NEW ORLEANS, La.-- Behind a career-high 23 kills from senior co-captain Lisa Parlich, the University of North Dakota defeated Florida A&M, 3-2 (25-20, 23-25, 20-25, 25-12, 15-9) Friday afternoon in the opening match of the Allstate Sugar Bowl Collegiate Classic hosted by Tulane University. Parlich bested her career mark by a half-dozen, tallying her 23 finishes on just 37 swings to hit .568 for the match.
"We made a great run at the end of the second set and were a bit unfortunate not to win it," said UND head coach Ashley Hardee. "Our serving came back to life in the final two sets to get us through."
Parlich had six kills in the first set alone as UND hit a whopping .519 in the first frame en route to a 25-20 win. She added seven more in the second set, but FAMU (2-5) was able to sneak out a close 25-23 win despite UND rallying from down 22-14 to even things up at 23-all.
The Rattlers took momentum into the third set, winning 25-20 for a two-sets-to-one lead. But, North Dakota swung the pendulum its way, dominating in the fourth set by outhitting its opponent .520 to -.048. The convincing win (25-12) evened the match in a set that featured a 7-1 run to start things book-ended by a 9-1 stretch over the final 10 points.
In the deciding set, Lexi Robinson generated four of her 14 kills while Ronni Munkeby added three and Parlich finished her career performance with two more. North Dakota hit .305 in the win, easily its highest hitting percentage of the season.
North Dakota (2-6) takes on Texas Southern later tonight (5:30 p.m.) at the tournament.