GRAND FORKS, N.D.-- North Dakota defeated visiting Montana (25-12, 25-19, 25-15) Thursday night at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center in Big Sky Conference play.
UND (15-8, 10-1 Big Sky) used a balanced attack in gaining its 14th win in its last 16 matches. Emily Asche led the way with 10 kills while Ronni Munkeby, Lisa Parlich and Anna Pioske each added nine in a very balanced North Dakota attack.
North Dakota rolled in the first set, leading wire-to-wire and securing a 25-12 win. UND outhit the Grizzlies .342 to .050 and complemented a balanced attack with four blocks and three service aces. Seven different North Dakota players recorded kills in that first set alone.
The second set saw UND gain another quick lead, 5-1, but had to fend off Montana (9-11, 6-5), who rallied back to tie it at 6-all and seven times had the scored tied in that set. With the score at 17-apiece, UND got back-to-back kills from its senior co-captains Munkeby and Parlich to put the home team on top for good and a 25-19 second set victory.
In the third set, a 9-0 UND run forced Montana to exhaust both of its timeouts in that stretch to attempt to stop the momentum. Nikki Husfeldt's service ace ended the run and Parlich's ninth kill of the match put it in the books.
Montana was led by eight kills from reigning Big Sky Conference Player of the Week Brooke Bray.
North Dakota hosts Montana State Saturday at the Betty. First serve is set for 4:00 p.m.
Notes: UND matched both its overall wins and conference wins from a season ago ... Naomi Dahl made her first start of the season ... Thursday's match was pat of the "North Dakota Strong" campaign, which raised funds for breast cancer research .. UND libero Lauren Clarke donned a pink uniform to support the effort.