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Dragons senior Volkert trying to add to an already storied career

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Minnesota State Moorhead senior point guard Jacky Volkert holds the career assists record for the Dragons. Bridget Larson / SPX Sports

MOORHEAD — Since Jacky Volkert joined the Minnesota State Moorhead women’s basketball program, the team has won 94 games. She’s been part of three Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference regular-season championship teams and four North Division title teams.

The 5-foot-7 point guard also owns the career assists record for the Dragons. MSUM has won at least 20 games in each of her four seasons, including three as a starter.

“When I look at her I think, that’s how a career should be,” Dragons head coach Karla Nelson said. “For the most part, I probably couldn’t have written it better.”

Nelson then added: “The ending can be better this weekend.”

That’s because one of the things Volkert hasn’t accomplished in her decorated career with MSUM is win an NCAA Division II tournament game. She has a chance to change that at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 15, when the Dragons (26-6) play Minnesota-Duluth (23-6) in the first round of the Central Region in Hays, Kan.

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“Being it is my last year, I really haven’t been afraid of anything,” said Volkert, who is from Arden Hills, Minn. “We really haven’t had anything to lose. … I don’t feel pressured to perform, just ready to play, ready to have fun.”

Volkert was a late addition to the 2015-16 recruiting class, not signing with the Dragons until April of 2015.

“We hit the jackpot on that one,” Nelson said with a smile.

“Coming in as a player, I did not expect anything,” Volkert said. “I just wanted to get better. I wanted to grow.”

Volkert has done both.

She is the lone senior for a Dragons team that has won a program-record 26 games, heading into Friday’s game against Minnesota-Duluth. Nelson said Volkert’s belief in herself has grown from her first year in the program, and she’s developed into a vocal leader.

“If there’s a little detail that’s off or you could do something better, Jacky will always point it out,” said Dragons junior Megan Hintz, who leads the team in scoring with 15.6 points per game. “We do things a certain way around here and she holds herself to that standard, which I respect.”

Volkert has 505 career assists, averaging 4.3 per game over four seasons. She has 1,312 career points entering her final NCAA tournament, averaging 11.2 points per game for her career. She averaged nearly 18 minutes per game as freshman, coming off the bench, and at least 34 minutes per game in the final three seasons of her MSUM career.

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The 6-foot-2 Hintz has been on the other end of many Volkert assists, as the two have played together for three seasons. Hintz also surpassed 1,000 career points earlier this season. Hintz said Volkert is an adventurous eater who isn’t afraid to try unique foods. Volkert also has a sweet tooth and said she will try any type of candy.

Hintz appreciates the sweet way Volkert directs the team.

“She can usually see what happens before it happens on the court,” Hintz said. “She makes plays happen and she’s good at envisioning that before it actually occurs on the court.”

While Friday could be Volkert’s final game with the Dragons, she doesn’t want the team to play scared.

“Don’t be afraid. There is nothing to be afraid of,” Volkert said. “This is the best time of our life. We may not realize that right now, but I just want all my teammates to feel confident.”

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Minnesota State Moorhead senior point guard Jacky Volkert is averaging 12.5 points per game through 32 games this season. Michael Vosburg / Forum photo editor

Related Topics: BASKETBALL
Peterson covers college athletics for The Forum, including Concordia College and Minnesota State Moorhead. He also covers the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks independent baseball team and helps out with North Dakota State football coverage. Peterson has been working at the newspaper since 1996.
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