GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- The North Dakota volleyball team dominated its in-state rivals Wednesday night in front of the first sell-out crowd in program history. The Fighting Hawks (10-1) pushed their win streak to six overall thanks to a clean sweep of North Dakota State, putting down the Bison 25-18, 25-9 and 25-13.
UND only trailed by more than a point in the third set and quickly extinguished any thoughts of an NDSU rally with a 7-0 run that put the home team ahead for good at 14-9. The Fighting Hawks got five kills from Faith Dooley in the opening set to win that one 25-18 and used a monster 17-3 run to close out the second set to take that one 25-9.
Freshman Lydia Rutten put an exclamation mark on the sweep, finishing off the third set with her second kill of the evening and giving UND its third-straight win over NDSU.
Dooley finished with a team-high nine kills, while Jordan Vail and Ashley Brueggeman each added seven kills. Those three also came up big on the defensive end, cominbing for eight of the Fighting Hawks' 11 blocks.
"This was so much more than a match as a win or a loss," UND head coach Mark Pryor said. "This was an experience, and it was one I know I won't forget and I know the girls won't forget either. We know how lucky we are to have this fan base and we will do everything we can as a program to never forget that, and to make them proud of how hard we play, and who we are as people."
It was decisive from the start. It was a two-point lead for the home team at 16-14 when the Fighting Hawks scored six of the next eight points to effectively end set one, a 25-18 UND victory. In that set, Dooley registered five kills on just six swings while Vail added three on just seven attempts as UND hit .239 in that frame.
The second set was 12-6 in a hurry then North Dakota scored an unreal nine of the final 10 points with the final point coming on a block by Tamara Merseli and Dooley to send the match to intermission, 25-9, and the visitors reeling.
Out of the break, UND got into a rhythm midway through the final session turning a 6-4 deficit into a 16-10 lead and it never looked back.
UND will host George Washington (11:30 a.m.) and Appalachian State (7 p.m.) on Friday and South Dakota State on Saturday (11 a.m.) this weekend at The Betty.
Notes: It marked the first-ever sellout for UND volleyball at the Betty (3,140) ... The previous high was another match with NDSU, four seasons ago (2,688 on Sep. 30, 2013) ... Sophomore Ashley Brueggeman tied a career high with six total blocks ... North Dakota is now 6-2 in the Division I era in the all-time series , including 4-0 at the Betty ... Faith Dooley moved past Heather Hanson (1,145) and into ninth place on UND's all-time kills list (1,150) ... She is 17 shy of Annika Smed for eighth ... North Dakota leads the NCAA in wins this season with 10 ... UND's attendance (3,140) was more than its first 10 road matches combined (2,888) this season ... It was the second-highest attendance for an event at the Betty (3,142, men's basketball vs. NDSU on Nov. 24, 2013) ... North Dakota has won 27 of its last 30 matches, dating back to last season.
-- UND --