Minnesota Crookston comes into the opening week of their NSIC slate with a 2-6 mark.

    The University of Minnesota Crookston volleyball team opens up Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) play this week. The Golden Eagles will commence the week Thurs., Sept. 6 as they head to St. Cloud State University for a 6 p.m. rendezvous with the Huskies. Minnesota Crookston will then return home for their first home match of 2018 as they face No. 6 University of Minnesota Duluth at 4 p.m. Sat., Sept. 8.

    Minnesota Crookston comes into the opening week of their NSIC slate with a 2-6 mark. The Golden Eagles are looking to find some consistency as they look to continue to improve heading into the third week of the season.

    Minnesota Crookston has a young squad with a number of players in new spots. Deaira Gresham (So., OH, Maplewood, Minn.) has led the way for the Golden Eagles with 3.04 kills per set. In addition, Sabrina Leuer (R-Jr., OH, Hamel, Minn.) comes into the week hitting .140 with 1.79 kills per set. Kaitlin Sikkink (R-Jr., MH, St. Charles, Minn.) has been potent from the middle of the attack, averaging 1.67 kills and hitting .227 on the season.

    At setter, Sydney Kruisselbrink (So., S, Rochester, Minn.) has moved into the starting role after seeing limited time as a freshman. Kruisselbrink is tallying 7.68 assists per set. She has helped Minnesota Crookston to a .114 hitting percentage and 9.8 kills per set.

    Defensively, the Golden Eagles are tallying 16.1 digs per set. Ali Schueler (R-Jr., Lib., Howards Grove, Wis.) has paced Minnesota Crookston with 3.45 digs per set, while junior college transfer Lauren Ulibarri (Jr., DS, Flagstaff, Ariz.) is notching 2.90 digs per set. Sophomore Katie Lienemann (So., DS, Rosemount, Minn.) has also been a crucial cog in the back row with 2.10 digs per set.

    The UMC block comes into the week averaging 1.45 blocks per set. It has been a balanced block, paced by Sikkink’s 0.67 blocks per set. Lauren Wallace has also been crucial on the block, with 0.54 blocks per set.

    On the serve, the Golden Eagles are averaging 0.81 service aces per set with 25 service aces on the season. Lienemann has been the strongest on the serve for Minnesota Crookston with eight service aces.