The Golden Eagles will face a pair of ranked opponents on the road over the weekend.

    The University of Minnesota Crookston volleyball program will hit the road for the first time in two weeks as they face a pair of nationally ranked teams in Wayne State College (Neb.) and Augustana University this weekend. The Golden Eagles take on the No. 22 Wayne State Wildcats Fri., Sept. 29 at 6 p.m. They wrap up the weekend Sat., Sept. 30 against the No. 17 Augustana Vikings at 5 p.m.   

    The Golden Eagles are coming off of one of their best weeks of the season despite the 1-2 mark. Minnesota Crookston played some of their best volleyball on the year, upending Bemidji State University and testing No. 1 Southwest Minnesota State University and University of Sioux Falls. The Golden Eagles had Sioux Falls down to the wire in sets one and two and took a set three victory before being upended in the final set.   

    The Golden Eagles enter the weekend with a 4-9 (1-4 NSIC) mark in Sarah Rauen’s first season as head coach. Minnesota Crookston is averaging 10.8 kills per set and hitting .158 on the season. The Golden Eagles are led by Kassi Green (R-Sr., OH, Anoka, Minn.), who posted two outings with 20 or more kills last week. Green averaged 4.25 kills per set and hit .179 last week. In addition, her twin sister Kelci Green (R-Sr., MH, Anoka, Minn.) tallied 2.58 kills per set last week and hit .300. The Golden Eagle attack was also aided by the return of the team’s 2016 leader in kills Maggie Perrel (R-Sr., OH, New Germany, Minn.). Perrel had appeared in every match, but had been serving as libero while recovering from an injury.   

    At setter, the Golden Eagles look to Kaycie Hagen (Sr., S, Savage, Minn.), who tallied 9.25 assists per set last week for U of M Crookston. Hagen has a .804 assist percentage on the season.   

    Minnesota Crookston had a strong service game last week as they tallied 14 service aces led by four from Hagen. The Golden Eagles have 55 service aces on the season paced by 12 from Callie Schapekahm (Jr., MH, Eagan, Minn.).   

    Defensively, the Golden Eagles were able to dig themselves out of several situations during the week with their strong play. Minnesota Crookston averaged 15.08 digs per set on the week led by 3.17 digs per set from Perrel last week. Becca Vandenheuvel (Sr., DS, Cannon Falls, Minn.) tallied 2.67 digs per set, while Ali Schueler (R-So., DS, Howards Grove, Wis.) notched 2.58 digs per set.   

    On the block, Kelci Green was disruptive of the opponent attack last week with 1.07 blocks per set, while Kaitlin Sikkink (R-So., RS, St. Charles, Minn.) notched 0.67 blocks per set.   

    The Wildcats enter the weekend with an 8-6 (3-3 NSIC) mark and a No. 22 national ranking.   

    Wayne State has a potent attack with three players averaging over 2.00 kills per set. Erin Gross leads the team from the right side with 2.71 kills per set. Middle hitter Maria Wortmann has been missing from action in recent weeks, but was averaging 2.24 kills per set and a team-high .280 hitting percentage. At outside hitter, Wayne State looks to Katie Stephen’s 2.23 kills per set.   

    The Wildcat offense is guided by Megan Gebhardt’s 8.66 assists per set. She has Wayne State averaging 10.75 kills per set and hitting .174 on the season.   

    Defensively, Wayne State is averaging 15.60 digs per set led by libero Haley Kauth. Alyssa Balenger adds 2.69 digs per set, while Stephens is tallying 2.58 digs per set. On the block, the Wildcats have been strong with 2.44 blocks per set. Wortmann led the team with 1.31 blocks per set before missing recent games. Jaci Brahmer comes in tallying 1.11 blocks per set.   

    The Wildcats enter the weekend with an 8-6 (3-3 NSIC) mark and a No. 22 national ranking.   

    Wayne State has a potent attack with three players averaging over 2.00 kills per set. Erin Gross leads the team from the right side with 2.71 kills per set. Middle hitter Maria Wortmann has been missing from action in recent weeks, but was averaging 2.24 kills per set and a team-high .280 hitting percentage. At outside hitter, Wayne State looks to Katie Stephen’s 2.23 kills per set.   

    The Wildcat offense is guided by Megan Gebhardt’s 8.66 assists per set. She has Wayne State averaging 10.75 kills per set and hitting .174 on the season.   

    Defensively, Wayne State is averaging 15.60 digs per set led by libero Haley Kauth. Alyssa Balenger adds 2.69 digs per set, while Stephens is tallying 2.58 digs per set. On the block, the Wildcats have been strong with 2.44 blocks per set. Wortmann led the team with 1.31 blocks per set before missing recent games. Jaci Brahmer comes in tallying 1.11 blocks per set.