RUSS HONS: Photo Gallery — University Of North Dakota Vs. Northern Arizona University

Sydney Mattson, starting just her first match of the season, had a career-best 35 assists to lead the University of North Dakota women’s volleyball team to a 25-20, 25-17, 25-19 Big Sky Conference sweep of Northern Arizona University on Thursday night in Betty Engelstad Sioux Center. On offense, UND was led by Tamara Merseli, who had 12 kills and 20 digs. Faith Dooley chipped in 10 kills, while Jordan Vail had nine kills and Ashley Brueggeman had seven. The Fighting Hawks (26-7 overall, 11-4 BSC) are still in the mix to grab the No. 2 seed in the upcoming league tournament. NAU is 12-14 overall and 8-7 in the BSC. UND hosts Northern Colorado in its regular season finale Saturday morning. (Check out more photos from Russ Hons here.)

RUSS HONS: Photo Gallery — University Of North Dakota Vs. Idaho State University

The University of North Dakota women’s volleyball team ran its home winning streak to 18 behind three different players who recorded double-doubles in defeating Idaho State University 25-22, 27-25, 25-16 in Big Sky Conference action Thursday night in Betty Engelstad Sioux Center. Faith Dooley (10 kills, 10 blocks), Tamara Merseli (10 kills, 14 digs) and Sydney Griffin (40 assists, 10 digs) all scored  double-doubles, while Jordan Vail led the Fighting Hawks offense with 13 kills. Alivia Fraase chipped in 21 digs and Teodora Tepavac added 16. UND upped its season record to 22-4 overall and 7-2 in the Big Sky. The Bengals fell to 8-14 overall and 5-4 in the BSC. UND hosts Weber State on Saturday in its next action. (Check out more photos from Russ Hons here.)

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — My Life On Skis

Like my father, I’ve been subject to enthusiasms. Playing tournament chess, which he didn’t do. Photography, which he did, along with other pastimes.

I was introduced to downhill skiing while I was a University of North Dakota student. A classmate (call her “Violet”) invited me to ski with her at the Huff Hills near Mandan, N.D. I overnighted at her parents’ house — they were a tad dubious about me — and we managed to snowplow down the runs a few times.

Turned out I liked skiing.

Soon thereafter, a high school and college friend, George Palms, and I drove to Terry Peak in South Dakota, where we snowplowed those higher elevations.

Eventually, I bought skis and, as the years went by, used them on hills near Bottineau and Walhalla, N.D., and Bemidji, Minn.

I was already in my 40s when I first heard of Big Sky, Mont. I began to rent a condo for a week or so and for several years went there in the spring to breathe mountain air, write my office annual report and visit nearby Yellowstone Park. Sometimes my daughter, Kristi, joined me.

After I hooked up with Dorette Kerian, skiing became an annual part of my life, at Big Ski and other resorts in the U.S. and Canada. After a few lessons, my breakthrough to parallel skiing occurred at Alta in Utah.

Last March, I joined Dorette and her family for a few days at Breckenridge, Colo. In January, we’ll gather at, you guessed it, Big Sky.

I used to say I could handle any groomed blue run in North America, but I suspect I’ll be limiting myself to the greens. Or perhaps to sipping cognac on the deck.

I took the above picture of Lone Peak and its ski runs in June 2015. Winter sports had given way to mountain biking and hiking, but there still was some snow on the mountain.

RUSS HONS: Photo Gallery — University Of North Dakota Vs. Portland State University

Marina Marzolino’s two-run homer was all the University of North Dakota women’s softball team needed to defeat Portland State University 2-0 in Big Sky Conference action Saturday at Apollo Field in Grand Forks. The Fighting Hawks picked up their 21st win of the season, breaking the program’s Division I record for single-season wins, running their record to 21-29 (7-10 in Big Sky). PSU dropped to 8-32, 6-11 in the Big Sky. Kaolin VanDomelen was the winning pitcher, striking out four and throwing her fourth complete-game shutout of the season. Alyssa Burk took the loss. UND ends its regular season next weekend, hosting Southern Utah for a three-game series. (Check out more photos from Russ Hons here.)

