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The North Idaho College volleyball team, with an idle week, held onto its No. 2 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division 1 ranking in the 2006 poll released Oct. 11.
The Cardinals, 26-4 this season, prepare for the College of Southern Idaho (CSI) in a pair of home matches with the Golden Eagles on 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13 at and at 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14 in NIC's Christianson Gymnasium.
The Golden Eagles of Twin Falls, Idaho, are currently on probation meaning the team is not able to compete for a championship and is ineligible to participate in postseason play. CSI has won the national title eight times, the most of any NJCAA team. CSI, who also holds the distinction of winning a record 190 consecutive match wins, will face NIC on the heels of an eight-game winning streak.
NIC enters the weekend on a 9-1 roll. With back-to-back victories over the College of Eastern Utah, the Cardinals are prepared for a challenge against their southern rivals.
Western Nebraska Community College, which the Cardinals defeated 2-1 with their only loss of the year in early September at the Salt Lake Community Tournament, continues to lead the national poll at No. 1 with a 37-1 record.
For the Cardinals, Lauren Stern, a sophomore from Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, leads the team and is currently ranked third nationally with more than 12 assists per game.
Outside hitter Cintia Alessi, from Curitiba, Brazil, has a team-leading 52 service aces and 3.6 digs per game. Konae Purcell and Amanda Misa, both from Hawaii, continue to lead the team averaging more than six kills per game.
The Cardinals enter October with five home games. In addition to CSI Oct. 13 and 14, NIC is scheduled to play Snow College, which just fell out of the top 20, on Oct. 26-27, and the College of Eastern Utah on Oct. 28.
Salt Lake Community College, which remained at No. 14 nationally this weekend and is 0-2 this year against the Cardinals, has matches on the road on Oct. 20-21.
North Idaho College represents the only college from the Northwest in the top 20. Ten of the top 20 teams come from Florida and Texas.