Here we are, 12 games into the season and the Minnesota State volleyball team has still not won a game in Minnesota. Despite the outcome of this weekend’s games, this fact will remain true.
Including their final loss in the Tiger Classic tournament, the Mavs have lost five straight, including four conference losses. Coming up this weekend are two more conference opponents, and the Mavs will look to break their losing streak and finally pick up a win in the NSIC.
Conveniently enough, the Mavs will play both of their games in North Dakota this weekend. First heading to Bismarck, then to Minot, the two cities are only one hour and 50 minutes apart.
Their first game in Bismarck will be Friday night against the University of Mary. The Marauders are the only team currently ranked below the Mavs in the NSIC standings, with a 4-8 record (also 0-4 in conference play). They are led by Ally Gruber and Nehkyah Ellis, who have combined for nearly 220 kills on the season. Comparatively, the Mavs’ duo of Sophie Tietz and Kiya Durant have combined for exactly 200.
A stat that favors the Mavs this weekend is the history that these two teams have. In 20 matchups, the Marauders have never defeated the Mavs. In their 21st meeting, the Mavs will have to find the offense to take away from the Marauders’ defense that features five players with over 100 digs on the year.
The next morning, the Mavs will be up for another duel with a struggling opponent. Minot State, while having a 2-10 record, has won a conference game against Minnesota-Crookston and slots in two spots ahead of the Mavericks in the NSIC standings.
While only having two wins on the year, this Beavers team is led by a do-it-all player in Maggie Machado. Machado has 80 kills, 10 blocks, nine service aces and 101 digs on the season. They also have a capable no. 2 option in Bailee Brommenschenkel, who leads the team in blocks (23) and also has 72 kills. Other team leaders include Kendall Braun in aces and digs, with 17 and 174, respectively, and Jaina McCauley in assists with 191.
The Beavers and Mavs have played 14 times in their 11-year history and the Mavs have won 13 of them, including 12 straight wins. So if history is to repeat itself, the Mavs should get the best of their opponents this weekend in their first meeting of the year.
Friday’s battle in Bismarck will begin at 6 p.m. before a quick turnaround to play in Minot at 10 in the morning.
Header Photo: The Mavs are 20-0 all-time against the Marauders and 13-1 against the Beavers in 14 games. The Mavs have been dominant in North Dakota, and they hope to continue their hot streak this weekend. (Dalton Grubb)
Write to Hayden Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org