RUSS HONS: Photo Gallery — University Of North Dakota Vs. Portland State University

The University of North Dakota women’s softball team gained a split in a Big Sky Conference doubleheader with Portland State University on Friday at Apollo Field in Grand Forks, winning the second game 6-4 after falling 5-0 in the 10-inning opener. The Fighting Hawks closed their season with a 20-29 (6-10 in Big Sky) record, tying the program’s Division I record for single-season wins, which was set in 2011, when UND finished with an overall record of 20-35. PSU is 8-32, 6-11 in the Big Sky. Marina Marzolino paced UND in the win, going 2-3 with a three-run homer. Hannah Bergh picked up the win in the nightcap, striking out five Vikings through seven innings. Kaolin VanDomelen took the loss in the opener, throwing nine shutout innings before giving up five runs in the 10th. Alyssa Burke was the winning pitcher in the opener and took the loss in the second game. North Dakota and Portland State finish off the Big Sky series with a third game this afternoon. (Check out more photos from Russ Hons here.)

RUSS HONS: Photo Gallery — University Of North Dakota vs. Portland State University

The University of North Dakota men’s basketball team clinched its first regular season conference title in 22 seasons with an 82-73 victory over Portland State University on Saturday in Betty Engelstad Sioux Center. Just like he’s done all season, Quinton Hooker led the way for the Fighting Hawks (19-9 overall, 14-4 Big Sky), scoring 29 points against the Vikings (14-15, 7-11), who were paced by Traylin Farris with 17 points and Calaen Robinson with 15 points. UND’s Geno Crandall chipped in 21 points, eight assists, and seven rebounds in the winning cause. With the win, UND heads to Reno, Nev., as the No. 1 seed in the Big Sky Tournament. The Fighting Hawks play their first game Thursday against the winner of No. 8 Portland State and No. 9 Northern Arizona. (Check out more photos from Russ Hons here.)

 

 

RUSS HONS: Photo Gallery — University Of North Dakota vs. Idaho State University

Makailah Dyer scored a team-high 21 points, her 17th career 20-point night, as the University of North Dakota women’s basketball team maintained a share of the Big Sky Conference lead with a 63-56 win over Idaho State University on Thursday night in Betty Engelstad Arena. The Fighting Hawks (17-8, 12-2) also received double-digit scoring from Lexi Klabo and Samantha Roscoe, each with 10 points. The Bengals (14-10, 8-5) were paced by Estafania Ors, who had a game-high 22 points off the bench. North Dakota returns to play Saturday, when it hosts Weber State at 2 p.m. (Check out more photos from Russ Hons here.)

RUSS HONS: Photo Gallery — University Of North Dakota vs. University Of Northern Colorado

Quinton Hooker scored a game-high 26 points to lead the University of North Dakota men’s basketball team to an 87-77 overtime victory over Northern Colorado in Big Sky Conference action Saturday in Betty Engelstad Sioux Center. The Fighting Hawks (13-8, 8-3 BSC) trailed almost the entire portion of regulation, holding only a 4-2 advantage early in the contest before claiming the win against the Bears (8-14, 4-7 BSC). Four other UND players finished in double figures in scoring. Connor Avants had 15 points, Gino Crandall and Corey Baldwin chipped in 13 and 12 points, respectively, and Cortez Seales added 11. Chaz Glotta led the Bears with 22 points, while Jordan Davis added 18 points and Jonah Radebaugh had 11. UND returns to play next week, hosting Eastern Washington University on Thursday. (Check out more photos from Russ Hons here.)

RUSS HONS: Photo Gallery — University Of North Dakota vs. Southern Utah University

The University of North Dakota women’s basketball team used a balanced attack — four players scored in double figures — en route to a 75-70 win over Southern Utah University in Big Sky Conference play on Thursday night in Betty Engelstad Sioux Center. The Fighting Hawks (13-7, 8-1 BSC) were led by Fallon Freije’s 16 points. Lexi Klabo and Makailah Dyer each chipped in 13 and Samantha Roscoe added 11. The Thunderbirds (5-14, 0-8) were paced by Darri Frandsen with 16 points, Rebecca Cardenas with 13, Skylee Doman with 12 and Whitney Johnson with 10. Next up for UND is Northern Arizona on Saturday. (Check out more photos from Russ Hons here.)

 

 

RUSS HONS: Photo Gallery — University Of North Dakota vs. Southern Utah University

The University of North Dakota men’s basketball team won its third straight game with a 95-65 Big Sky Conference victory over Southern Utah University on Saturday in Betty Engelstad Sioux Center. Quinton Hooker led the Fighting Hawks (8-6, 3-1 BSC) with 23 points. Josh Collins, filling in as a starter for injured Drick Bernstine added 11 points and 7 rebounds. Also scoring in double figures for UND were Corey Baldwin (14), Geno Crandall (13), Connor Avants (10) and Kienan Walter (10). Leading the Thunderbirds (4-12, 2-1 BSC) was Randy Onwuasor with 19 points. UND returns to play on the road next week for the Big Sky’s Treasure State swing starting Thursday at Montana State.