UND Flies Past Eastern Washington to go 4-0 in the Big Sky

Photo Credit: (Tyler Ingham for UNDSports.com)

In front of 1289 fans at the Betty Englestad Sioux Center the University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks (19-2, 4-0) swept (25-15, 25-12,25-20) the Eastern Washington Eagles (5-8, 2-2)

This win marks the 17th consecutive win at the Betty for the Hawks. They have won the last 32 sets at home.

The Fighting Hawks raced out to a quick lead due to their ability to limit errors. Four of their seven attack errors came in the first set. UND had 12 kills on 34 swings in the first half.

Coach Pryor mentioned the need to improve “ball security” and limit mistakes after the match against Idaho. The Fighting Hawks would replicate this formula in the second and third sets to take the match. Coach Pryor’s side had an attack error free second set.

The Fighting Hawks had to battle in the third set to close out Eastern Washington. The Eagles had a few runs, and forced UND to use its only timeout of the match. North Dakota benefited, once again, from its strong defense to short-circuit a lot of Eagle attacks. Eastern Washington only hit .073 in the third set (14 kills on 55 swings with 10 attack errors).

This attack error free second set was the first for the Fighting Hawks since the second round of the 2017 Big Sky Tournament on November 18, 2016.

UND was paced throughout by Faith Dooley who lead the way on offense for the Hawks with nine kills on seventeen swings. The Wheatland, ND native hit above .500 (.529) for the second match this week.

Four players pitched in big defensive evenings for the Fighting Hawks. Teodora Tepavac, Tamera Merseli, Alivia Fraase,and Sydney Griffin each had double digit digs (15,14,11,10).

Once again the Fighting Hawks were able to limit their attack errors to single digits. UND had seven attack errors on the day which tied its season low. The Hawks last had seven attack errors against George Washington on September 8 in the UND Classic. Eastern Washington had 30 attack errors on the day.

The Fighting Hawks head on the road next weekend to take on Sacramento State, and Portland State as they look to extend their undefeated record in the Big Sky.

Check out Faith Dooley’s thoughts on the game, the win streak at home, and more.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Kenton Miller Post Game 9-29

Iowa Wild Center Kenton Miller had a chance to chat with us after the Wild took on the Manitoba Moose at the Ralph Englestad Arena.

He talked about how the game went, some of his goals for the season, what he learned from Elmira Jackals’ Interim Head Coach Mike Duco, and more.

Kenton is a goal-scoring center who was one of the key contributors to the Jackals’ offense last season with 45 points (30 goals, 15 assists) in 63 games. He finished the year strong with 19 goals in his final 25 games as a Jackal.

In the offseason, Kenton signed an ECHL pact with the Rapid City Rush, the new affiliate of the Minnesota and Iowa Wild.

UND Sweeps Idaho Keyed by a Trio of Double-Digit Kill Evenings

(Photo credit to Joel Helbling for UNDSports.com)

In front of a crowd of 1,333 fans anxious to see the first home match at the Betty Englestad Sioux Center in almost three weeks, the Fighting Hawks (18-2 2-1) swept (25-22, 25-18, 25-21) the Idaho Vandals (7-7, 2-1) in their Big Sky home opener. This win gave the Fighting Hawks their 16th straight home win at the Betty.

The Fighting Hawks persevered through an eight error first set with 20 kills to put the Vandals on their heels early. As the match went on, the Fighting Hawks were able to slowly control their attack errors and the game.

In the second set, the Fighting Hawks hit .500 as they were able to put the Vandals down 25-18 going into halftime. This allowed the team the chance to avoid going to four sets. Given that UND has played 20 matches, maintaining their stamina is becoming increasingly important. Coach Pryor noted the issues with fatigue, and the importance of closing Idaho out in three sets.

Seniors Faith Dooley, Tamera Merseli, and sophomore Ashley Brueggeman each (13,12,and 10) notched double digit kills on the evening.

The Wheatland, ND native was the most efficient Hawk on the offensive side of the ball  on the evening. She notched her 12 kills on 19 swings with zero attack errors. She hit .632 on the night and was a constant force for Head Coach Mark Pryor’s team throughout the match. Pryor noted how much Faith has improved over her time at UND, as she has put herself just outside the top five of UND’s career kills list.

