Munkeby kills 1,000

Senior captain sets personal kill record, helps North Dakota to two more victories.

UND senior captain Ronni Munkeby is presented with the game ball by UND coach Ashley Hardee after tallying her 1,000 kill Saturday afternoon. Photo by Chester Beltowski.

Senior captain Ronni Munkeby got her 1,000th career kill Saturday afternoon during North Dakota’s second sweep of the weekend. The Green and White bounced back quickly from their recent loss to Northern Arizona, capturing victories against Montana on Thursday and Montana State on Saturday in Grand Forks.

“I think it’s a goal for any athlete to go out and set goals when you’re young into the program, and this was one of mine,” Munkeby said. “I told Nikki (Husfeldt) and Ellen (Krueger) both thanks to them a ton; it wouldn’t be possible without them and then everybody that stands behind them.”

Munkeby reached her milestone with a combined 15 kills on the weekend, becoming the 15th player in UND history to hit the four-digit mark.

She slammed down her 1,000th kill straight to the floor off a well-placed quick-set from Nikki Husfeldt early in set three against Montana State — the crowd rising to its feet for a standing ovation. UND coach Ashley Hardee proceeded to call a timeout and present Munkeby with the game ball.

“It’s great to do it here at home, and it’s such an accomplishment to be able to do that, and the number of games and the role that you have to play in order to be able to accumulate that many kills over a career,” Hardee said. “She’s been fantastic, and I can’t wait to see the few more games we have left to play this season.”

Beating Montana

North Dakota had a strong start to Thursday’s match against Montana (9-11, 6-5 Big Sky) with three kills right away in set one. The women kept the lead throughout the set, out-hitting UM .342 to .050.

The second set was a battle, with seven tie scores and two lead changes. Again, UND had the first kill and held on to the lead.

Ellen Krueger came in cold in the final few plays to get the two kills back to back, clinching set two for the home team.

North Dakota went into the break with a 2-0 lead, and came back to win set three with ease by a margin of 10. The final scores were 25-12, 25-19 and 25-15.

Junior Emily Asche led the way for North Dakota with 10 kills, while Lisa Parlich, Anna Pioske and Munkeby each added nine.

The second sweep

UND’s second win of the weekend against Montana State (5-18, 3-9 Big Sky) brought the team’s record to 11-1 in the Big Sky Conference, keeping it in the No. 1 spot. The Green and White won 25-13, 25-21, and 25-21.

The eventful match attracted more than 800 fans. North Dakota blazed through set one, winning by 12 points.

The UND women held the Bobcats to a -.226 attacking percentage, leaving Hardee proud of the strong defense.

“We didn’t hit at a great percentage, but we did a good job defensively and blocking,” Hardee said. “Lauren Clarke set the tone early … she did a great job digging.”

Despite the team’s strong start, the second and third sets proved more problematic for the home team. Montana State went on multiple runs in its attempt for a comeback. The visitor’s efforts were not enough to break through UND’s defensive barrier as North Dakota finished the match with four more blocks and 12 more kills than the Bobcats.

“We had a loss against Northern Arizona last weekend,” Hardee said. “To know that we can have an off night, but to know that we can rebound from that and keep playing well as a team is definitely huge going forward.”

Munkeby had seven kills on the night, putting her at 1,001 total kills in her career. Freshman Anna Pioske led the team in kills with 15, with co-captain Lisa Parlich adding in nine more. Clarke ended the match with 11 total digs, and setter Nikki Husfeldt had 30 assists.

UND will hit the road again for its next couple of matches to take on Idaho State on Friday and Weber State on Saturday.

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