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Bison at IUPUI, Western Illinois This Week on Only Road Trip of - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Bison at IUPUI, Western Illinois This Week on Only Road Trip of Month

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The North Dakota State women's volleyball team (9-12, 5-4) plays its only two road matches of the month against IUPUI (14-8, 7-3) at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, Oct. 19, at The Jungle (1,215) in Indianapolis, Ind., and Western Illinois (9-12, 3-7) at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20, at Brophy Hall (800) in Macomb, Ill.  The Bison went 4-1 on their recent five-match homestand and close out the month at home next weekend against Fort Wayne and Oakland.

THE SERIES:  Friday will be the 14th meeting between North Dakota State and IUPUI since 2006.  NDSU leads the series 12-1.  IUPUI won 21-25, 25-17, 25-14, 25-23 in Fargo on Sept. 22 behind 14 kills from Moriah Fair and 32 digs by Beth Howard.  Brynn Joki had 16 kills and Megan Lambertson hit .414 with 15 kills and made four blocks for the Bison.  NDSU is 6-0 in Indianapolis.  The teams have gone five sets only once in the previous 13 meetings with NDSU winning 3-2 in Fargo last season.

Saturday will be the 13th meeting between North Dakota State and Western Illinois dating back to 2005.  NDSU leads the series 9-3.  Western Illinois was 0-5 in Fargo before its five-set win Sept. 21.  Samantha Fournier had 17 kills and Bridget Murphy made 32 digs for the Leathernecks.  NDSU's Megan Lambertson hit .463 with 21 kills and only two errors and fellow middle hitter Carissa Whalen hit .364 with 11 kills.  The Bison have won four straight in Macomb after a five-set loss in November 2007.

ABOUT IUPUI:  The Jaguars are 14-8 overall and second in The Summit League with a 7-3 record after winning 3-1 at South Dakota and losing 3-1 at Kansas City last weekend.  IUPUI leads The Summit League with 14.42 kills per set in league play and ranks second in team hitting percentage (.222), assists (13.47 aps), digs (19.29 dps) and blocks (2.39 bps).  Junior outside hitter Moriah Fair leads the Jaguars' attack with 3.26 kills per set.  Senior middle Bethany Fogler leads the team in hitting (.317) and total blocks (101) and is first in the league stats for blocks (55) and blocks per set (1.45).  Sophomore defensive specialist Beth Howard averages a team-high 4.89 digs per set and is second in the league-only stats with 5.58 dps.  Head coach Steve Payne (Northern Illinois, 1987) has a 182-266 record in his 16th season at IUPUI.

ABOUT WESTERN ILLINOIS:  The Fighting Leathernecks are 9-12 overall and seventh in The Summit League with a 3-7 record after losing 3-0 at Kansas City and winning 3-0 at South Dakota last weekend.  Sophomore outside hitter Samantha Fournier leads the Leathernecks with 3.41 kills per set and senior middle Katie Hosteng is hitting a team-best .323.  Junior setter Sarah Fetter averages 10.52 assists per set overall and is second in the league-only stats with 10.68 per set.  Senior defensive specialist Bridget Murphy leads the team with 4.84 digs per set.  The Leathernecks are led by first-year head coach April Hall (Tiffin, 2006).

BISON FINISH 4-1 HOMESTAND:  North Dakota State wrapped up a five-match homestand with a 3-0 win over Omaha last Saturday and a 3-1 win over Drake on Monday night.  Megan Lambertson hit .600 with 10 kills and four service aces against Omaha and Carissa Whalen hit .455 with a career high 12 kills and four blocks as NDSU won its third straight Summit League match.  Andrea Henning made 24 digs to lead four players in double-figures as the Bison posted a season-high 100 digs against Drake.  Lambertson hit .516 with 18 kills and Brynn Joki had 18 kills and five blocks.

LAMBERTSON IN NCAA STATS:  North Dakota State senior middle hitter Megan Lambertson has hit .500 or better in five of the last seven matches and ranked 32th nationally with a .382 hitting percentage in the NCAA Division I stats through Sunday, Oct. 14.  Lambertson leads The Summit League by 88 points with a .440 mark in league play and has a .390 career hitting percentage that is on pace to crush the NDSU school record of .335 set by Jen Miller (1979-82).

NCAA RPI:  North Dakota State dropped 16 spots to No. 147 in the third NCAA Rating Percentage Index released Monday, Oct. 15 after checking in at No. 143 and No. 131 the first two weeks.  NDSU is sixth among Summit League members behind Fort Wayne (62), Oakland (106), Kansas City (133), IUPUI (136) and South Dakota State (145).  The Bison are 0-7 against teams rated in the top 100 including losses to Minnesota (10), Oklahoma (19), Wichita State (36), Wisconsin (46), Northern Colorado (73), New Mexico State (96).

NCAA ATTENDANCE:  North Dakota State ranked 40th in the nation for average home attendance in the sixth NCAA Division I attendance report issued Monday, Oct. 15.  The Bison were averaging 1,039 fans over six matches before drawing a season-low 437 to Monday's non-conference win over Drake, which was the smallest NDSU home crowd since October 2005 against Texas-Pan American.  NDSU finished 51st last year drawing 11,543 fans over 12 dates for an average of 962.

SUMMIT LEAGUE LEADERS:  North Dakota State has five players among the Summit League leaders in the league-only stats through Wednesday, Oct. 17.  Brynn Joki ranks fifth in kills per set (3.77), Megan Lambertson is first in hitting (.440) and seventh in kills per set (3.49), Carissa Whalen is ninth in hitting (.293), Catherine Yager is third in assists per set (10.29), and Andrea Henning is second in service aces per set (0.34) and eighth in digs per set (4.40).  In the team stats, NDSU is top half of the league ranked fourth in team hitting percentage (.207).

HENNING SEVENTH IN NDSU CAREER DIGS:  North Dakota State senior libero Andrea Henning became the 20th player in school history to reach 1,000 career digs in the season opener at Northern Illinois.  Henning has 1,352 digs and ranks seventh on the NDSU career list.

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