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UND drops heart-breaker in MTSU Invite finale
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Updated: Thursday 09/07/2013 23:14:23 (ET)
by Mitch Wigness, UND Media Relations
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MURFREESBORO, Tenn.-- The University of North Dakota volleyball team dropped a heart-breaking five-set match to host Middle Tennessee State Saturday evening in the final match of the tournament. UND (1-6) lost its second five-set match in as many days after a 3-0 loss to Virginia Tech in the day's first match.

"We came to this tournament to play good teams and that's what we got," UND head coach Ashley Hardee said. "The results weren't what we wanted, but we battled and we'll grow from losing tight matches like this. It's a long journey to November."

Virginia Tech 3, UND 0 (25-20, 25-16, 26-24)
The Hokies won its third straight match at the Invite-- all in sweeps-- with a 3-0 win over North Dakota Saturday afternoon. VT (6-1) hit .339 in the win and had four different players tally at least nine kills in the win.

North Dakota was led by junior Lexi Robinson offensively, who produced 13 kills on 28 swings while senior Lisa Parlich chipped in eight kills and four total blocks.

The first set was all square at 16-16 until three straight Hokie points vaulted them in front before back-to-back kills by Amanda McKinzie and Victoria Hamsher closed out the set for VT.

The second set was all Hokies after they turned a slim 13-12 lead into 12 of the next 16 points to garner control of the match. VT hit .533 in that second frame alone.

The third set saw UND in front for nearly the duration until the final handful of points. North Dakota held leads of 13-8 and 15-10 but the Hokies came right back with five unanswered to tie the score at 15-15. From there, UND scored three straight of its own, but the score would be knotted six more times until VT got the final two points for the 26-24 set win and the match sweep.

Middle Tennessee State 3, UND 2 (25-18, 14-25, 26-24, 21-25, 15-10)
North Dakota rallied from a seven-point deficit in the fourth set to post a 25-21 win, but could not overcome in the decider as the hosts escaped with a five-set victory.

After MTSU won the opener, 25-18, North Dakota roared back with a convincing 25-14 victory in set two. That momentum couldn't carry over into the third set as UND suffered a 26-24 loss to give the home team the edge.

In that fourth set, MTSU looked in control, jumping out to an 11-4 advantage. A kill by Anna Pioske finally quelled the tide and UND began chipping away.

With the score 16-11, Ronni Munkeby etched a killa nd McKenzie Hart added a service ace to inch within three. Later, Pioske finished akill as did Lisa Parlich to make it 18-17 MTSU. Parlich then teamed with Nikki Husfeldt for a block and a tie score then Husfeldt scored a kill for UND's first lead in the set.

UND would score five of the final six points in that frame for the 25-21 win.

The fifth set saw MTSU get out to a 4-1 lead and coudl draw no closer than two as the Blue Raiders finished off the match with a 15-10 victory.

Parlich had a team-high 16 kills while Munkeby added 14 kills and nine total blocks. Pioske recorded 10 kills and 12 digs.

North Dakota heads to New Orleans, La. to face threeteams in the Allstate Sugar Bowl Collegiate Classic next weekend.

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