Host UNC moves on in Big Sky tournament
UNC, the defending Big Sky tournament champion, used an efficient offense to take early leads in each of the three sets. The Bears had five different players with at least six kills and were led by Kelley Arnold's match-high 13 as UNC hit .382 for the match.
It was a 9-2 spurt to start the match that got UNC off on the right foot. After UND battled to close with three points, the Bears again embarked on a run, scoring 12 straight points to eventually take the first set, 25-13.
The second set saw UND's first lead but it would be short-lived after the home team stretched a 13-11 advantage into a 25-13 win for a set-ending 12-2 run. In the final frame, a 6-1 stretch in the middle of the set helped UNC to a 15-6 margin. UND fought-off three match points but could not complete the comeback, falling 25-19.
The top four seeds in the six-team tournament advanced to the semifinal round (top-seed Portland State and second-seed Idaho State each received first-round byes). ISU will play Northern Arizona in the first semifinal before UNC hosts PSU in the second semifinal Friday night.
Junior Lisa Parlich led the UND offense with 10 kills while sophomore Lexi Robinson added nine.
UND (15-17) concludes its season after qualifying for the postseason tournament in its first year in the Big Sky Conference. North Dakota does not have a senior on its 2012 roster.