COLLEGE VOLLEYBALL: Joki helps Sioux cruise to a victory
Erin Joki didn't think she would play volleyball this season. Her plan was to practice with the UND team, try to improve and get ready for 2008. Monday afternoon, that all changed for the UND freshman. Because of injuries, Sioux coach Katy Peters...
Erin Joki didn't think she would play volleyball this season.
Her plan was to practice with the UND team, try to improve and get ready for 2008.
Monday afternoon, that all changed for the UND freshman.
Because of injuries, Sioux coach Katy Peterson told Joki that she was pulling the redshirt and inserting her into the starting lineup for the first time Tuesday against visiting Minnesota-Crookston.
"It was totally unexpected," said Joki, an outside hitter from Grand Rapids, Minn. "When they recruited me, they told me that I was going to redshirt. When I found out (Monday) that I was going to play, I was excited."
The debut went well - six kills, seven assists and 13 digs for Joki and a 30-22, 18-30, 30-23, 30-18 win for the Sioux.
"She did a great job," Peterson said. "We had some injuries and we really needed her back there. I'm looking forward to seeing her again Tuesday against Valley City State."
Joki was a four-time letterwinner at Grand Rapids High School, earning a spot in an area all-star game. She also was a standout basketball and track athlete in high school. But she wasn't expected to make an impact this season. After an ankle injury to Britta Hanson, Peterson used that option.
Joki played a large role in helping UND's defense, which Peterson said was much improved.
"We haven't been very good defensively lately," Peterson said. "We haven't played well as a team.
"(Against Crookston), I thought our defense was very good."
The offense was strong, too, but Peterson expects that.
Mary Blume led the Sioux with 16 kills, while Tara Holmen added 15, Amanda Polzin 11 and Stephanie Mason 10. Setter Megan Langseth had 38 assists.
"We definitely have some big hitters," Peterson said. "I think our hitters can match up with anyone in the conference. Megan did a great job spreading the ball around."
With the win, the Sioux improved to 4-11 overall. About half of the losses have come to nationally ranked teams.
"I think with a young team, it was very good for us to play those ranked teams," Peterson said. "But it is nice to play a team that isn't ranked and show what we can do."