BOZEMAN, Mont.-- Visiting North Dakota used a quick start to defeat host Montana State, 3-1 (25-12, 25-22, 20-25, 25-14) in the Big Sky Conference opener for both teams Friday night. North Dakota hit .279 in the victory, including .500 in that opening set.
"It is good to get a win on the road to start conference play," UND head coach Ashley Hardee said. "Except for a little stretch in the third set, we were able to sideout very efficiently."
North Dakota (5-7, 1-0 Big Sky) waltzed right through the first set, collecting a 25-12 victory. The visitors led throughout and turned it on at the end, stretching a 16-11 edge into the the a one-set-to-none lead in the match.
In the second set, MSU (2-10, 0-1) led 8-3, but North Dakota stormed back to knot the score at 9-all. After another tie, the score changed hands for good with a 6-1 UND run. North Dakota held off a late Bobcat rally to win, 25-22 and seize control of the match.
The third set saw the home team win 25-20, thanks in part to hitter Kennedie Clute. She powered home the final point in the frame, part of her 28 kills in the match.
The deciding set was all North Dakota. An 11-4 lead was the catalyst for the 25-14 win with kills coming from Lisa Parlich, Lexi Robinson and Ellen Krueger in that stretch. With the score 22-14, UND scored the final three points of the match with a block of Clute, a kill by Ronni Munkeby and another error by the Bobcat hitter to finish things off.
Munkeby led the UND offense with 13 kills with just three errors. Robinson added 11 kills and five digs with junior Nikki Husfeldt chipped-in 37 assists, eight digs, six kills and four total blocks. Krueger also provided five kills without an error to go along with six helpers and eight digs.
UND ends the road trip with a 8:00 p.m. Central match at Montana Saturday. The Griz swept reigning Big Sky tournament champion Northern Colorado, 3-0, Friday night.