CHENEY, Wash.-- Visiting North Dakota kept host Eastern Washington winless on the season with a 25-20, 18-25, 25-23, 25-16 win Thursday night in Big Sky Conference volleyball play. UND inched back within a game of .500 with the victory and 4-3 in league play.
"Ellen Krueger stepped in and set some for us tonight and did very well," UND head coach Ashley Hardee said. "As a team, we were able to shake off a bad run in the second set and continue to be aggressive. We served it great all night."
Krueger, who set earlier in her career and moved to a hitter role this season, has suffered through injury this season and has been in and out of the starting lineup. Thursday night, Krueger generated a dozen assists in that decisive fourth set to help propel UND to the win.
She would finish with 19 total assists, helping to set-up four different UND hitters with eight or more kills led by sophomore Lexi Robinson's 14. Junior Lisa Parlich added 13 with nine from fellow classmate Ronni Munkeby and eight from Felicia Ulrich.
Eastern Washington (0-18, 0-7 Big Sky), which was picked to finish third in the Big Sky preseason poll, continued its season-long struggles. UND grabbed a 25-20 win in the first set but the Eagles tied the match at one set apiece with a 25-18 score in the second set.
It was midway through set three that North Dakota turned to Krueger to change-up the offense. Down 17-15, Krueger generated a half-dozen helpers from that point on in the third set for a 25-23 UND victory.
In the fourth set, five straight UND points gave the Kelly Green a 17-10 advantage and then another string of five straight points closed out the fourth set as UND registered its second conference road win in three tries.
North Dakota finished with 11 service aces, its second straight match with double-digit totals in that category.
UND continues its road swing Saturday when it heads to first-place Portland State. Match time is slated for 3:00 p.m.