Tournament bound once again
After failing to reach the National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament last year after a run of 13 consecutive trips, the University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldog volleyball team’s one-year hiatus is over.
Drawing the fourth seed in the central region, UMD will face fifth-ranked Winona State University in the first round of the regional playoff. The Bulldogs have found repeated success against the Warriors this season, beating them twice, both by a score of 3-0.
The Bulldogs will have no easy road out of the region as six of the eight teams in the central region all come from the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.
“We have to control the ball well this weekend,” said head coach Jim Boos. “Our region is so difficult, (with) so many good defensive teams. If we’re not able to run the offense we want to run it's going to be hard to let teams do what they want to do.”
The NCAA tournament is unfamiliar territory for some of Boos’ players as eight of them have never been part of an NCAA regional. Sidney Mauch is the lone Bulldog to have appeared before in a regional for this UMD team.
“It’s going to be a new experience for the majority of the team and it's an excitement that I don’t think they really understand yet,” Boos said. “I’m just excited for them to have that opportunity and hopefully they take advantage of it.”
First seed Concordia-St. Paul will host the central region. The Bulldogs battle the Warriors tonight at 5 o'clock.
Photo by Brett Groehler