UMD hosts Wayne State in opening match of NSIC playoffs
The No. 2 University of Minnesota Duluth volleyball team (25-3) will host the Wayne State College Wildcats (23-6) in the first round of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference tonight.
After closing out the regular season on back-to-back 3-0 wins over Upper Iowa University and No. 6 Winona State University, the Bulldogs are tied with Augustana for No. 3 in the NSIC.
“The team played really focused and energetic volleyball on Friday and Saturday,” UMD head coach Jim Boos said. “I could tell they were motivated to be able to be at home hosting the first round of the NSIC Playoffs this year instead of taking a long bus ride to Winona or Sioux Falls.”
Ironically enough, it was the Wildcats that were in the Bulldogs’ position this time last year, hosting UMD in the opening match of NSIC postseason play. Now it’s the Bulldogs’ turn to feed off of the Romano Gym home court energy.
“We love playing in Romano in front of our fans and look forward to having a great home court environment on Wednesday,” Boos said.
With a 25-3 regular season record, one could say the Bulldogs have all the motivation in the world coming into tonight’s match.
“Our mindset is to play energetic and effort based defense as Wayne State is a tremendous defensive team that will extend points and make you work extremely hard for kills,” Boos said. “We also need to continue being the team we have been all year with balanced distribution offensively and good hitting efficiency.”
According to Boos, he would like to see his team serve tough and pass well against the best serving team in the NSIC. Boos also wants to match the defensive effort and playmaking of Wayne State to come out with a win.
“It Should be a fun night and a great match against a top team in both the NSIC and the country,” Boos said.
Photos by Dave Harwig