Box score (.pdf)
COLLEGE STATION, Texas-- The University of North Dakota volleyball team gave fifth-ranked Southern California all it could handle in the opening match of the Texas A&M Invitational Friday morning in the season opener for both teams. USC would take the match, 3-0 (25-20, 25-23, 25-21), but the Trojans were never comfortable as UND matched the Pac-12 power point for point.
"I'm not big on moral victories, but I like how hard we competed," head coach Ashley Hardee said. "We had chances in sets two and three to extend the match but things didn't go our way. Lisa Parlich was great the entire match for us."
Parlich, a junior co-captain, led the UND offense with 11 kills on 25 swings. She added three block assists and a solo block. Sophomore Lexi Robinson, who moved into an attacking role for UND, generated 10 kills and added six digs.
USC (1-0) built an 11-6 advantage in the opening set, prompting a momentum-slowing timeout by UND. It worked as North Dakota (0-1) scored nine of the next 14 points and drew within one at 16-15. But, UND would get no closer and USC took set number one, 25-20.
In the second set, UND took its first lead as Parlich killed the first point of the set and UND would not back down from the national power. USC, again, took an 11-6 lead and again, North Dakota countered. This time, UND clawed all the way back to knot the score at 17-all. With USC sitting on set point at 24-22, Robinson's service ace gave UND a chance to steal a set but Sara Shaw closed it out with one of her 12 kills in the match and USC held a two-games-to-none lead (25-23).
North Dakota would not shy away from the defending Pac-12 champions in set three, holding the advantage for much of the set and building a 12-8 lead. After a USC timeout, the Trojans were able to regroup and re-tie the score on two different occasions before finally wrestling away the lead at 16-15.
UND did not relent and eventually got the equalizer at 19-all and later at 20-apiece. From there, USC got a kill from Katie Fuller, one of her team-leading 14 for the match before the game-winner from Shaw to avoid the upset.
UND will face Texas State later today at 5:30 p.m. The match can be heard live via a webstream here.