Challenging Non-Conference Slate Has NDSU Volleyball Ready For Summit League Play
Had their first win over a power five school since 2011
FARGO, N.D. — After 12 games away from Fargo and Bentson Bunker Fieldhouse, North Dakota State volleyball returns home to open up Summit League play Thursday against Missouri-Kansas City.
The non-conference slate started with tournaments in Green Bay and Chicago before ending with back-to-back west coasts trips in California and Oregon. Coming out of those matches with a 6-6 record, there was still plenty to get excited about.
The Bison had their first win over a power five opponent in 11 seasons knocking out Cal in straights sets along with going undefeated that weekend.
Head coach Jen Lopez says wins like those helped her team get ready for league play.
“We really wanted to be able to push ourselves and challenge ourselves because our conference is becoming a lot tougher,” Lopez said. “Having to go through some different time zones in order to do that definitely had its challenges but overall it was good to see how we played that third weekend and even this past weekend I was happy with some things that we did to prepare ourselves for conference.”
“I think it obviously helps with building confidence and working through some things before we hit that conference schedule,” senior Kaylee Hanger said. “It’s also fun to play against teams you don’t usually play.”
“Knowing that we can play at that high level. I think even with the Cal win,” Summit League Freshman of the Year Ali Hinze said. “It gave us so much confidence that we can compete with any team in this country.”
Their match on Thursday is the first of two at home with the second coming Saturday afternoon against Oral Roberts.