OXFORD, Miss.-- North Dakota opened its 2017 campaign with a 3-0 sweep over Chattanooga in the opening match of the Ole Miss Rebel Invitational Friday. UND improves to 3-1 in season openers under head coach Mark Pryor.
Senior Faith Dooley was the statistical leader, killing a team-high eight balls and adding five total blocks. Senior setter Sydney Griffin chipped in 27 assists to go along with six digs, four kills and two service aces. Senior Tamara Merseli, junior Jordan Vail and sophomore Ashley Brueggeman each contributed a half-dozen kills in the win.
"Good first win," Pryor summed. "There were major nerves that we knew were going to be there, but once we got into the match more, it got better."
UND (1-0) sprung free from a 12-all tie in the first set with a Dooley kill, an Alivia Fraase ace and then a pair of Griffin kills to claim the lead for good. The Fighting Hawks took the opening set, 25-20.
In set two, it was a 10-4 spurt early that got UND out in front with the end of that run seeing back-to-back Griffin aces. The Mocs (0-1) kept pace and trailed just 23-22 late, but Dooley made it set point then UND finished the frame with a 25-22 victory to lead the match, 2-0.
The final stanza was all North Dakota as the Hawks jumped out to a 4-1 start and never looked back. A key stretch was an Ashley Brueggeman kill that kickstarted an 11-2 run midway through before a 25-15 finish and UND's first sweep of the season.
North Dakota will face the host Rebels later Friday evening. The match was scheduled to start at 6:00 p.m. Central but is likely to be a delayed first serve due to other matches lasting longer.