UND ousts Weber State 3-1 to clinch Big Sky berth
Courtesy: Mitch Wigness, UND Media Relations
"Blocking tonight was huge, led by Ronni Munkeby and Emily Thompson," UND head coach Ashley Hardee said. "We had 13 as a team after the second set and that presence was huge."
UND (18-8, 13-1 Big Sky) leads sixth-place Northern Colorado by seven games with six to play, clinching a Big Sky Conference Tournament berth for North Dakota for the second straight season. UND sits atop the league standings, leading second-place Portland State (11-3) by two games.
North Dakota, for the second straight night, was led by freshman Anna Pioske, who recorded a match-high 21 kills. The Waconia, Minn., native produced 44 kills combined in UND's two wins this weekend (at Idaho State Friday).
WSU (7-21, 3-11) was outhit .241-.150 for the match and totaled 28 attack errors, thanks in part to 16 total blocks for North Dakota. UND got out to a quick start in the match, tallying an eight-point lead at 14-6 as the visitors led wire-to-wire in a 25-23 first-set victory.
The second set started out much the same way with UND holding leads of 5-1 and 13-6. That set went to UND, 25-18 with the final point coming on North Dakota's 13th block of the evening as Munkeby and Ellen Krueger helped give UND a 2-0 lead in the match.
Coming out of the intermission, Weber State scored four straight points to break a 6-all tie and never looked back to take a 25-22 decision in the third set.
The fourth set was all North Dakota as a 7-1 mid-set run helped propel UND in front, 23-13. From there, a kill by Lisa Parlich and another by Chelsea Moser put the match away.
Pioske's 21 finishes came on 40 swings with six errors for a .375 hit percentage. Parlich added 12 kills and Munkeby chipped-in nine kills for the UND offense. Munkeby also led the defense with eight total blocks while Lauren Clarke tallied 19 digs in the win.
North Dakota returns home to host Northern Colorado and Sacramento State on Friday and Saturday, respectively. First serve both days is slated for 7:00 p.m.