MISSOULA, Mont.-- North Dakota swept Montana, 3-0 (25-20, 25-23, 25-18) to stay perfect in Big Sky Conference play Saturday evening. A trio of UND players tallied double-digit kill totals with a match-high 13 coming from senior Ronni Munkeby.
"This group has shown a lot of composure and focus in the last couple of weeks," UND head coach Ashley Hardee said. "It's really good to see this early in conference play."
UND (6-7, 2-0), who came into the week as the league leader in hitting percentage, once again hit well to complete a road sweep of the Montana schools. North Dakota outhit the Griz .288 to .064 Saturday.
North Dakota took the first set, 25-20, with help from a mid-set 10-3 run that flipped a 16-11 deficit into a 21-19 lead. Sophomore Lauren Clarke helped put a seal on the final points, serving the final three points, including a pair of service aces.
The second set was a back-and-forth affair with nine tie scores and three lead changes. Neither team led by more than two points until a quick 5-1 spurt propelled UND in front, 15-11, to force a timeout. Montana (4-7, 1-1) was able to claw back to force two more tie scores, but a kill from Munkeby broke a 23-all tie and a Griz attack error gave UND a two-sets-to-none lead heading into the locker room.
In the deciding set, UND did not let off the gas, mounting a 13-7 advantage and never looking back. Four different players recorded kills in that run as Ellen Krueger, Lexi Robinson and Munkeby each charted four kills in the final set alone. North Dakota hit a productive .378 with just three attack errors in that final frame.
Munkeby led all players with 13 kills while Ann Pioske and Lisa Parlich each chipped-in 11. Nikki Husfeldt had 46 assists and 11 digs for UND.
North Dakota returns home for its next three matches, hosting Weber State and Idaho State on Thursday and Saturday, respectively, before a Sep. 30 battle with in-state rival North Dakota State.