#SummitVB Weekly Notebook: Championship Preview

North Dakota State secured the final spot in the 2018 Volleyball Championships after being on the winning end of a three-way tie.
North Dakota State secured the final spot in the 2018 Volleyball Championships after being on the winning end of a three-way tie.

2018 #SummitVB Championship Central
2018 #SummitVB Championship Bracket

By: Aubrie Laufenberg
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. –The remaining three of six spots for the 2018 Summit League Championship were secured during the final week of regular season play. Purdue Fort Wayne claimed the No. 4 spot with North Dakota coming in at No. 5 and North Dakota State earning the final spot. The championships will get underway on Friday, Nov. 16 in Denver, Colo. with the first quarterfinal match starting at 3 p.m. MT.

Quarterfinals | Friday, November 16
M1: (5) North Dakota vs. (4) Purdue Fort Wayne | 4 p.m. CT
M2: (6) North Dakota State vs. (3) Omaha | 7 p.m. CT

Semifinal | Saturday, November 17
M3: (1) Denver vs. Winner M1 | 4 p.m. CT
M4: (2) South Dakota vs. Winner M2 | 7 p.m. CT 

Final | Sunday, November 18
M5: Winner M3 vs. Winner M4 | 3 p.m. CT

Live Streaming
The quarterfinals and semifinals matches of Summit League Championship from Denver will be streamed free of charge on The Summit League's official website: www.thesummitleague.org.
The Championship final match will be streamed on Altitude TV and ESPN3.

Friday: Bill Rogan and Cassidy Rooke
Saturday: Bill Rogan and Megan Connor
Sunday (Altitude): Brad Thompson and Megan Connor 

Around The League

  • DU clinched its fifth-straight Summit League regular season title and looks to be crowned the Summit League Volleyball Champions for the fifth-straight year.
  • For the first time in program history, Denver received votes in the AVCA Coaches Poll on Monday, Oct. 29 (five). The following weeks, the Pios received 11 and 17.
  • The Coyotes have been a force to be reckoned with across the board. Junior Anne Rasmussen has led the defensive pack for not only the Coyotes, but the entire league. She has recorded 5.55 digs per set average to lead the league and has 549 total digs, which ranks second. USD's offense is guided by senior Hayley Dotseth who ranks third nationally in attacks per set (13.59) and leads the league in kills per set (4.07).
  • Omaha will be making only its third-ever appearance in the championship and looks to capture the programs first championship league title.
  • The Mavs are ranked second in the league in hitting percentage (.222), third in kills (1,426) and fourth in kills per set (13.20).
  • Purdue Fort Wayne is making its third-straight league tournament appearance and owns two championship titles, the last coming in 2012.
  • The Mastodons lead the league in kills (1,557) and assists (1,458) while they place second in kills per set (13.66) and assists per set (12.79).
  • The Fighting Hawks are making their first appearance at the Summit League Volleyball Championships.
  • Freshman Roosa Rautio has accumulated 1,212 total assists and ranks 11th in the nation heading into the championship, while Jordan Vail is leading the league in total blocks with 117 and sits sixth in blocks per set (1.00).
  • North Dakota State is making its sixth-straight appearance at the championships and 11th overall.
  • Freshman Kalli Hegerle has made her presence felt as she has recorded 10 double-doubles on the season and posted a career-high 56 assists in a match.
  • Oral Roberts' season came to an end when the Golden Eagles dropped a hard-fought five-set match to Omaha and missed the conference tournament via a three-way tiebreaker. It is the first time since 2010 ORU hasn't reached the championships.
  • Tori Roe currently ranks first among league competitors in total digs with 554 and second for digs per set (4.86).
  • South Dakota State's Payton Richardson has remained atop the league in blocks per set (1.20) for a majority of the season. Teammate Makenzie Hennen has also made a presence in the league standings as she ranks third for total kills (340) and kills per set (3.27).
  • The Jackrabbits ended the season with two tough losses to Purdue Fort Wayne and Western Illinois.
  • Western Illinois finished off the regular season with a 3-1 victory over South Dakota State that included an eight-point comeback in the final set.
  • The Leathernecks have four student-athletes making an appearance in the league standings to finish off the regular season. Claire Grove places fourth in digs per set (4.01) and Madeline Dieter ranks fifth in hitting percentage (.328), while Mackenzie Steckle is No. 2 for blocks per set (1.13) and Cassie Hunt sits third with her 0.36 service aces per set.

2017 Championships Rewind

(4) North Dakota State 3, (5) Omaha 1
(3) South Dakota 3, (6) Purdue Fort Wayne 1

(1) Denver 3, (4) North Dakota State 0
(2) Oral Roberts 3, (3) South Dakota 2 

(1) Denver 3, (2) Oral Roberts 1 

2018 Players of the Week

August 27
Offense: Madison Jaqua, Sr., S, Purdue Fort Wayne
Defense: Olivia Novotny, Sr., L/DS, Denver 

September 5
Offensive: Sydney Case, Fr., S, Omaha
Defensive: Anne Rasmussen, Jr. L/DS, South Dakota 

September 10
Offensive: Becca Latham, Sr., OH, Denver
Defensive: Payton Richardson, Sr., MB, South Dakota State 

September 17
Offensive: Nicole Rightnowar, Sr., OH, Purdue Fort Wayne
Defensive: Taliyah Flores, Fr., L, North Dakota 

September 24
Offensive: Sydney Case, Fr., S, Omaha
Defensive: Anne Rasmussen, Jr., L/DS, South Dakota 

October 1
Offensive: Jordan Vail, Sr., MH, North Dakota
Defensive: Taliyah Flores, Fr., L, North Dakota 

October 8
Offensive: Becca Latham, Sr., OH, Denver
Defensive: Bri Greenlee, Jr., RS, Oral Roberts 

October 15
Offensive: Sydney Case, Fr., S, Omaha
Defensive: Taliyah Flores, Fr., L, North Dakota 

October 23
Offensive: Nicole Rightnowar, Sr., OH, Purdue Fort Wayne
Defensive: Sydney Boerst, So., MH, Purdue Fort Wayne 

October 29
Offensive: Taylor Wilson, Sr., MB, South Dakota
Defensive: McKenzie Burke, Sr., OH, North Dakota State

November 5
Offensive: Sydney Boerst, So., MH, Purdue Fort Wayne
Defensive: Elizabeth Britner, Sr. DS, Purdue Fort Wayne 

November 12
Offensive: Katarina Marinkovic, Jr., OH, Denver
Defensive: Abbi Klos, Jr., L, North Dakota State

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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, 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, follow The Summit League on Twitter @thesummitleague.