Monday, November 24, 2014

NDSU’s Dudzik Named Valley Football Defensive Player of the Week

ST. LOUIS, Mo. - North Dakota State free safety Christian Dudzik was named Missouri Valley Football Conference Defensive Player of the Week by the conference office Sunday, Nov. 23.

Dudzik, a senior from Omaha, Neb., accounted for three turnovers that led to touchdowns and finished with a team- and season-high eight tackles in third-ranked North Dakota State's 38-14 home win over 20th-ranked Youngstown State.

Dudzik forced a fumble on the first possession of the game, and had a 31-yard interception return to the YSU 20 that set up another Bison score for a 14-0 lead in the first quarter.  His second interception in the fourth quarter halted an eight-play YSU drive in Bison territory.  He ranks third in NDSU history with 13 career interceptions.

No. 2-seeded North Dakota State (11-1) is scheduled to host an FCS second round playoff game at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6, against the winner of the first round game featuring South Dakota State at Montana State.

North Dakota grabs second spot in both national hockey polls

GRAND FORKS, N.D. – The University of North Dakota will enter a two-week homestand ranked No. 2 nationally in both the and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls that were released on Monday.

UND was able to maintain its No. 2 spot in the USCHO poll while improving one spot in the USA Today rankings after earning a conference split at St. Cloud State last weekend. UND won 3-2 on Saturday after a 3-1 setback on Friday.

Boston University moved into the top spot in both polls, while previously top-ranked Michigan Tech fell to No. 6 in the USCHO poll and No. 5 in the USA Today poll. Minnesota and Massachusetts-Lowell were ranked third and fourth, respectively, in both polls.

UND returns to Grand Forks for two straight home series, hosting conference rival and No. 11/13 Omaha this week and non-conference foe Lake Superior State next week. Division I Men’s Poll

Rk.      School (First place votes)       Record           Pts.         PR
1.         Boston University (42)                     8-1-1            988            3
2.         North Dakota (3)                         9-3-1           889            2
3.         Minnesota (1)                                    7-3-0            825            4
4.         Massachusetts-Lowell                      8-2-3            806            5
5.         Miami                                               10-4-0            764            7
6.         Michigan Tech                                  10-2-0            748            1
7.         Minnesota State (3)                          9-3-0            746            9
8.         Minnesota Duluth (1)                        9-5-0            615            8
9.         Colgate                                              6-4-1            575            6
10.       Denver                                               8-3-0            572          10
11.       Omaha                                                7-2-1            435          13
12.       Boston College                                 7-5-0            425          12
13.       Vermont                                             8-3-1            423          11
14.       Quinnipiac                                          8-3-1            319          14
15.       Bowling Green                                 10-3-1            292          18
16.       St. Cloud State                                  5-6-1            249          16
17.       Union                                                 6-5-1            214          15
18.       Harvard                                              5-1-2            147         NR
19.       Northern Michigan                            7-2-1            141          17
20.       Providence                                         5-5-1            115          19

Others receiving votes: Robert Morris 96, St. Lawrence 48, Merrimack 30, Yale 17, Penn State 15, Ferris State 4, Notre Dame 2.

USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Poll

Rk.      School (1st place)                      Record           Pts.         PR
1.         Boston University (27)                     8-1-1            497            2
2.         North Dakota (4)                         9-3-1           447            3
3.         Minnesota                                          7-3-0            409            4
4.         Massachusetts-Lowell                      8-2-3            367            5
5.         Michigan Tech (1)                            10-2-0            358            1
6.         Miami                                               10-4-0            337            9
7.         Minnesota State (2)                          9-3-0            321            9
8.         Minnesota Duluth                              9-5-0            241            8
9.         Colgate                                              9-4-1            236            6
10.       Denver                                               8-3-0            226          11
11.       Boston College                                 7-5-0            166          12
12.       Vermont                                             8-3-1            140          10
13.       Omaha                                                7-2-1            128          13
14.       Quinnipiac                                          8-3-1              72          14
15.       Bowling Green                                 10-3-1              43         NR

Others receiving votes: St. Cloud State 31, Harvard 30, Union 13, Merrimack 5, Providence 5, Robert Morris 5, St. Lawrence 3.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

NDSU's Miron, Fassbender and Rasmusson Honored

ELMHURST, Ill. – Three North Dakota State University volleyball players were honored by The Summit League on Thursday, Nov. 20, following the conclusion of the regular season. Sophomore middle blocker Emily Miron was named to the All-Summit League Team, junior outside hitter Jenni Fassbender earned honorable mention recognition, and freshman setter/right side Brianna Rasmusson claimed a spot on the league’s Freshmen Team.

