Green and White remain undefeated

SUCCESS Green and White remain undefeated in the Big Sky Conference.

Out of the 11 teams in the Big Sky Conference, UND is the only undefeated force.

The UND women’s volleyball team beat Sacramento State 3-1 (23-25, 25-16, 25-17, 25-18) on the road Saturday, clutching its sixth straight win and bringing its conference record up to a still perfect 5-0.

The last nine of 10 matches have been victories for UND, five of which were Big Sky Conference games. So far this year, the UND volleyball team has swept three different teams and won one tournament — and it’s still early in the season.

Already, several of the younger players have shown their worth, and this was demonstrated Saturday in Sacramento, when freshman Candice Yager and sophomore Emily Thompson both contributed to the team’s victory.

“We got a nice lift from Candice Yager and Emily Thompson today,” UND coach Ashley Hardee said. “It’s a long season and we have to continue to get better every day.”

Yager, North Dakota’s backup defensive specialist, finished the match with two service aces and six digs, while Thompson, whose playing has increased in the last few matches, put down seven kills with zero errors and also got three block assists.

Claiming the victory

UND (10-7, 5-0 Big Sky) was tied 10 different times with Sacramento (8-9, 3-3) in set one, ultimately losing the close contention by two points. North Dakota rallied back in the next three games, out-killing the Hornets in its victories with a combined 49 kills to Sacramento’s 28.

UND also was more efficient in its attacking, and this showed in the final hitting percentages of the teams — North Dakota at .336 and Sacramento a lesser .206. There was a total of only three tie scores after set one, as UND took control in set two and held onto it for the rest of the match.

A key component to UND’s high number of kills was freshman Anna Pioske, who has led UND in kills two matches in a row with 15 kills in each. Pioske also assisted in four blocks Saturday, and finished with seven digs and one assist.

Also key player at the net was the ever-dominant senior Ronni Munkeby, who matched Pioske’s 15 kills and added two service aces. Junior Lexi Robinson put down 12 total kills and senior Lisa Parlich added eight, all of these made possible by junior setter Nikki Husfeldt who had a total of 49 assists and five kills on the night.

Starting defensive specialist Lauren Clarke set up four assists and had 22 digs.

North Dakota will face Eastern Washington on Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center. Last year, UND faced the Swoops at home and on the road, winning both matches 3-1.

Marie Monson is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at