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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Grand Forks Red River's ability to run the football this season and Grand Forks Central's inability to stop the rush so far is the glaring matchup heading into Cushman Classic XV. The Roughriders' advantage along the line of scrimmage is expected to play a key role at 7 tonight at Cushman Field as Red River looks to win its third straight Classic. The Riders haven't won three straight against the Knights since winning four in a row from 1991 to 1994. "They're experienced up front on both sides of the ball," Central coach Bill Lorenz said. "That's what's scary about them.
UND men's basketball coach Brian Jones sat in the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center Tuesday night and took in the environment of the North Dakota State-Sioux volleyball match. "The excitement and energy was tremendous," Jones said. "Whether it was volleyball or basketball or whatever, it was electric. That home court was crucial." It's an atmosphere the Sioux men's basketball team is looking forward to recreating when the Bison visit UND on Jan. 17 at Ralph Engelstad Arena. The rivalry matchup highlighted UND's 29-game schedule, which was released by the school Friday.
The UND football team's offensive line managed to go all 11 games last season with the same starting five intact. After just one game in 2011, the Sioux will have to do some shuffling up front. UND's main injury out of a 16-0 win over Drake last Thursday was suffered by right tackle Brandon Quesenberry, whose ankle injury has rendered the fifth-year senior doubtful for Saturday's matchup with Idaho in Moscow. The extent of Quesenberry's injury is still unkown.
UND fans, which hadn't seen the North Dakota State rivalry in any sport in Grand Forks in eight years, made up for lost time Tuesday as 2,394 came to the Betty Englestad Sioux Center to see the Sioux face the Bison in volleyball. Even NDSU coach Kari Thompson could feel the impact of easily the largest crowd in UND history. "You felt like you were down even when you weren't down," Thompson said. "I had to look up at the score at one point to make sure we were up. We were up, but the crowd atmosphere didn't make it feel that way.
In the opening tournament of the season, UND lost two matches in five games last weekend in Green Bay, Wis. That meant the focus for this weekend's UND Classic was on finishing matches. The Sioux not only finished matches Saturday at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center, they did it in convincing style by completing a perfect weekend of sweeps. UND blanked Wisconsin-Green Bay 25-13, 25-23, 25-20 and Southern Utah 25-19, 25-7, 29-27 to claim its own tournament title. The Sioux swept Montana in the tournament's opening round on Friday. "Our big deal was that we wanted to exert our physical pres
Grand Forks Red River took less than two minutes to establish all three phases of football Friday against Jamestown. On special teams, Red River junior Josh Hall took the opening kick, burst through a seam and picked up 60 yards. The second offensive play was a Dayton Marek 30-yard touchdown run. On the first defensive play, Quinn Baumann hit Jamestown quarterback Brady Anderson from behind and Riders defensive lineman Tanner Williams recovered the fumble. The all-around effort amounted to Red River's runaway 54-8 victory over the Blue Jays in the Riders' home opener at Cushman Field. "We
East Grand Forks Sacred Heart first-year coach Drew Mortenson isn't sure what to expect from Waubun, his matchup in tonight's season opener. The Bombers are a non-conference opponent going through a coaching change. That leaves it tough for the longtime Eagles assistant to predict what will happen at 7 tonight at Senior High field, but Mortenson has seen promising indications from his team. The Eagles went through four scrimmages at last weekend's Top of the State jamboree in Argyle, Minn. "I was impressed with a lot of things we did both offensively and defensively," Mortenson said.
College football attendance and enthusiasm are almost always mirrored by wins and losses.
When UND athletics enters the Big Sky Conference beginning next season, the Sioux volleyball team is expected to be the most prepared. Based on NCAA Division I RPI rankings from 2010, the Sioux would have been slotted second of nine teams in the Big Sky. UND's competitiveness in the league will be on display this weekend when the Sioux host the UND Classic at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center. The Sioux will face future Big Sky mates Montana (7 Friday) and Southern Utah (7 p.m., Saturday). UND will also play Wisconsin-Green Bay of the Horizon League at 1 p.m.
An experienced Grand Forks Red River volleyball team was after its eighth straight victory, while a new-look East Grand Forks Senior High squad was playing in its season opener. That contrast was visible tonight in the Red River gymnasium. Red River junior Hadley Steffen's 17 kills carried the Roughriders to a 25-13, 25-7, 25-10 win over Senior High. Red River, coming off a North Dakota Class A state runner-up finish, has started the season 8-0. The Riders went 7-0 at a tournament in Bismarck last weekend. "We could have gone 1-6, instead of 7-0," Red River coach Carolyn Olson said.