Miron, who was also named to the Freshmen Team and earned honorable mention last season, ranked fourth in The Summit League this year with a hitting percentage of .303. She upped her hitting percentage to .322 in league play. Miron’s 67 total blocks in league matches were the second-most in the league, behind only Melissa Firtko of South Dakota who had 79.

Miron hit .375 or better in 13 matches this season, setting a new career-high with 19 kills against South Dakota State on Sept. 30 and again in a win over Fort Wayne on Nov. 14.

Fassbender was All-Summit League a year ago as a sophomore. She ranked fifth in the league this season with an average of 4.05 points per set and was sixth with 3.50 kills per set. Fassbender’s 34 service aces tied for the fourth-best total in the conference. She has five matches this season with 20 or more kills.

Rasmusson played in all 30 matches and started 28 times for the Bison, averaging 3.52 assists and 1.97 digs per set while also ranking third on the team in blocks.

The Fergus Falls, Minn., native had two close calls with triple-doubles in her first eight collegiate matches. She posted 21 assists, 15 kills and eight digs in a 3-2 win over Robert Morris on Aug. 30. Rasmusson finished one kill short vs. UMKC on Sept. 12 with 16 assists, 14 digs and nine kills.

NDSU opens Summit League Tournament play on Friday at 3:30 p.m. (CT) against Oral Roberts, with the winner advancing to take on top-seeded Denver in the semifinals on Saturday.

2014 All-Summit League Volleyball Teams

Nola Basey, Denver, So., OH
Sydney Dimke, South Dakota, Jr., OH
Melissa Firtko, South Dakota, Sr. MH
Kaitlyn Hickey, IUPUI, Jr. OH
Beth Howard, IUPUI, Sr., DS/L
Brittany Jessen, South Dakota, Fr., S
Bailey Karst, Denver, Sr., S
Kendall Kritenbrink, South Dakota, Sr., OH
Laura Milos, Oral Roberts, Fr., OH
Emily Miron, North Dakota State, So., MH
Sarah Schmid, Denver, Jr., MH
Emily Spencer, Fort Wayne, Sr., OH

Honorable MentionKate Acker, Denver, Sr., DS
Jenni Fassbender, North Dakota State, Jr., OH
Somer Johnson, Fort Wayne, So., OH
Ann Miller, Western Illinois, Sr., OH
Sara Pope, Oral Roberts, Sr., OH
Kelly Wachtel, IUPUI, Jr., RS

Freshmen Team
Lucija Bojanjac, Oral Roberts, S
Gabrielle Fisher, IUPUI, OH
Mackenzie Horkey, Omaha, OH
Brittany Jessen, South Dakota, S
Laura Milos, Oral Roberts, OH
Sydney O'Shaughnessy, Omaha, S
Brianna Rasmusson, North Dakota State, S

Player of the Year
Emily Spencer, Fort Wayne

Defensive Player of the Year
Beth Howard, IUPUI

Setter of the Year
Bailey Karst, Denver

Freshman of the Year
Laura Milos, Oral Roberts

Coach of the YearSteve Payne, IUPUI

Prep Bowl XXXIII Preview

            Grand Meadow and Eden Prairie are the only champions that have survived the first two rounds of tournament play. Four teams that made it to their respective championship games still boast unblemished records.
            The top-ranked Superlarks of Grand Meadow are making their third consecutive and seventh overall appearance and seek their second consecutive and overall title in Class 9-Man. The two-time Class AAAAAA defending champions Eden Prairie Eagles are making their 10th consecutive and 18th overall appearance. They were the top-ranked team in this year’s final AP poll and also won titles in 1996, 1997, 2000, 2002, 2006, 2007, and 2011.
                The 2014 Prep Bowl will be conducted over two days, Friday, Nov. 21, and Saturday, Nov. 22, at TCF Bank Stadium on the University of Minnesota Minneapolis campus. It will be the first time that the Prep Bowl will be conducted outdoors. Prep Bowl was created in 1982 and the games were played in the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome from the time it opened through the fall of 2013. KSTC-TV, Channel 45 will broadcast all seven games live, as well as feed numerous cable systems around the state. The games will also be streamed live for Web viewing at The webcasts will cost $4.97 for one day of live events, and for on-delay viewing at $4.97 each.
            (Note: All game times listed with an * are approximate start times. Games will not start before that time, but could start after that time. There will be about 30 minutes between the conclusion of one game and the start of the next game.)

