The student news site of University of North Dakota

Dakota Student

The student news site of University of North Dakota

Dakota Student

The student news site of University of North Dakota

Dakota Student


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UND Volleyball Drops Homecoming Game in Fifth Set

UNIVERSITY OF NORTH DAKOTA — The head coach of the UND Volleyball team, Jesse Tupac, is ready to turn moral victories into victories on the scoreboard after losing to the University of South Dakota in five sets.  

“Knowing that we’re going the distance with a team that was picked preseason to win the conference is a really good feeling,” Tupac said. “Now, at the same time, we want to turn those points and pull out that fifth set.”  

The University of North Dakota lost to the University of South Dakota in the Betty Engelstad arena in five sets in front of an enthusiastic homecoming crowd.  

As has been the pattern with this team, the University of North Dakota dominated the first set. With great plays by Marissa Stockton and McAllister Gayle contributing to the final score of 25-19.  

The second and third sets went to USD despite UND’s best efforts to overcome multiple extreme deficits, including a 13-4 debt. They lost 25-22 in the second and 25-23 in the third.  

UND would win the fourth set after USD opened the set by scoring two unanswered points. Despite multiple comeback attempts mounted by USD, UND managed to claw their way back to the lead repeatedly during the fourth set, winning 25-23.  

In the fifth set, UND overcame a deficit again and fought back to get the match point. After a failed challenge by USD, the Betty erupted in cheers. However, USD would come back and quickly score 17-16 and win the set on a play challenged by UND’s coaching staff.  

Tupac was proud of his team’s resilience.  

“Yeah, just our ability to fight back,” he said. “Whether it’s in the fourth set, pull that one out, or even coming back from a deficit early on in the fifth set and finding the point we’re at 14-12, and we had match point.” 

Tupac says that their ability to hold on and compete with teams like USD shows great progress from what the team was like when he took over. But they still need to take one extra step to get to that next level.  

He refers to it as “picking the lock,” looking for what needs to happen for them to start winning clinching sets or sets where they mount comebacks.  

“We’ve got those moments where we’re there,” said Tupac. “And so, we continue to pick the lock and find ways to create a little intention and a little urgency.”  


Maeve Hushman is a Dakota Student Sports Reporter. She can be reached at [email protected] 

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