GREEN BAY, Wis.-- Senior Tamara Merseli notched her seventh double-double of the season with a match-high 16 kills to go along with 12 digs as North Dakota swept host Green Bay Friday evening. Merseli was just one shy of a season high with her kill output, pacing the Fighting Hawks' offense.
Alivia Fraase had 13 digs while Teodora Tepavac and Merseli each chipped in a dozen for North Dakota. Sophomore Ashley Brueggeman added nine kills as UND hit .231 for the match.
"This was a very positive response for this group," said UND head coach Mark Pryor, whose team fell 3-0 to Cal Poly in earlier action Friday. "Green Bay is going to win a lot in the Horizon League. Being able to win on the road is a skill, and we are trying to learn that.
"As we get closer to Big Sky Conference play, we have to realize how difficult it is going to be. No team has repeated for the last decade. There's a reason. Every team will be giving us their absolute best, and we in turn, have to be ready to match that every night. We have one more match left before conference starts, and IUPUI is going to be a tough match up. I'm looking forward to that test with this group."
Merseli had a half-dozen kills in the opening set alone as North Dakota edged out a 25-21 win. It was a tightly-contested frame throughout until UND broke free from a slim 20-19 lead with three straight points, all on Green Bay miscues, to eventually seal up set one, 25-21.
In the second, it looked very similar with UND up 20-17 when the host Phoenix scored six of the next seven points to take a 23-21 advantage. However, UND responded with a Sydney Griffin kill, a Faith Dooley and Julia Kaczorowska block then two straight Green Bay errors to close the set with four straight points and a 25-23 victory.
In the final set, North Dakota (14-2) forced a quick Green Bay timeout by leaping out to a 5-2 lead. UND would stretch its lead to as many as seven at 17-10, but Green Bay wouldn't go quietly. The Phoenix drew within one at 20-19 but UND got a sideout then was able to stay in front for good with the final point coming on a powerful right-arm swing of sophomore Ashley Brueggeman for her ninth kill of the evening.
North Dakota will play its final match at the Green Bay Country Inn and Suites Invitational Saturday evening when it battles IUPUI. First serve is set for 1:00 p.m.
Notes: UND improves to 6-1 all-time against Green Bay, avenging last season's loss ... Merseli now has 19 career double-doubles in her two seasons at UND ... Freshman Lydia Rutten, making her second career start, recorded a career high with four kills (seven swings) ... North Dakota improves to 14-0 in matches in which it wins at least one set this season.