EL PASO, Texas-- New Mexico was the latest team caught in the buzzsaw that is the North Dakota volleyball team, who swept past the Lobos Saturday afternoon, 25-23, 25-15, 25-22 to improve to 8-1 on the season. Senior Faith Dooley again led the offense, registering 12 kills while fellow senior Teodora Tepavac had four service aces and 15 digs, powering the back row.
"This was a real solid performance overall," UND head coach Mark Pryor said. "Sydney Griffin had a great match and her decision making was both very perceptive and deceptive, which in turn allowed our hitters lots of one-on-ones.
"A lot of the credit in this match goes to our back row play of our defensive specialists, Teodora Tepavac and Tamika Brekke, and our libero Alivia Fraase. They were relentless on defense and very steady in the receive game."
Griffin flirted with a triple-double, coming just one kill shy with nine kills, 11 digs and 34 assists. UND hit at a .311 clip, including .593 in that desicive second set. Tamara Merseli and Jordan Vail each had nine kills while Ashley Brueggeman added eight with the Fighting Hawks tallying just 10 attack errors as a team.
It was a see-saw first set with seven tie scores and three different lead changes, but North Dakota (8-1) was able to persevere with a 25-23 win. The second set was all Fighting Hawks. UND led throughout and thanks to Tepavac, lengthened its lead quickly. With the score 11-7 UND, Tepavac toed the service line and ripped off three aces in the span of four points to propel North Dakota to a nine-point lead and a Lobo timeout. UND would finish the frame hitting .593 with a convincing 25-15 score.
In the third, North Dakota continued its efficient offensive attack, hitting .312 with just three attack errors in the entire set, completing the sweep with a 25-22 victory. It was UND's second straight sweep and its third of the season.
North Dakota wraps up a crazy 10-match, nine-day stretch when it plays host UTEP tonight at 8:30 p.m. Central. UND will open its home schedule Wednesday, Sep. 6 against North Dakota State on Midco Sports Network.
Notes: Tepavac's four aces were a UND career high ... Griffin notched her third double-double of the season ... UND has hit over .300 for a second consecutive match (.338 Friday vs. Youngstown St.) ... North Dakota has won 25 of its last 28 matches, dating back to last season.