Friday, Nov. 21

Class 9-Man: Grand Meadow (13-0) vs. Edgerton/Ellsworth (12-1) @ 10 a.m.
[Grand Meadow and Edgerton/Ellsworth’s statistics are current through semifinals]
            The Superlarks of Grand Meadow are making their third consecutive and seventh overall appearance. They earned their first championship last year and also have two runner-up finishes to their credit. Edgerton/Ellsworth is making its third appearance under this name. The Flying Dutchmens’ last appearance was in 2011 when they won their only championship. Edgerton also made three solo appearances between 2004 and 2006. Grand Meadow was ranked No. 1 in the final Associated Press (AP) poll and Edgerton/Ellsworth was ranked No. 6.
            Grand Meadow prefers to keep the ball on the ground. The Superlarks rushed for 3,860 yards and completed 68-of-128 passing attempts for 1,440 yards this year. Senior Landon Jacobson rushed for 1,472 yards and scored 26 touchdowns. Jacobson also paced the defense with 129 tackles, two fumble recoveries, and two interceptions. Junior quarterback Michael Stejskal added 500 rushing yards and seven touchdowns and also ran the passing game with 1,085 yards and 19 additional touchdowns on 50 completions. Grand Meadow has averaged 48.1 points per game while holding opponents to 6.3 points per game.
            The co-op of Edgerton/Ellsworth also likes to keep the ball on the ground. The Flying Dutchmen rushed for 3,951 yards on 532 attempts this year. They also completed 129-of-231 passing attempts for an additional 1,744 yards. Senior Tyler Kurrasch led the ground game with 1,337 yards on 182 rushing attempts. Kurrasch also led the Flying Dutchmen with 102 tackles. Sophomore Bailey Fey and senior Jake Post shared the duties at quarterback for Edgerton/Ellsworth. Fey completed 56-of-98 pass attempts for 904 yards and 11 touchdowns and Post completed 61-of-115 pass attempts for 826 yards and 11 touchdowns. As a team, the Flying Dutchmen averaged 43.8 points per game and their opponents averaged 14.6 against them.
Class AA: BOLD, Olivia (12-1) vs. Holdingford (10-3) @ 1 p.m.*
[BOLD and Holdingford’s statistics are current through semifinals]
            The BOLD Warriors are making their 10th appearance under this name, but first since 2012. BOLD is in the hunt for its third title, having won previously in 1990 and 1991. Bird Island made one additional appearance in 1974 and Olivia made one in 1980. The combined program of Bird Island-Lake Lillian made five additional appearances between 1976 and 1983 resulting in championships in 1979 and 1980. The Warriors were ranked No. 7 in this year’s final AP poll. The unranked Huskers of Holdingford return to make their third consecutive and 12th overall appearance. They lost in the quarterfinals in 2013. If the Huskers win it would be their second championship, having won their first in 1981.
            BOLD averaged 35.6 points per game this year while holding their opponents to an average of 9.8. The Warriors run a stellar ground game and gained 3,302 yards on 548 attempts. When they went to the air, they completed 64-of-101 attempts for an additional 1,236 yards. Senior Ben Steffel rushed for 1,423 yards and 17 touchdowns and junior Brad Wolff added another 578 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns. Senior quarterback Lane Stadther completed 63-of-100 passing attempts for 1,231 yards and 14 touchdowns. Junior Austin Tersteeg led BOLD with 100 tackles.
            The Holdingford Huskers gained more than three times as many yards on the ground (2,941) as they did in the air (936). Matt Messman, a senior, rushed for 1,799 yards and 20 touchdowns on 306 attempts. Senior Nathan Brinker added seven rushing touchdowns and also led the Huskers with 131 tackles. Brinker also averaged 38.1 yards per kickoff return. Senior quarterback Austin Gerads completed 53-of-115 pass attempts and tallied 15 touchdowns and 936 yards. As a team, the Huskers averaged 29.4 points per game this year and their opponents scored an average of 14.0 against them.