Tamera Merseli had her ninth double-double of the season this evening with 14 kills and 10 digs. The Belgrade,Serbia native had a keen eye for placing the ball as she caught Idaho’s defenders off guard with well placed kills.

The Fighting Hawks are back in action this Saturday at the Betty against Eastern Washington. The match is scheduled for 11 AM.

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the Weekend Ahead

A quick preview of UND Sports This Weekend as a lot of things are happening.

  1. Volleyball (17-2) looks to continue its strong play in the Big Sky against Idaho, and Eastern Washington.
  2. Football(1-3) looks to rebound from two big defeats against South Dakota and Montana State on the road against UC Davis. Look for John Santiago and Brady Oliviera’s success to be indicative of how the game will unfold. If UND controls the ground game, and time of possession good things can happen.
  3. Look for UND Hockey to play a large lineup in its exhibition game against Manitoba. The biggest theme from media day this weekend was depth, depth, depth, and some more depth. UND has zero first round picks on its roster but a lot of upperclassman leadership and depth.

We will be at all of these games this weekend. Look for something from the exhibition AHL matchup between the Iowa Wild and the Manitoba Moose this weekend as well.

Three goals and Six Points: A Recap of UND Soccer’s 2-0 Start in the Big Sky

Rain, cold weather, and constant pressure defending leads all weekend. Despite all of these things, the Fighting Hawks took all six points at home this weekend over Idaho State, and Weber State and eclipsed their conference win total of 2016.

Both games had some things in common. The Fighting Hawks generated multiple chances throughout the weekend. In addition, the forward play was markedly more consistent as more UND chances ended up on goal than a few weeks ago.

Friday’s game against Idaho State was punctuated by two Katie Moller goals. The first one came on a penalty kick after she got a quick ball through and earned a foul in the box. The second one came on a bouncing ball that went into the net after going through a lot of the six yard box. The Fighting Hawks then had to finish a second half against an Idaho State team that did not quit.

Head Coach Chris Logan noted the need for UND to play a complete game. He also credited Idaho State for changing the pace of play for the last 60 minutes of the game.

On Sunday, UND took their coach’s advice and generated more chances throughout the game against a Weber State team whose record was not at all indicative of their skill level. UND controlled the pace for multiple increments throughout the game. Katie Moller came close a few times to adding to her goal total on the weekend.

Moller would run her point total on the weekend to three midway through the second half. She expertly placed a ball for Mimi Eiden who headed the ball to the back of the net with rocket-like quickness.

From that point, Weber State came close on multiple attempts, but like on Friday, goalie Catherine Klein was equal to the task. The sophomore goalie has three clean sheets on the season.

Fighting Hawks fans are lucky to have Mimi Eiden play for them. She has personified the attack-oriented mentality Head Coach Chris Logan and his staff have worked so hard to instill in this program. Both Logan, and Associate Coach Chris Citowicki noted how strong Mimi played in practice. That manifested itself twice over this weekend. On Friday, she drew a couple of fouls against the Bengals late in the game to eat into the clock and preserve a shutout.

Today, Eiden got extra time playing with Katie Moller and used every bit of her talent and skill to give UND its best start in the Big Sky, and its first 2-0 start in conference play since 2003 in the NCC.

UND will have a tough test next weekend as they head out on the road to face Sacramento State and Northern Arizona.

Small Goalies: “Be like an Amish Guy” Advice from JP Lamoureux

Jean-Philipe (JP) Lamoureux is a University of North Dakota Men’s Hockey Team alumnus. He spent four years in net for UND. During that time, he established himself as a premier goaltender in college hockey despite his five-foot-ten size.

However, height and goaltending success are usually linked. According to TSN’s Jamie McLennan, In the National Hockey League, as of 2014, only four of the sixty goalies in the NHL were under the six-foot threshold.

The league is getting taller every year.

How does this impact players like Lamoureux?

Well, Lamoureux has found great success overseas despite his build. This season, he recently broke the record for most career wins by an Erste Bank Eishockey Liga (EBEL) goalie with 183 wins. The EBEL is the top league in Austria, and JP has done well to prove himself there.

He has used his success to mentor goalies here through the founding of JPL Goaltending.

Eventually, JP wants to be a coach, and that was one of the original reasons for founding JPL Goaltending. He has been operating his business for five years.

Recently, he offered some sound advice for small goalies.

