EL PASO, Texas-- Two states and two wins in one day for the University of North Dakota volleyball team Friday. After securing a 3-1 win over UNLV in the morning in Las Cruces, N.M., the Fighting Hawks made the trek eastward to El Paso, Texas to battle Youngstown State in the opener of the Glory Road Invitational. North Dakota made quick work of the Penguins, sweeping them 25-21, 25-20, 25-19 to move to 7-1 overall this season.
North Dakota hit at least .300 in all three sets Friday evening, finishing with a season-best .322 clip as a team.
"I was pleased with how the team responded to playing a match in the morning and finishing that, grabbing lunch, getting in the rental vans, crossing state lines, getting to another university, and playing again," UND head coach Mark Pryor said. "It's not something I want to do consistently, but how many teams can say they are playing in two different states in one day?
"We have two more chances to get better tomorrow, and we are going to use those opportunities to continue to test ourselves and see what we can become."
The evening tilt was a see-saw affair in the opening set with 10 tie scores and five lead changes. With the score 20-19 in favor of the Penguins, UND got a Jordan Vail kill to tie it then back-to-back Alivia Fraase service aces to establish the lead for good. Faith Dooley and Tamara Merseli were in on the set-ending block, stamping a 25-21 win for UND.
Again it was tight in the next set before a mid-set run boosted North Dakota in front. Tied at 10-all, UND embarked on an 11-2 run, taking command of the set and the match. They would close the set at 25-20 to lead two sets to none.
In the third, YSU (4-2) took the early jump at 5-2 biut UND countered with a 7-2 stretch of its own moments later and hung on for a 25-19 victory and its first sweep since the season opening win over Chattanooga.
Three UND players finished with double-digit kill totals, paced by senior Faith Dooley's 14. Dooley did not have an attack error in 22 swings and added five blocks and four digs to her stat sheet. Ashley Brueggeman and Tamara Merseli each chipped-in a dozen kills while Sydney Griffin handed out 41 assists. Merseli recorded 11 digs for her fifth double-double.
North Dakota will play two more Saturday at the Glory Road Invitational, getting New Mexico at noon Central followed by the host UTEP Miners at 8:30 p.m.
Notes: Faith Dooley passed Ronni Munkeby into 12th place in the UND career record book for kills (1,123) ... She is now just 28 shy of cracking the top ten list ... UND hit at least .300 in all three sets vs. Youngstown ... Merseli etched her fifth double-double of the season, 17th of her UND career ... Sydney Griffin has now recorded at least 40 assists in all but two matches this season.