*Greetings and Happy Friday!
*We start with UND volleyball. On Wednesday, we learned that head coach Ashley Hardee resigned from his position after five years. This coming after he was placed on administrative leave Monday. It was reported that Hardee was the driver of a hit and run accident early Sunday morning in Portland, Oregon while his team was out there for the Big Sky Tournament. No one was injured and allegedly he and five of his players were on their way to the airport. There are still a lot of questions surrounding the incident but the details are starting to file in.
*Hardee's statement that the University released: “I would like to extend a sincere apology to the program, the university
and the community for a serious lapse in judgment." I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work at
the University of North Dakota, and I thank the entire community for
its tremendous support over the past five years.”
*Here is what the Portland State Vanguard reported:
"Officer Rominger responded to University Place Hotel at 5:05 a.m. and
contacted non-student Patricia Sorensen, who reported a hit and run. It
was learned by non-student Dave Krueger that the head coach for the
women’s volleyball team from the University of North Dakota, William
Ashley “Ash” Hardee, was responsible. Non-student Ellen Krueger told her
father, Dave, that Hardee was visibly intoxicated and crashed a rental
GMC Yukon into the Volkswagen Jetta before driving her and another to
Portland International Airport"
*Story from WDAZ Sports
*Story from The Grand Forks Herald
*A source informed WDAZ Sports Hardee "probably should not have been driving" but would not elaborate. We don't know if the incident was alcohol related. Hardee did receive a DUI in June of 2012.
*I will say this: In my short time working with Hardee, (covering his team, interviewing him, etc.) he was always willing to cooperate. The players liked him and played hard for him. His success at UND cannot be ignored. 110 wins to just 44 loses. Three conference championships. The University's first Big Sky championship. The buzz around Grand Forks with the volleyball team this past fall was great. It is too bad, no matter the details yet to come, that it had to end this way.
*The UND men's basketball team is trying to get back on track as the green and white head out to the historic Hinkle Fieldhouse.
Coach Brian Jones needs to do this
*I think this is the game where UND puts it together. The win over NDSU was great but it was the perfect trap for UND. The team was getting pats on the back all week leading up to the tournament out in Oregon and it showed. Some North Dakota fans were drinking the green kool-aid a little too much saying that UND WAS GOING TO SWEEP in Eugene. They did not win a game. The squad looked much better against Oregon and in the first half of Pacific than they did in the Cal Poly game. Pacific might have found the weak spot of UND and that is the zone defense. UND has a lot of players that can take you one on one but now they need to learn how to play as a unit because you can bet zone is going to be thrown at them. UND can take another note from "Hoosiers"
How many passes?! Four!
*I think regardless of the struggles against the zone, coach Jones is happy where his offense is. He is NOT happy with his defense. The squad is giving up almost 84 points a game and it they do want to make the tournament, they have to learn to get stops and turnovers. Preview of the game coming sometime soon. Game is at five on Fox Sports 1.
*Hopping on the ice-The UND men's hockey team is in desperate need of a sweep. They get that chance tonight and tomorrow at Western Michigan. North Dakota has yet to get the brooms out this year and I think they do it this weekend. Two wins gets them back to .500 and I think coach Hakstol and the players would take that going into the break at this point. UND has to get these conference wins for later in the season and after the "all-players" meeting they had this past weekend, the light switch might have flipped on. Let's hope so.
*One thing that we are pretty sure about-The East Grand Forks boys hockey team is the real deal. Tyler Palmiscno's Green Wave are 4-0 and have only allowed one goal. They are also in the driver's seat to win the Gambucci Cup after beating Central and Red River by a combined score of 8-1. They look like the favorite's to win Section 8A and get back to "The X" and with St. Thomas now in AA, who knows what can happen.
*To get ready to cover high school wrestling, I think I'm going to watch the top ten wrestling movies out there. Here they are, one thru ten.
*This is just ridiculous.