By: Aubrie Laufenberg
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The Summit League volleyball season continues this weekend with all nine teams competing. Four teams go into the weekend with undefeated league records including Denver, Purdue Fort Wayne, South Dakota and Omaha. The first serve of the weekend is at 7 p.m. on Friday.
Around The League
- South Dakota State is on the road all weekend as they travel north on I-29. The Jackrabbits will first stop in Fargo, N.D., to match up against the Bison on Friday, then continue north to Grand Forks, N.D., where they will see the Fighting Hawks on Sunday. SDSU has Payton Richardson guiding the defensive efforts. Richardson currently leads the league in blocks per set (1.26).
- North Dakota remains at home this weekend with a full schedule on the docket. Friday the Fighting Hawks welcome Oral Roberts and host South Dakota State Sunday.
- North Dakota State stays in its friendly confines and will host South Dakota State Friday night and Denver Sunday.
- This is the Pioneers only match this week. After opening league play this past weekend, the Pioneers rank sixth in aces per set (1.98) nationally. Individually, behind the serving line, sophomore Lydia Bartalo moves up the ranks from last week and sits fifth in aces per set (.60) nationally.
- Oral Roberts will only take the court once this weekend as the team travels to compete against North Dakota. The Golden Eagles are looking to break a seven-match losing streak in this weekend's matchup.
- Omaha has a full weekend in store with matches at home against Western Illinois (Friday) and Purdue Fort Wayne (Sunday). The Mavericks have this week's offensive player of the week, freshman Sydney Case, helping guide their attack. Case leads the league in assists per set (11.33).
- Purdue Fort Wayne goes into the weekend sitting at No. 2 in the league standings. The Mastodons top the league in total kills (844), kills per set (14.07), total assists (788) and assists per set (13.13). Individually, senior Nicole Rightnowar leads the league in total kills (240) and kills per set (4.00).
- Western Illinois dropped a nail-biting, five-set match to North Dakota and a tough four-set loss to Purdue Fort Wayne in the opening week of league action. The Leathernecks look to redeem themselves this weekend as they travel to Omaha Friday and South Dakota Sunday.
- South Dakota looks to put its home court advantage to use this weekend and improve its undefeated league record. The Coyotes open the weekend with Purdue Fort Wayne Friday and Western Illinois Sunday. USD is strong on the defensive end as the Coyotes lead the league in digs per set (17.69) with the two-time defensive player of the week, Anne Rasmussen guiding the efforts.
2018 Players of the Week
Offense: Madison Jaqua, Sr., S, Purdue Fort Wayne
Defense: Olivia Novotny, Sr., L/DS, Denver
Offensive: Sydney Case, Fr., S, Omaha
Defensive: Anne Rasmussen, Jr. L/DS, South Dakota
Offensive: Becca Latham, Sr., OH, Denver
Defensive: Payton Richardson, Sr., MB, South Dakota State
Offensive: Nicole Rightnowar, Sr., OH, Purdue Fort Wayne
Defensive: Taliyah Flores, Fr., L, North Dakota
Offensive: Sydney Case, Fr., S, Omaha
Defensive: Anne Rasmussen, Jr., L/DS, South Dakota
ABOUT THE SUMMIT LEAGUE
Through 36 years of Division I athletics, The Summit League offers 19 championship sports and has a combined enrollment of nearly 115,000 at nine institutions, including three located in top 60 U.S. metro populations and two land-grant universities. Member institutions include: Denver (University of Denver), Purdue Fort Wayne (Purdue University Fort Wayne), the University of North Dakota, North Dakota State University, Omaha (University of Nebraska Omaha), Oral Roberts University, the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University and Western Illinois University. Previously known as the Mid-Continent Conference, The Summit League rebranded in 2007 and has since produced 12 NCAA Champions along with over 100 Academic All-Americans, and nearly 125 All-America selections and numerous former student-athletes competing at the highest professional level. For more information about the league, visit www.thesummitleague.org website