Streak halted at 10 games

ROADTRIP Volleyball team wins Southern Utah battle, falls to Northern Arizona.

North Dakota took its first Big Sky Conference loss this past weekend against Northern Arizona (25-12, 25-23, 25-22), despite a 3-0 sweep of Southern Utah on Thursday (25-17,25-14, 25-18).

Ronni Munkeby once again led UND on the court Thursday with nine kills and zero errors, hitting an impressive .562 on the night.

The women out-blocked the Thunderbirds seven to five, holding the home team’s attacking to a mere .068. UND also proved strong in the back row with 51 total digs compared to SUU’s 39.

“It was a very solid defensive performance from our group tonight,” UND head coach Ashley Hardee said. “That’s good to see as we approach the halfway point that we are improving on that side of the ball.”

North Dakota battled through the first set, which consisted of 10 tie scores and five lead changes, pulling through for the first of its three set wins. The Green and White put away the next two sets, ultimately sweeping SUU for their ninth Big Sky win.

Streak Halted

UND (14-8, 9-1 Big Sky) came into Saturday night’s late game with the momentum of a winning streak to its advantage, but was unable to add another victory to it.

NAU (13-6, 7-3) hit .500 in the first set and tallied seven service aces along with 12 blocks throughout the match — in the end giving North Dakota its first Big Sky Conference loss. Munkeby added 16 kills to her career stats, but her efforts weren’t enough to top the Lumberjacks.

The first set was the toughest for North Dakota, which lost by a margin of 13 points. Northern Arizona showed strength as a team defensively and offensively Saturday, keeping UND to -.040 in the first set, one of the lowest attacking percentages for North Dakota this year.

Sets two and three were much closer, UND battling back from multiple-point deficits more than once to get back in the game but unable to close out at the end. North Dakota only led once in the entire match during the third and final set, which didn’t last long.

There were nine total tie scores, as the UND women were able to show their attacking ability more in the second and third sets, hitting .268 and .175, respectively.

Also with kills Saturday were outside hitters Emily Thompson and Anna Pioske, who each ended the night with seven.

The Green and White will host their next two games at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center, where they will play Montana on Thursday and Montana State on Saturday.

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