GRAND FORKS, N.D.-- Stephen F. Austin shook off a first set defeat and UND fell, 3-1 (25-13, 27-29, 23-25, 12-25) in the final match of the UND Classic completed Saturday night at Betty Engelstad Sioux Center. Despite the loss, UND takes home the team title for 2012 UND Classic with the best set winning percentage among the three teams tied at 2-1 (.700).
UND (3-3) had a relatively easy time in the first set, running off seven straight points during one stretch to seize control. Dani McNallan had back-to-back service aces and following a pair of Lisa Parlich kills, the home team led comfortably, 17-9. North Dakota outhit the Ladyjacks .347 to .000 in the opening frame and appeared to be in cruise control.
North Dakota, however, found itself down late in the second set. UND had rallied from late deficits in two other sets this weekend and looked to turn the trick one more time facing a 24-21 hole. Four straight UND points energized the crowd and North Dakota had three different opportunities to close out the set but couldn't fully complete the comeback with SFA stealing the 29-27 win.
SFA (5-2) rode that momentum from the thrilling second set to an 18-13 lead in the third set. A pair of Munkeby aces inched the score within two, 21-19. The Ladyjacks held a 23-19 advantage, putting them in position to lead the match. UND was again poised for a rally, but fell just short with the visitors winning, 25-23.
The hangover from the second set seemed to set in for North Dakota and SFA raced out to a 14-3 lead and never looked back, winning the match and snapping UND's nine-match home winning streak.
Junior Lisa Parlich, with her team-leading 12 kills Saturday night, was named the tournament's most valuable player. She joined teammates Lauren Clarke and Nikki Husfeldt on the all-tournament team.
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UND heads to South Dakota State Tuesday for a non-conference affair with the Jackrabbits. Match time is slated for 7:00 p.m. A free video webcast will be available on UNDSports.com.
2012 UND CLASSIC ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Amber Aschoff- South Dakota
Britt Groth- Green Bay
Katzy Randall- SFA
Madison Hanlan- SFA
Lauren Clarke- UND
Nikki Husfeldt- UND
Lisa Parlich- UND (tournament MVP)
Notes: UND lost its first match at the UND Classic since its inception, dating back to last season (5-1) ... North Dakota has had six players named to the UND Classic All-Tournament Team in the two years of its existence ... UND's win earlier in the day against Green Bay was its 200th all-time at home ... North Dakota is 61-30 at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center all-time and 139-154 at the UND Fieldhouse/Hyslop ... UND has had four different players lead the team in kills in its six matches this season (Parlich-3, Asche, Munkeby, Robinson) ... North Dakota is now 100-27 (.787) in the NCAA Division I era.