Volleyball cruising into Big Sky Conference play

UND taking strong 11-5 record into important game against Eastern Washington

The University of North Dakota volleyball team will be looking forward to going into their first conference match after a successful week on the road.

After taking home the UND Classic last weekend, the Green and White kept the ball rolling against Austin Peavy, winning their match 3-1.

“We won. That’s it. That’s all. That’s the only thing anyone here should be pleased with,” UND coach Mark Pryor said. “Every match matters.”

After the midweek showdown, UND headed to St. Louis, Miss. to take part in the Billiken Invitational to face off first against Tennessee-Martin.

However, the Skyhawks effort was to be in vain as UND swept them 3-0. Not only was it efficient, there were only four attack errors committed by the ladies in green. It was the 10th time in coach Pryor’s tenure where attack errors were held in the single digits.

“This match was a good opportunity for us to get some younger players in,” Pryor said. “It was nice to see them play a little more calm and collected.”

They say all good things must come to an end. Unfortunately for UND, the streak for nine wins was stopped by St. Louis University.

The Billikens came in determined to not lose in their own tournament. After losing the first set, they went out firing by defeating UND by a score of 3-1.

“I know that our players are really upset about this one,” said coach Pryor. “Saint Louis is playing really well right now and we had multiple chances. We just did not pass well enough tonight, plain and simple. I’ve got to credit the Billikens for being excellent at the service line tonight.”

It wasn’t long until UND was back in the win column though, as the Green and White came back with a vengeance after the defeat, dismantling Arkansas-Pine Bluff by a score of 25-7 in the first set which tied the record for most points allowed in set in the school’s rally score era. UND would go on to win the game 3-0.

“We got everybody some playing time this morning, and that helped rest some people,” said Pryor after the first game Saturday. “We had some mental lapses with us having a revolving door with subs, but overall we got the job done.”

The final match would be against USC-Upstate but yet again UND went on to secure the victory over Upstate, winning 3-1.

“I could not be more pleased with our effort today in that last match,” Pryor said. “We did not have a lot of gas left in the tank, but each kid gave all they had. It was a pretty good showing of resilience from this group.”

With the lone loss on the road, UND will head to Eastern Washington to open up Big Sky play with a record at 11-5. While Eastern Washington is 5-6, the Eagles won their last game over the Corban Warriors and are looking to gain momentum against the Green and White.

UND will have the match versus Eastern Washington and Idaho before coming home October 1st to keep their record at the Betty unblemished for the season.

Jack Harvey is a sports writer for The Dakota Student. He can be reached at [email protected]