Miller has been with the Grand Forks Herald sports department for the past 10 years. He's also a Grand Forks native and UND graduate.
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The UND women's basketball team opened the regular season home schedule against strong, established Division I opponents such as Colorado State and New Mexico State. On Tuesday, a whole new caliber of opponent came to the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center. Gonzaga, the best team to ever visit the Betty, jumped out to a 34-14 lead and beat UND 83-45, resulting in the worst home loss in Gene Roebuck's 24 years as head coach of the Sioux. "Some of this has to do with coaching, and so I'm going to lay it on me," Roebuck said. "I need to get our players as prepared as I can.
Colorado State junior Kim Mestdagh surprised UND defenders. "It was shock and awe at times," UND center Allyssa Wall said. "She was letting them fly from 5 feet behind the (3-point) line." Rams coach Kristen Holt, on the other hand, wasn't surprised at all. "I've seen (Mestdagh) get hot like that," Holt said.
Even the defending North Dakota state Class A state champion and current top seed in the East Region has to make late-season adjustments. For Grand Forks Red River, that's meant a wave of momentum heading into today's state tournament in Minot. The Roughriders face Minot, the West Region's No. 4 seed, at noon in the quarterfinals. "Sometime around the Fargo tournament (early October), we chose to switch from a two-setter offense to a 5-1," Red River coach Carolyn Olson said. "Our hitters were struggling with separate setting tempos.
MADISON, Wis. -- The UND men's hockey team came here last weekend and pulled off a rare road sweep of the University of Wisconsin Badgers. On Tuesday night, it was the Sioux men's basketball team's turn to visit the Badgers. The two UND teams may have played in the same building, but their results were worlds apart. Six-foot-10 senior Jon Leuer, a preseason all-Big Ten selection, scored a game-high 22 points, dished out seven assists and grabbed six rebounds to lead the No.
With three freshmen and two junior college transfers seeing hefty playing time, UND women's basketball coach Gene Roebuck could have pinned a last-minute collapse on inexperience. Instead, Roebuck took his veterans to task after an 82-81 loss to New Mexico State on Saturday at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center in which the Aggies didn't lead the entire game until Tabytha Wampler hit a layup with 10.5 seconds left. "It's our players that are returning that need to take responsibility," Roebuck said.
With UND playing four freshmen extensively and implementing a new offensive philosophy, the Sioux had a whole new look Friday night at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center. "We're a completely different team than last year," UND forward Patrick Mitchell said. Mitchell meant that in a good way. Mitchell and explosive freshman Troy Huff each scored 18 points to lead the new-look Sioux men's basketball team to a 77-46 season-opening rout of Waldorf (Iowa) College of the NAIA. "Our upperclassmen have grown from last year and gotten more minutes," UND coach Brian Jones said.
The UND women's basketball team spent the first two seasons as a Division I program as road warriors, playing most of its elite opponents on the road. Over the next two weeks, the Sioux will be rewarded for their travel. UND will receive return games from New Mexico State on Saturday night, followed by Betty Engelstad Sioux Center dates against Vermont on Monday, Colorado State (Nov. 21) and Gonzaga (Nov. 23). "I really like that this stretch is at home," UND coach Gene Roebuck said. "The fans will be treated to a new level of basketball.
The Grand Forks Red River volleyball team entered this weekend's East Region volleyball tournament on a roll, winning six of their last seven matches. "Since the Fargo tournament, we've been on a good run," Red River coach Carolyn Olson said. "We're coming in with some confidence and that always helps at tournament time." It showed. Behind Emily Asche's match-high 13 kills, No. 1 seed Roughriders cruised to a 25-11, 25-16, 25-20 sweep of No.
When Grand Forks Red River finished fourth at the North Dakota state girls swim meet last season, which tied for the highest finish in program history, Roughriders coach Bryan Walls was already looking forward to this year. "After state, I thought, 'Let's go out and try to win the whole thing next year,' " Walls said.
East Grand Forks Senior High's veteran coaches were asked to compare and contrast the 2004 Green Wave team to this year's group. In 2004, Senior High went 14-0 en route to the school's first state championship.