GRAND FORKS, N.D.-- North Dakota led throughout most of the opening set, but 15th-ranked Iowa State pulled out a close first-set win and pulled away late for a 3-0 (25-22, 25-17, 25-10) win Friday night at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center. ISU went 2-0 during the opening day of the UND Classic.
"I liked the level of volleyball we were able to play coming out of the locker room against a ranked team and having a lead," UND head coach Ashley Hardee said. "Obviously the game got away from us but we played some good volleyball early. We've got some things to correct and we'll do that and be ready for some more good teams Saturday."
UND, in fact, led early and had the Cyclones back on their heels in that opening set, using a charged-up crowd of 1,286 to garner an early edge. It was the defense that provided the edge in that first set as North Dakota held the ISU attack to just a .196 clip in the first set.
North Dakota held a lead as large as 16-11 in frame number one after junior Lexi Robinson's fifth kill of the night. ISU (2-0) battled back to score six of the next seven points to tie the score at 17-17, then closed out the set with a 25-22 win.
That win seemed to awaken the Iowa State offense as ISU charted just two attack errors the rest of the match, hitting .419 in set two and a hefty .542 in the final set-- without an error. The turning point came with the score 13-apiece in the second set before five straight Cyclone points helped propel ISU to a 25-17 victory.
The Cyclones then scored 17 of the final 21 points of the night in the third set to close out the win and remain undefeated in the Classic. All three matches Friday were sweeps with Iowa State and Texas A&M each claiming 3-0 wins over South Dakota State in earlier contests.
Robinson led UND with 12 kills while senior Lisa Parlich added 10 on just 17 swings. Mackenzie Bigbee led all players with 13 kills for Iowa State.
UND concludes its tournament with a pair of matches on Saturday. North Dakota will take on South Dakota State at 1:00 p.m. before the tourney finale against Texas A&M at 7:00 p.m.
Notes: Friday marked the collegiate debuts for three UND players: Chelsea Moser, Anna Pioske and Candice Yager ... Announced crowd of 1,286 was larger than any home crowd last season and best since a 2011 match vs. North Dakota State (2,394).
Other UND Classic Matches Friday
Iowa State 3, South Dakota State 0 (25-17, 25-12, 25-18)
Texas A&M 3, South Dakota State 0 (25-10, 25-12, 25-12)