Class AAAA: Becker (11-1) vs. DeLaSalle, Minneapolis (11-1) at 4 p.m.*
[Becker and DeLaSalle’s statistics are current through semifinals]
            The No. 5-ranked Becker Bulldogs are making their 14th appearance. They made their last appearance in 2012 and won their only title in 2005. The Islanders of DeLaSalle, who were ranked No. 7 in the final poll, are making their third consecutive and 10th overall appearance. They lost in the 2013 semifinals. If the Islanders win it would be their second title. They won their first in 1999.
            Becker plays a well-rounded game. The Bulldogs gained 2,666 yards on 452 rushing attempts and another 2,521 yards on 165 completed passes. Senior quarterback Michel Veldman completed 161 passes and netted 2,292 yards and 33 touchdowns. Senior CJ Schwintek added 1,292 yards and nine touchdowns on 225 rushing attempts. Schwintek also averages 20.1 yards on kickoff returns. Junior Beau Pauly paced Becker’s defense with 62 tackles, three fumble recoveries, and two interceptions. The Bulldogs averaged 41.1 points per game this season and their opponents averaged 10.7. 
             DeLaSalle also boasts a nice balance between its rushing and passing games. The Islanders compiled 2,546 yards on the ground and 3,338 through the air. Senior quarterback Billy Hart completed 183-of-264 passing attempts for 2,770 yards and 42 touchdowns. He added 13 more touchdowns and 887 yards on 106 rushing attempts. Senior James King, Jr. notched 984 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns on 129 attempts. Junior Marcos Luna had 108 tackles, one fumble recovery, and one interception for DeLaSalle and senior Joe Moeller added 95 tackles and five interceptions. As a team, the Islanders average 49.9 points per game. Their opponents score an average of 18.0 against them.

Class AAAAAA: Eden Prairie (12-0) vs. Totino-Grace (11-1) @ 7 p.m.*
[Eden Prairie and Totino-Grace’s statistics are current through the semifinals]
                Totino-Grace, which lost in the semifinals last year, was ranked No. 8 in this year’s final poll. The Eagles are making their sixth consecutive and 24th overall appearance. The Eagles won previous championships in 1977, 1978, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, and 2012. The three-time defending champion Eagles from Eden Prairie are making their 10th consecutive and 18th overall appearance. They took top honors in Class AAAAA in 2011 and in Class AAAAAA in 2012 and 2013. They were the top-ranked team in this year’s final AP poll and also won titles in 1996, 1997, 2000, 2002, 2006 and 2007.
            This year’s Eden Prairie squad has a stellar ground game. Senior Will Rains notched 1,374 rushing yards and 30 touchdowns on 217 attempts. Senior quarterback Grantham Gillard connected on 63 percent of his pass attempts for 585 yards and seven touchdowns. He tossed 14 of those passes to Rains, who tallied five additional touchdowns and 265 yards. The Eagles averaged 35.6 points per game this year and their opponents scored an average of 12.8 points against them.
            The Eagles of Totino-Grace prefer to keep the ball on the ground. They accumulated 3,174 rushing yards this year and 721 passing yards. Senior Kez Flomo led the rushing game for the Eagles, gaining 1,698 yards on 256 attempts and scoring 20 touchdowns. Senior quarterback Lance Benick added eight rushing touchdowns and 419 yards on 84 carries. Benick also completed 57 percent of his pass attempts for 710 yards and eight additional touchdowns. Senior Preston McKasy paced Totino’s defense with 108 tackles. The Eagles averaged 29.6 points per game and their opponents averaged 18.7 points per game.

Saturday, Nov. 22

Class A: Dawson-Boyd (12-1) vs. Minneota (12-0) @ 10 a.m.

[Dawson-Boyd and Minneota’s statistics are current through the semifinals]
            The Blackjacks of Dawson-Boyd return for their fourth consecutive and overall appearance. They won one previous title in 2011. Dawson-Boyd was ranked No. 8 in this year’s final poll. The Vikings of Minneota are making their second consecutive and 12th overall appearance. In 2013 the Vikings earned runner-up honors in Class AA as a co-op with Lincoln HI. Minneota also made 10 solo appearances between 1985 and 2010. The Vikings won previous titles in 1986, 1987, 1988, and 2009. Minneota was ranked No. 2 in this year’s final AP poll.
            The Dawson-Boyd Blackjacks averaged 37.0 points per game this season and held their opponents to an average of 10.4 points. Senior Dalton Palmer and junior Jess Hansen lead the offensive charge. Palmer is the main ball carrier and has gained 1,830 yards and scored 20 touchdowns. Hansen, the quarterback, completed 63 percent of his pass attempts and connected with receivers for 2,215 yards and 26 touchdowns. On the defensive side of the ball, junior Christian Thoen has accounted for 87 tackles, one fumble recovery, and two interceptions.
            The Minneota Vikings like to keep the ball on the ground and they accumulated 3,600 rushing yards this year. Junior Garrett Hennen carried the ball 183 times and tallied 1,518 yards and 28 touchdowns. Garrett Hennen also led the defense with 77 tackles. Cole Hennen, a senior, gained 709 yards on 76 rushing attempts and added 12 touchdowns. Cole also had 72 tackles, one fumble recovery, and three interceptions. Ninth-grader Alex Pohlen is the quarterback for Minneota. He completed 98-of-164 pass attempts this season and racked up 1,556 yards and 21 touchdowns. The Vikings averaged 53.6 points per game this season and their opponents averaged 6.1 against them.

