December 8, 2004

2004 Final Northern Colorado Volleyball Release

Dec. 8, 2004

Final 2004 UNC Volleyball Weekly Release in PDF Format
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THE BEAR FACTS
The University of Northern Colorado women's volleyball team completed the 2004 season with a 25-9 record and tied for first at the Division I Independent Championships. Although the Bears lost the tiebreaker (and finished third overall) and were unable to defend their crown, they did finish the season winning 20 of their last 24 matches overall and won 20+ matches in a season for the 22nd time (in 29 total season) in school history.

Along the way, senior All-American Erin Deffenbaugh capped her career in style, finishing No. 1 in NCAA history in career attacks (6,353) and No. 3 all-time in kills (2,529). She averaged 4.74 kills and 3.21 digs per game as a senior and those numbers earned her Division I Independent Offensive Player of the Year honors. She won the D-I Independent Player of the Week honors five times during the season and also got the job done in the classroom, earning first-team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American honors. She became the 46th UNC athlete to be named Academic All-America, and the first to earn first-team Division I honors. The process started with over 600 nominations, and she was one of only six first-team selections.

Fellow senior Maggie Ledall capped her career by setting the school record for career hitting percentage (.338) and finished with 1,011 kills, becoming the 12th member of the Bears 1,000 Kill Club.

At the Independent Championships, coach Ron Alexander coached in his 100th career match at UNC, and is 88-14 (.863) at the completion of his third year on the Bears bench.

NORTHERN COLORADO NOTES

Deffenbaugh Named D-I Independent Player of the Year; Chapin Setter of the Year: Erin Deffenbaugh was named the Division I Independent Offensive Player of the Year and Corrinne Chapin the Setter of the Year, as three UNC players were selected to the All-Independent first-team, one to the second team and one was an honorable mention choice. Deffenbaugh earned Offensive Player of the Year honors after averaging 4.74 kills/game and finishing her career No. 3 in attempts and No. 1 in career kills in NCAA history. She was a five-time D-I Independent Player of the Week selection in 2004. Chapin, also a five-time D-I Independent Setter of the Week selection in 2004, averaged 12.85 assists, 2.72 digs, 0.69 blocks and 0.63 kills/game in her first-year as a starter and had 18 matches of 50-plus assists during the year and seven with 60 or more assists. They were joined on the first-team by senior Maggie Ledall, whose .395 hitting percentage ranked No. 1 among Independents and in the Top 15 nationally. She averaged 2.77 kills/game and joined the Bears 1,000 kills club in the last match of her career. Senior Danelle Angus was the lone second-team selection after averaging 2.63 kills and 0.94 blocks per game while hitting .306, the third best percentage among Independents. Sophomore Terin Ledall, who averaged 2.81 kills and 3.02 digs/game was an honorable mention choice.

Deffenbaugh Named Academic All-American: Erin Deffenbaugh, who carries a 3.83 GPA in interdisciplinary language arts, was named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American first-team (University Division) in November. Deffenbaugh became UNC's first-ever, first-team Division I Academic All-American. Overall, she was the 46th Bears' athlete named Academic All-American (a total of 51 times) and 10th first-team selection (the other nine were at the D-II level). She is the ninth volleyball player to earn the honor and third in as many years (Teale Goble and Kristi Krom were each second-team selections at the College Division the past two years). She joined athletes from USC, Stanford, Rice, Cincinnati and Eastern Illinois on the first-team, as she was one of six on the first-team. Overall, over 600 athletes were nominated at the district level and 18 were selected to one of the three teams.

Deffenbaugh Named Colorado Sports Hall of Fame Women's College Athlete of the Year: Senior All-American Erin Deffenbaugh was named the College Sports Hall of Fame Women's College Athlete of the Year for 2004 in December. This is the second time she has won the award, as she was also the recipient in 2002 after being named the AVCA National Player of the Year. She will be honored at the 41st annual ceremony in March.

Chapin Dishes Out the Assists: 2004 Division I Independent Setter of the Year Corrinne Chapin got her first chance to start this season and made the most of that opportunity. Following in a long line of great setters, 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 moved into fourth place, passing two-time All-American Linnea Kiilsgaard's 2002 total of 1,651.

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 finished her career with 6,465 attacks, 374 more attacks than No. 2 all-time (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 finished her career with 1,328 more attempts than Goble.

Deffenbaugh Finishes No. 3 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 finished her career with 2,529 kills which ranks her No. 3 in NCAA history (a category she is "grandfathered" into because she played her first three years at the D-II level). Deffenbaugh 147 kills behind the all-time leader, Pavla Melicharova of Northwood, who had 2,676 kills from 1993-96 (448 total games).

