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Sweet success, NDSU's Gronner-Roisum flourishing in final season

Brady Roisum was a four-year regular for the Mayville State (N.D.) men's basketball team. The Comets won four conference titles and qualified for the NAIA national tournament twice.

Brady Roisum was a four-year regular for the Mayville State (N.D.) men's basketball team. The Comets won four conference titles and qualified for the NAIA national tournament twice.

It's hard to find better success in any college sport than that.

He enjoyed the friendship with his teammates and he misses the competition, he said.

But he's not totally out of the athletic loop. His wife, North Dakota State volleyball player Jenny Gronner-Roisum, is picking up the family slack just fine.

"She shows more emotion than I did," said Brady, a Pelican Rapids, Minn., graduate who married the Underwood, Minn., graduate last August. "You can tell she's having fun out there."

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It's her fourth year of fun, not counting the knee injury that kept her out of the 2000 season. It's a career that started with promise and is ending with results. Gronner-Roisum is currently eighth all-time in NDSU block-assists with 332.

She's saving her best season for last. She's second on the team in kills with 330 and third the North Central Conference in blocks per game at 1.3. Her season average of 1.54 ranks her 11th in NCAA Division II.

"She's blocking at a level we haven't had since Carrie Jacobson and before that Brenda Schultz," said NDSU head coach Zaundra Bina.

Plus, those numbers don't take into account some of the thunder she's put into striking the ball.

"She's about taken some peoples' head off," Bina said.

She's helped stake the Bison to the NCC lead at 7-1 heading into home matches this weekend against St. Cloud State tonight and Minnesota State Mankato on Saturday. The Mavericks, 4-3, handed NDSU its only league loss last month.

The Bison close their NCC season, then, with four straight road games.

"It's a difficult conference and we need to finish it off," Gronner-Roisum said. "Every weekend something crazy happens. We only have three or four weeks left in the season so there's no time like now. We really have to be determined and seniors like me expect to go a long ways."

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The Bison went a long way -- to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight -- in her freshman year in 1999. She missed the 2000 season after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery.

"That made me a stronger person and more committed to volleyball and working out," she said.

Those are words she's passing on to Bison freshman Chloe Quirk, who is out for the season with a knee injury. She's told her to come back next year with more passion and more determination than she did when she came here this fall. An education major, Gronner-Roisum is a blue-chip prospect in the teaching field after she graduates in May.

"I'm encouraged to know that there are people like her who will be in the teaching field," Bina said. "She's so disciplined. Whichever school district gets her will be lucky."

By then, Brady and Jenny will have college athletics behind them.

"I guess it's going to be different next year," Brady said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack at (701) 241-5546

Jeff would like to dispel the notion he was around when Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press, but he is on his third decade of reporting with Forum Communications. The son of a reporter and an English teacher, and the brother of a reporter, Jeff has worked at the Jamestown Sun, Bismarck Tribune and since 1990 The Forum, where he's covered North Dakota State athletics since 1995.
Jeff has covered all nine of NDSU's Division I FCS national football titles and has written three books: "Horns Up," "North Dakota Tough" and "Covid Kids." He is the radio host of "The Golf Show with Jeff Kolpack" April through August.
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