Minnesota Crookston heads back on the road for four straight NSIC games before coming back to Lysaker Gymnasium. This weekend, the Golden Eagles will make the long trek to Fayette, Iowa and Winona, Minn., for two games with Upper Iowa and Winona State. The Golden Eagles are coming off a weekend where they lost two to Concordi-St. Paul and Minnesota State Mankato at home to start off conference play. The conference schedule doesn’t get any easier this weekend. Both the Peacocks and Warriors were also swept last weekend on the road against Minnesota Duluth and St. Cloud State. Last weekend, the Peacocks entered the AVCA Coaches Poll for the first time this season.

• NEW LOOK. It was the start of a new era for Golden Eagle athletics this past weekend. Over the summer, Lysaker Gymnasium saw new bleachers in the gym for the first time since 1981 and fans got to see those brand new bleachers for the first time. Fans also got the chance to hear a new sound system in the gym as well over the weekend.

• ON THE ROAD AGAIN. Minnesota Crookston will hit the road for the third time this season. The Golden Eagles will have played 12 games this season and 10 of them have been on the road. Through their 10 road games this season, Minnesota Crookston will have traveled 1,271 miles, including their trip to Fayette, Iowa and Winona, Minn. The Golden Eagles will be on the road again next weekend as well, when they travel to Northern State and Moorhead State.

• SETTLING IN. Shelby Dunbar, a freshman from Fertile, Minn., has settled in nicely in her first season as a Golden Eagle. Dunbar has been inserted into the starting lineup and has started four matches and played in seven out of the possible ten this season. Dunbar had a career high three kills in a five-set win over South Dakota School of Mines and Technology two weekends ago in St. Cloud. Dunbar’s biggest contribution might be in the blocking category. In that win over the Miners, Dunbar also had a career high of seven blocks. On the season, Dunbar has 20.0 blocks on the season and will look to continue that success this weekend.

• START STRONG. In both matches last weekend against Concordia-St. Paul and Minnesota State Mankato, the Golden Eagles struggled in set one. After set one, the Golden Eagles competed and played both of those strong opponents tough. It will be important for the Golden Eagles to start fast this weekend against Upper Iowa and Winona State.

• SOLID SYD. Rochester native Sydney Kruisselbrink has been solid this season for the Golden Eagles. Being the team’s primary setter, Kruisselbrink leads the team with 215 assists on the season, including a season-high 38 against the Hardrockers of South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. Kruisselbrink has also been a huge help defensively. Kruisselbrink also has 92 digs on the season, which is second behind Katie Lienemann, who has 116. Offensively, Kruisselbrink was solid on Saturday afternoon against Minnesota State Mankato. The junior had five kills on nine total attacks, good for a .556 attack percentage against the Mavericks.

• SHE’S ONLY A SOPHOMORE. Believe it or not, Porsha Porath, the sophomore from Windom, Minn., has only played in 31 career matches for the Golden Eagles, starting 23 total matches. This season, Porath has been the go-to offensive player for Minnesota Crookston. Porath has 130 total kills on the season on 441 total attacks. Both of those numbers lead the team. Porath has double-digit kills in nine out of ten matches this season, including 13 in her last match against Minnesota State Mankato. It has been a strong start to the 2019 season for Porath and she will look to continue that this weekend against two quality opponents.

• ALL YOU SAB. Sabrina Leuer had a solid game against the Mavericks on Saturday afternoon. Leuer had 18 total attacks on Saturday and had an attack percentage of .222, with five kills. On the season, the redshirt senior has 42 kills on 133 total attacks and will look to continue her strong play in the second weekend of NSIC play.

Minnesota Crookston Golden Eagles
Head Coach: Sarah Rauen
Record at UMC: 13-51 Season at UMC: Third Season

Minnesota Crookston at Upper Iowa
Date: Fri., Sep. 21
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Video: https://portal.stretchinternet.com/uiu/
Live Stats: https://uiupeacocks.com/sidearmstats/wvball/summary

Minnesota Crookston at Winona State
Date: Sat., Sep. 28
Time: 2:00 p.m.
Video: https://portal.stretchinternet.com/winona/
Live Stats: https://winonastatewarriors.com/sidearmstats/vball/summary

UPPER IOWA. The Peacocks are ranked in the AVCA Coaches Poll for the second straight week, moving up a spot to No. 23. UIU went undefeated in non-conference play, including defeating Michigan Tech, Lake Superior State and Wisconsin-Parkside, opponents Minnesota Crookston has faced as well. The Peacocks got off to a tough start in conference play, losing two matches to Minnesota Duluth in three sets and to St. Cloud State in five sets. Both of those opponents were nationally ranked.

WINTER IS COMING. The Peacocks are led offensively by senior Anna Winter. The Rochester, Minn., has been unbelievable in her final season at Upper Iowa. Winter has 163 kills on the season and was named the Keweenaw Classic MVP in the first weekend of the season. Winter is second in the conference with a whopping 4.66 kills per set, just behind Morgan Olson of Minnesota State, who has 4.67 kills per set.

SARAH STRONG. Sarah Johnson ranks third in the conference in blocks per set, with 1.29 per set. The freshman from Elk River, Minn., has been dominant at the net this season. Johnson had 6.0 blocks against Northern Michigan, 8.0 against Michigan Tech, 7.0 against Wisconsin-Parkside and 5.0 last Friday against Minnesota Duluth. Johnson has had an impressive start to her career as a Peacock.

READ IT AND WEEP(IE). The Peacocks are ranked in the top-25, because they do a lot of things well. Haley Weepie helps with that, being ranked sixth in the conference with digs per set. The senior from Fairbank, Iowa has 157 digs on the season and has 4.49 digs per set.

WINONA STATE. Much like the Peacocks, the Warriors got off to a blistering start in the non-conference portion of their schedule. WSU got off to an 8-0 start, beating the University of Illinois Springfield twice in two days in Springfield, Ill. Winona State will welcome the Golden Eagles for their first home weekend of the NSIC regular season, after coming off getting swept by Minnesota Duluth and St. Cloud State.

LARSON’S LESSON. The Warriors have a lot of offensive weapons. WSU has four players that average 2.00 kills per set or more on the season. The best offensive player the Warriors have at their disposal might be freshman middle blocker Madison Larson. The first-year Warrior from Davenport, Iowa has 100 kills on the season and had a career high 23 against St. Cloud State last weekend.

JUST PAGE(L) BECCA. Defensively, the Warriors have been very good this season, averaging almost 15 digs per set and a big part of that defensive success has been Becca Pagel. The native of Sumner, Iowa has double-digit digs in every single match that the Warriors have played and has 15 straight games with double-digit digs dating back to last season.

MALONEY IS MONEY. Bre Maloney has 344 assists on the season, to go along with eight service aces. Maloney ranks 10th in the NSIC with 9.56 assists per set through 10 matches. The Roseville, Minn., native has had huge assist numbers where she has had 46, 39, 38, 52 and 42 assists in matches this season.