Class AAA: Rochester Lourdes (12-0) vs. New London-Spicer (11-1) @ 1 p.m.*
[Rochester Lourdes’ and New London-Spicer’s statistics are current through the semifinals]
                Top-ranked Rochester Lourdes returns for its third consecutive and 11th overall appearance. The Eagles lost in the semifinals last year and won previous titles in 1979 and 2010. The Wildcats of New London-Spicer are making their third consecutive and fifth overall appearance. They won one previous championship in 2009 and claimed runner-up honors last year. New London-Spicer was ranked No. 3 in this year’s final AP poll.
            The Eagles of Rochester Lourdes run the ball four times more often than they take to the air. They tallied 3,588 rushing yards and 855 passing yards this season. Senior Zach Hillman leads the offensive charge for Rochester Lourdes. He rushed 141 times and gained 1,076 yards while scoring 16 touchdowns. Zach Hillman also averages 23.0 yards per kickoff return. Noah Hillman, the Eagles’ sophomore quarterback, completed 33-of-76 pass attempts for 830 yards and 14 touchdowns. Sophomore Carter Greguson anchored Lourdes’ defense. He notched 88 tackles, one fumble recovery, and one interception. The Eagles averaged 39.5 points this season and their opponents averaged 12.8 points against them.
            New London-Spicer rushed for 2,497 yards this season while netting 1,669 yards passing. Senior Trey Austvold led the ground game for the Wildcats. He scored 10 touchdowns on 132 rushing attempts and gained 805 yards. Senior Shane Zylstra added 12 rushing touchdowns for the Wildcats on 96 carries. Senior quarterback Ethan Bohlsen completed 55 percent of his pass attempts and threw for 10 touchdowns. Zylstra caught 40 of Bohlsen’s passes and turned them into 604 yards and four touchdowns. Senior Noah Welsh led the Wildcats’ defense with 110 tackles. New London-Spicer averaged 28.8 points per game while allowing opponents 16.8 points per game.

Class AAAAA: Simley (10-3) vs. Mankato West (11-1) @ 4 p.m.*
[Simley’s statistics are current through quarterfinals and Mankato West’s are current through semifinals]
                The Simley Spartans, who were not ranked in the final AP poll, return for their second appearance. They made their last appearance in 2002 and are still looking for their first title. The No. 3-ranked Mankato West Scarlets return to tournament action after a one-year absence to make their ninth appearance. If the Scarlets win it would be their fourth title; they won previously in 1999, 2002, and 2008.
            Simley prefers to keep the ball on the ground and compiled 3,672 rushing yards this year. Junior quarterback Michael Busch and senior Michael Avwunuma gained 1,197 and 1,095 yards on the ground, respectively. Avwunuma carried the ball 185 times and ran for 16 touchdowns and Busch carried the ball 193 times and tallied 14 touchdowns. Busch also completed 53 percent of his pass attempts for 767 yards and 10 additional touchdowns. Senior John Reibert anchored Simley’s defense with 95 tackles and two fumble recoveries. The Spartans averaged 28.8 points per game and their opponents averaged 20.7 against them.
            The Scarlets of Mankato West play a well-rounded game. They tallied 2,389 rushing yards and 3,029 passing yards this season. Senior quarterback Ryan Schlichte completed 175-of-278 passing attempts while accumulating 2,949 yards and scoring 43 touchdowns. Senior Connor Watts caught 60 of those passes for 1,122 yards and 14 touchdowns. Schlichte also likes to run the ball and garnered an additional 644 yards and 17 touchdowns on the ground. Evan Jakes, another senior, held down the Scarlets’ defense with 128 tackles. Mankato West scored an average of 49.3 points per game and their opponents scored an average of 14.9.