“You have to accept that your whole career is an uphill battle. You’re basically like an Amish guy, you have to perform everything the big guys do plus a half…It’s just a reality, because NHL teams will always take a bigger guy over smaller guy who are close in ability.”

Look for much more from JP over the next few weeks.

UND 34 Missouri State 0: Three Thoughts

1.First, lets talk about how efficient the offense was. Keaton Studsrud went 22 for 31 with one end of the first half interception on a hail mary. The senior quarterback connected with six different receivers for 273 yards and two touchdowns. The offense employed a lot of different route combinations all day to keep Missouri State’s secondary off balance.

Players like Noah Wanzek exploited their size advantage over Missouri State to have a career high. The sophomore wideout was all over the field. He finished the day with career highs across the board. Wanzek generated 117 yards receiving.

Finally, for the Fighting Hawk offense, I was impressed to see the offensive line continue to gel. They allowed their top three running backs to all average four or more yards a carry. Brady Oliveira and John Santiago did an excellent job complimenting one another with the thunder and lightening routine. The tandem combined for 213 yards and a touchdown on 28 carries.

2. Eric Schmidt did another superb job organizing his defense.This defense limited a team that put up 43 points against a potent Mizzou offense. This is a defense that already is missing  one of the best defensive backs in FCS football in Deion Harris. It also lost its starting inside linebacker Donnell Rodgers to injury early on against the Bears.This Missouri State team only was able to muster 211 yards in 48 snaps against the Fighting Hawks,

Individually, Cole Reyes and Chuck Flowers lead the way for the Hawks’ secondary. Each had seven tackles, and Flowers caused a fumble on the one yard line that halted the Bears’ best chance at points.

Up front, defensive end Mason Bennett had a superb day. He had three tackles on the day. Two of them pushed the Bears back seven yards (2 TFL’s) and he also had a key sack. The entire defensive line did an excellent job rushing Bears QB Peyton Huslig and funneling the runs back towards the center of the field. The Bears finished with 79 net rushing yards on 25 carries.

Finally, because of the score, Eric Schmidt was able to work with his staff to rotate players in and out. This ensured a lot of those players not on the two-deep got key reps at the end of the game. This will benefit the Fighting Hawks later on in the season.

3. Special Teams was the only real mixed bag for the Fighting Hawks. I was glad to see Reid Taubenheim rebound to make his last two field goals of the game after missing a 25-yard attempt early on.

In addition, the punt and kick return teams had a mixed day. John Santiago had a big opening kickoff return that was called back due to a late flag. He also had a muffed punt that gave the Bears the ball back, however he did have a 35 yard return that changed field position.

The Fighting Hawks did cover kicks and punts well. Added up, look for special teams to have a big week next week. Special Teams Coach Sean Kostich is an expert at making adjustments and teaching the game. I fully expect special teams to get even better next week.

All things considered, that was the most complete game UND has played so far. While the Bears are not a Big Sky opponent, they presented a lot of wide open looks that UND will see again in the Big Sky. To come out and put up the all around effort that the Fighting Hawks did in front of a crowd of 12,047 at the Alerus Center was impressive.

Finally, this message is for UND Students. Well done, Nodak Nation gave out all of its student tickets, and all of you were involved throughout the game. Remember this in two weeks as Montana State will be another big test for the Fighting Hawks.

 

 

 

North Dakota Sweeps Appalachian State: A Recap

Grand Forks, ND

In front of 1288 boisterous fans at the Betty Englestad Sioux Center, UND Fighting Hawks Volleyball (12-1) used a balanced attack to sweep the Appalachian State Mountaineers (3-6) 25-18, 25-19, 25-19.

Ashley Brueggeman lead a potent offensive attack for the Fighting Hawks. She had eleven kills on twenty-five attempts. She was joined by Faith Dooley who hit a strong .529 percent tonight.

A common theme of the evening for UND was managing its errors. The Fighting Hawks ended the evening with 9 errors. The Mountaineers had 23 errors.

Head Coach Mark Pryor was impressed with how his team managed its errors against a good opponent.

On the quality of the Mountaineers:

“Appalachian State’s a lot better than their record. They’re gonna be pretty good in the Sun Belt, they do a lot of good things.”

In addition, he commented on the remarkable atmosphere in the Betty, and the expectations of his program.

