.0 scale during the school year. The record 304 teams who earned the award bested the previous record of 205 squads that was set during the 2002-03 season, a 48.3 percent increase. During the 2003-04 school year, Northern Colorado achieved a 3.446 cumulative G.P.A. The team also compiled a 32-2 record and won the Division I Independent Championship during the season.
The Move to Division I: The 2004-05 sports season marks year No. 2 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 UNC 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. Last year (2003-04) was the first season of the four-year reclassification period before the program officially becomes a Division I school in 2007-08. Over the next two years, UNC will be unable to compete in NCAA postseason competition, but the volleyball and wrestling teams will be eligible for postseason play begining of 2006-07 (due to an NCAA ruling); all other programs will be eligible in 2007-08. Northern Colorado will be competiting as an independent during the 2004-05 school year and will look to find conference affiliation before the end of the reclassification period.
A Sister Thing: Sisters Maggie and Terin Ledall are the seventh set of sisters to play volleyball at UNC and sixth set to play at the same time. They are the first set of sisters to play together since Meg and Vicki Pruett back in the 1989 and 1990 seasons. In all, eight sets have played at UNC volleyball at one time or another, and that became true when Lenay Goble joined the freshman class this season (her sister Teale had previously been an All-American standout for the Bears).
Head of the Class: Not only does UNC recruit talented players but also talented students. The women's volleyball cumulative GPA is always among the top teams in the athletic department and three individuals (Lenay Goble, Jill Peotter and Dulcie Stone) were valedictorians of their senior class.
A Basketball Connection: As many prep athletes do, the current group of UNC volleyball players excelled in more than one sport in high school. Eleven current Bears were members of their high school basketball team including freshman Dani Veal who will put on a basketball uniform and suit up for Coach Ron Vlasin's UNC squad once volleyball season is over. Another pair of newcomers, Callie Vrooman and Lenay Goble were each all-state basketball selections last year as Goble led her team to a 25-0 record and Class A state championship while earning all-state and tournament MVP honors; Goble's prep volleyball squad finished as state runners-up. Vrooman (who is sitting out this year with an injury) was the 3A state volleyball Player of the Year at Platte Valley and MVP of the state tournament as her team won it all. She then turned around and helped her team to the 3A state basketball championship, scoring 15 points in the title game.
It's All One Big Happy Family: Seven current Bears volleyball players have a relation to someone now or in the past that have played for the UNC Athletics Program. (1) Maggie and (2) Terin Ledall, current members of the team, are sisters. (3) Sophomore Meredith Klein's mother was an All-American volleyball player at UNC (1978-81). (4) Sophomore Lizzy Rhoads father played basketball for the Bears from 1968-71. (5) Redshirt freshman Dulcie Stone's father played basketball (1971-74) for the Bears as did her uncle Don (1968-71); Here uncle Dale was a UNC football player (1974-77). (6) Freshman Lenay Goble's sister Teale was an All-American outside hitter for UNC (1999-02). (7) Freshman Dani Veal's uncles Dennis (1984-86) and Darren (1991-93) both wrestled while at Northern Colorado. An eighth player has a similar connection. 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.
Vrooman, Peotter Out for the Season: Freshman middle blocker Callie Vrooman will miss the 2004 season with an injury she sustained over the summer. Vrooman will redshirt this year and have four years of eligibility remaining starting in 2005. Sophomore Jill Peotter had foot surgery in the off season and is also sitting out this year. They join freshman Lenay Goble, who although not injured, is sitting out this year in order to prepare for the next four years.
Division I Independents: 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. 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/081604aae.html.
1010 KSIR - Home of UNC Volleyball: This season you can tune in 1010 KSIR to hear 26 of Northern Colorado's 34 volleyball matches. KSIR is the newest affiliate on the Bears Radio Network and will also stream all of the braodcasts free of charge on their website at http://www.ksir.com (a link can also be found through UNCBears.com at the bottom of the main page under "Events"). KSIR's Pat O'Rourke will call the play-by-play on most matches. For a full up-to-date schedule of matches to be broadcast, log onto UNCBears.com.
Deffenbaugh Online Season Diary: During the season you can read weekly diary installments from senior outside hitter Erin Deffenbaugh at UNCBears.com. Erin will share her thoughts and feelings about the season. Simply log on and look for the graphic located on the front page.
Blue & Gold Luncheon: Every Monday during the season, Coach Ron Alexander and all in-season sport coaches will appear at the Blue & Gold Luncheon held at Old Chicago (2349 W. 29th Street) at Noon. The public is invited and can hear all about the happenings in Northern Colorado Athletics and get a great lunch for only $7. The first luncheon was Aug. 30 and after a break on Sept. 6 because of Labor Day but the luncheons resume on Sept. 13 and run through the remainder of the semester.
UNC Coaches Radio Show: The Coors Light UNC Coaches Radio Show will can be heard weekly on the Bears Radio Network (Newstalk 1310 KFKA and KSIR 1010) beginning on Aug. 31 and running through the rest of the season. All the fall sport coaches can be heard during the 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. hour with the first half of the show being devoted to the Bears football program and the rest being split among soccer, volleyball and cross country. The show is broadcast live from the State Armory (614 8th Ave.) in downtown Greeley. KFKA's Troy Coverdale serves as host of the show. The broadcast can also be heard free online at http://www.1310kfka.com.