Balanced attack lifts UND to 3-0 in league play
Courtesy: Mitch Wigness, UND Media Relations
In the first set, UND took the lead for good on the service of senior Ellen Krueger. The Lakeville, Minn. product churned out a pair of aces during a four-point run that saw North Dakota grab an 11-7 edge. The Wildcats closed to within a point at 18-17, but a 5-1 stretch by the home team helped close out the opening set, 25-22.
Six consecutive points in the early portions of the second frame forced WSU (4-13, 0-3 Big Sky) to burn a timeout with UND out to an 8-1 advantage. Ronni Munkeby finished off the set as UND boasted that balanced attack with eight kills apiece from her, Lexi Robinson and Lisa Parlich to go along with seven from freshman Anna Pioske through two sets.
WSU had the early momentum in the third set but Parlich answered with four kills in a run that retied the score at 8-all. It was a crazy final set that featured 14 tie scores and five lead changes, including plenty of drama at the conclusion.
Facing set point with WSU up 25-24, Pioske went cross-court for a kill to tie it at 25-all. Then with Weber again ready to close out the third set, Robinson this time sent a kill down the line and it was 26-apiece. She later made it 28-27 and the match was complete on a kill from Munkeby to give North Dakota its 600th win in the program's history (119 at the NCAA Division I level).
Robinson and Parlich each finished with a match-high 14 kills with Munkeby adding 10 and Pioske nine more. UND hit .364 in the match, including .392 after the first set.
North Dakota will host Idaho State Saturday, a team picked to finish second in the Big Sky preseason poll. First serve is slated for 7:00 p.m. at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center.
Notes: Thursday's win marked the 600th victory in program history at UND ... North Dakota is the lone 3-0 team in the league (Portland State and Northern Arizona are each 2-0 through Thursday).