GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Host North Dakota used an efficient offensive attack to defeat George Washington, 25-15, 25-19, 25-18 Friday morning in the UND Classic at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center. The home team registered just seven attack errors in the win, the 18th time in UND head coach Mark Pryor's tenure that his team has recorded single digits in that statistic.
"Offensively, we did a nice job of being smart with our attacking choices and being patient when it was not an opportune time to swing away," Pryor said. "I thought we can be a little better with our defense in the initial set, and for about half of the second set. We were there, and we got the job done, but it wasn't as effective as we usually are. That's something we can work to improve on for tonight and tomorrow."
Senior Faith Dooley paced the attack, killing 12 balls on just 19 swings and only one error as North Dakota hit at a .350 clip for the match. She teamed with fellow middle Jordan Vail, who had seven kills without an error on 12 attempts as the pair combined to hit .400 for the match.
Dooley had three blocks quickly as UND mounted a 13-3 advantage in the opening set. Tamika Brekke had a pair of service aces in the mix and North Dakota never looked back, winning the first set handily, 25-15.
In the second set, Tamara Merseli and Dooley combined for nine kills on just one error with UND hitting with progressively better numbers from set to set. In the first, the home team hit .276 followed by a .351 second set with a blistering .412 in the final set.
UND wasn't able to pull away in that middle frame until an 8-3 spurt turned an 11-10 deficit into an 18-14 Fighting Hawk lead. In that span, Maggie Smith scored a couple service aces, part of seven on the match for the winners.
In the final third set, North Dakota only had two attack errors and put the finishing touches on its fifth straight sweep and seventh overall win, with a 25-18 final score.
UND will host Appalachian State, who defeated South Dakota State, 3-1, in the opener of the tournament, Friday at 7:00 p.m.
Notes: UND has now won 13 straight home matches, dating back to last season ... The all-time series between the schools is now tied at one apiece ... UND's seven attack errors were a season low ... Smith's two service aces were a career best ... North Dakota has not allowed an opponent to score 20 points in any set in either home win so far this season.
-- UND --