Bears Tie For First at D-I Independent Championships: Although UNC tied for first at the 2004 Division I Independent Championships (held in Orem, Utah), they were unable to repeat as champions of the event, losing a three-way tiebreaker with IPFW and South Dakota State (IPFW won the event). The Bears finished with a 5-1 record at the event, losing only a five-set match with South Dakota State, but defeating the eventual champion IPFW by a score of 3-1. The Bears hope to host next years event. This year's tournament was the fifth time the event had been held. Texas-Pan American won the first two titles, IPFW won in 2002 (and again in 2004) and UNC won in 2003.

Ledall/Deffenbaugh Earn D-I Independent Championships All-Tournament Team Honors: Seniors Erin Deffenbaugh and Maggie Ledall were named to the All-Tournament team at the Division I Independent Championships held at Utah Valley State Nov. 11-13. Deffenbaugh averaged 4.96 kills and 3.67 digs/game in six matches while Ledall averaged 2.54 kills, 1.92 digs and hit .371. The Bears finished 5-1 at the event and tied for first-place (IPFW won the tiebreaker and won the event).

Ledall Becomes 12th Member of UNC 1,000 Kill Club: Senior Maggie Ledall became the 12th member of the UNC 1,000 kill club by registering 13 kills in her career finale versus Utah Valley State (Nov. 13) at the D-I Independent Championships.

Ledall Finishes Career With Trio of Hitting Records: Senior Maggie Ledall finished her career as the program's all-time leader in career hitting (.338 - 1011k-290e-2134e) after already setting records for hitting percentage in a match (.857 - 12k-0e-14a) and a season (.413 - 326k-75e-608a). She finished her career by shattering that career mark, which had previously been .327 by Julie Colville (1986-87). In 2004, Ledall hit .500 or better in 12 of her last 24 matches (including .706 versus both UMKC and North Dakota State and .889 against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi). Ledall finished the regular season ranked 14th in the country in hitting percentage (although that could shift slightly after the NCAA Tournament matches are figured in).

Bears Rack Up Wins at End of Year: After 10 matches this season, the Bears were an even 5-5 and faced the possibility of having a below .500 winning percentage for the first time in several years. But the Bears responded by winning 20 of their final 24 matches of the season to finish with a 25-9 record overall, marking the 22nd time (in 29 total season), that UNC had won 20 or more games in a season.

Deffenbaugh and Chapin Win Weekly D-I Honors for Fifth Time: Senior Erin Deffenbaugh and junior Corrine Chapin dominated weekly Division I Independent awards voting in 2004. Deffenbaugh won the Offensive Player of the Week award five times while Chapin was named Setter of the Week five times in 10 total weeks of voting. No other athlete in either category won the award more than twice. Their dominance in the weekly voting helped them win their respective year-end awards as the best Offensive Player and best Setter among Independents.

Deffenbaugh Named UNC Student-Athlete of the Month for November: Senior Erin Deffenbaugh capped her career by being named the UNC November Female Student-Athlete of the Month. During the month she averaged 5.22 kills and 3.78 digs/game in leading the Bears to a 6-1 record and tie for first at the D-I Independent Championships. She was also named the D-I Independent Offensive Player of the Year, a first-team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American and broke the NCAA record for career attacks during the month. Deffenbaugh was named the UNC Student-Athlete of the Month a record three times during her career (she also won in October of 2002 and September of 2001).

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 while Wiggins holds a 3.86 gpa in finance and was the other UNC selection.

Alexander Coaches 100th Match at UNC: When UNC battled North Dakota State on Nov. 12 at the Division I Independent Championships, the match marked the 100th for head coach Ron Alexander at UNC. Through 100 matches, Alexander had a 86-14 (.860) record, the best in program history after 100 matches. Legendary coach Linda Delk had a 63-37 record after 100 matches. Alexander finished year No. 3 with an 88-14 record as Bears head coach.

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.

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 finished her career with 300 block assists, just two behind Stacey DeJong (fourth place), who is now a volunteer assistant with the program. Angus had 338 total career blocks, which ranked sixth all-time.

Deffenbaugh Plays in 493 Consecutive Sets: 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 finished her career by playing in 493 consecutive sets, which unofficially ranked fifth all-time.

Tops Among D-I Independents: The Bears won 11 of their last 13 matches against fellow Division I Independents this year and were 13-2 against Independents on the season. The 13 wins over Independents were tops among the group, as were the 25 overall victories on the season.

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 56 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). 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 finished her career with 1,819 digs. Goble, who played at UNC from 1999-02, was in attendance to see the performance.

SEASON NOTES

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 were 88-14 (.863) 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. The Bears fell just short of setting that record this season.

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 eventually 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. Mayne also added 26 digs versus North Dakota State (Nov. 12) at the Division I Independent Championships, as the Bears had 105 digs in the five-set victory.

Back-to-Back Five Setters at Home: When UNC was forced to a fifth set against South Dakota State (Oct. 13) after having played five sets against Air Force (Oct. 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 Postseason 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 student-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 followed 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 beginning of 2006-07 (due to an NCAA ruling); all other programs will be eligible in 2007-08. Northern Colorado will be competing 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 broadcasts 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.