“The atmosphere is great, and that’s one thing we can’t stress enough is how great it is. ”

This win continues a streak for the Fighting Hawks. UND has not lost a set at home since November 5th, 2016 against Idaho.

The Fighting Hawks look to close out the UND classic against future Summit opponent South Dakota State a little bit later on today at 11:00 AM at the Betty.

 

 

UND Hockey Alums Around the World:Ryan Duncan

With hockey season right around the corner we will be publishing some interviews with University of North Dakota Hockey alumni from around the world. We will be talking to alumni both currently playing hockey, and those that have used their education to pursue other ventures.

Today’s interview is with Ryan Duncan. He was a member of the Duncan-Oshie-Toews (DOT) line that featured some of the best forward play this University has ever seen. Duncan won the Hobey Baker award in 2007, and has gone on to play most of his professional career in Austria for Red Bull Salzburg. He has won four league titles with Red Bull Salzburg in Austria’s top league known as the Erste Bank Eishockey Liga (EBEL). He has numerous accolades at the team and individual level both in college hockey and in Austria.

Below are our questions and his responses:

1. What has been your favorite off-ice moment playing since you started your pro career?

” The birth of my daughter. It was an incredible experience to be a part of. It changed my perspective on a lot of things. It was truly life-changing and an extremely proud moment.”

2. What are your plans when you are finished playing hockey?

” Great question. I don’t know exactly what I want to do for work quite yet, I hope to stay involved with hockey in some capacity but my top priority will be being there for my daughter and helping create a healthy environment for her to grow up in.”

3. How much do you follow the current UND team now?

” I follow the current UND team pretty closely. I’m a fan. Any outlet that covers the team or gives updates about the team I probably follow it. I love watching the highlights and tracking their progress.”

4. What did you do to celebrate UND’s National Championship in 2016?

” I was in the middle of a playoff run over here in Austria so there wasn’t the preferred amount of celebrating but I probably pestered my current teammates by gloating about my former team. Then when the time was right, me and my Wife (who is a former UND women’s hockey player) raised a glass to UND’s accomplishment.”

5. What are some things that UND fans might like about the European game?

” I think UND fans would like the style of play and the atmosphere in the arena. it’s a finesse game with a lot of skill and the atmosphere in the stands is a fun one with lots of drum banging and local chants.”

6. During your UND time, who were some of your teammates with the biggest personality?

” I played with a lot of characters at UND. Two I’ll mention are Brett Hextall and Matt Watkins. Brett is just a really smart and clever guy who makes people feel comfortable around him. Matt is a really unique and interesting person. He grew up in rural Saskatchewan so just the perspective he brings to life makes him really fun to be around.”

7. Who has been your favorite coach to play for at any level?

” My favorite coaches were Tom Ward and Dave Hakstol. Coach Ward was my coach in high school at Shattuck-St. Mary’s. He taught me so much about life and hockey. I developed more because of him than any other coach I played for. Coach Hakstol helped continue that progression once I got to college. He really encouraged and taught the professionalism that is needed on a daily basis to be successful in the game of hockey and in life.”

8. What do you most miss about UND and Grand Forks?

” I miss everything about Grand Forks and UND. What I miss most is Red Pepper and going to school with thousands of kids around your same age. It’s a special time in life. N ot too many better things than a Saturday night after at home weekend sweep in Grand Forks.”

9. What are some interesting things in Austria that you like to do or see in your off time?

” Me and my Wife like to explore the area around Salzburg in our off time. Salzburg is a beautiful city surrounded by mountains so there’s no shortage of adventures for us to go on.”

10. What are some hockey-related goals you want to accomplish before retiring?

” My hockey related goal before I retire is simple, make EC Red Bull Salzburg a better team and organization because I’m a part of it. It’s a great organization to play for and I want to help to continue to make it even better.”

11. How many more years do you want to keep playing hockey?

” I want to keep playing hockey as long as I can. I have no set time table. I love the game and I’m passionate about it so I hope to continue playing for many more years to come. It’s a great life.”

12. What are you most thankful for learning from UND?

” I’m most thankful for learning from UND how powerful a great community, culture, and tradition can be. I think a lot of communities, businesses, organizations, and teams strive to be like Grand Forks and UND but very few achieve it. UND is a special place. I feel privileged to have been a part of it.”