- North Dakota def. Idaho 3-0 (25-22, 25-18, 25-21)
- North Dakota improves to 18-2 (3-0 Big Sky); Idaho falls to 7-7 (2-1 Big Sky)
- Grand Forks, North Dakota (Big Sky Match)
- Attendance: 1,333
- Box Score
Grand Forks, North Dakota – North Dakota continued its success in the season and against conference foes of late as they swept Idaho behind a balanced attack for their NCAA-best 18th victory.
Three players led the balanced offense with double-digit kills in Tamara Merseli (14 while hitting .294), Faith Dooley (12 while hitting .550) and Ashley Brueggeman (10 while hitting .350). While they put down the kills, setter Sydney Griffin (39 assists) dished the opportunities out. Merseli was well-balanced too with 10 digs for a double-double.
Sarah Sharp was the only Vandal in double-figures for kills with 12 as Alycia Wodke (16 digs) and Haylee Mathis (30 assists, 10 digs) also stood out in the match.
Overall, North Dakota hit .300 with Idaho at .240 as a .500 set in the second combined with two closer finishes to sum up a three-set sweep and the 16th straight home win.
Moving on from this one, North Dakota sticks around their home court for a tussle with Eastern Washington on Saturday as they now look to extend a five-match winning streak. Idaho on the other hand looks to rebound as they take on Northern Colorado on Saturday night in Greeley, Colorado.
Courtesy of North Dakota:
GRAND FORKS, N.D.—Senior Tamara Merseli had 14 kills and 10 digs to help host North Dakota past Idaho, 3-0, Thursday evening in Big Sky Conference play. UND has now won 16 straight home matches and hasn’t dropped a single set at home in 29 consecutive tries to improve to 18-2 overall, 3-0 in league play.
UND also got double-digit kill totals from senior Faith Dooley(12) and sophomore Ashley Brueggeman (10). Senior Sydney Griffin contributed 39 assists in the win.
North Dakota remains at home and will host Eastern Washington Saturday morning at 11:00 a.m.
Courtesy of Idaho:
GRAND FORKS, N.D.—Idaho volleyball‘s two-match win streak came to an end on Thursday. The Vandals fell in straight sets, 25-22, 25-18, 25-21, to North Dakota inside the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center.
UND (18-2, 3-0 BSC) had three players finish with double-figure kills on the night. The Fighting Hawks totaled 52 kills, the most in a three-set match in the Big Sky this season.
“I thought we did some good things,” head coach Debbie Buchanan commented. “We started to get some productivity from the pins. I just didn’t really feel like we fought in that game. We did not really come out with the intent to try and push and get control. I felt like North Dakota controlled the match and really controlled what we were doing.”
Juniors Sarah Sharp and Haylee Mathis helped carry the Vandals on Thursday. Sharp totaled her fourth double-figure kill match of the season, closing with a team-high 12. Mathis continued to distribute the ball well, passing 1,000 career assists on the night. She handed out 30 assists to give her 1,012 in her second season at Idaho.
“Haylee has been doing some really good things for us,” Buchanan noted. “We are pushing her to keep thinking about we are doing. She is gaining more confidence and consistency all the time.”
Idaho (7-7, 2-1 BSC) opened the match with a 7-5 start. The Vandals were able to keep in front of the Fighting Hawks early on. Two quick points from UND tied the match at nine and then gave them their first lead, 10-9. The big blow in the set came off a 9-1 run for UND, pushing the lead to 19-11. A block from Torrin Crawford and Mathis brought Idaho all the way back to within two at 22-20. Idaho fought off two set-points, before UND was able to prevail, 25-22.
“We had five errors to their 12 in the first,” Buchanan explained. “We just made some errors at critical times.”
The Vandals saw early success in the second, using a 4-0 run to take a 9-8 lead. A 7-0 run put the Fighting Hawks in control, 17-11. A block from Kaela Straw and DeVonne Ryter capped a 4-1 push that cut the UND lead down to four, 21-16. North Dakota hit a match-best .500 percent on the attack in the frame, keeping Idaho out of reach down the stretch.
Idaho saw its lead in the third slip away midway through the set. The Vandals got up 16-11 before UND ran off five straight points to tie the set at 16. Idaho led twice more in the set, the last at 18-17. UND used a 3-0 push to go up 20-18. Idaho had its shot to extend the match when Reece Carman brought the Vandals within in one at 21-20. Idaho could not capitalize with Klaree Hobart at the service line. North Dakota pushed its lead out to 24-20, closing the door on the Idaho comeback.
Straw broke her three-match double-figure kill streak, wrapping up the night win nine. Crawford close out the match with five kills and three blocks. Mathis recorded her third double-double of the season, adding 10 digs to go with her 30 assists.
Tamara Merseli led the match with 14 kills to go with her 10 digs. Faith Dooley added 12 kills, while Ashley Brueggeman closed with 10.
Idaho will next travel to Northern Colorado on Saturday. The Bears hosted Eastern Washington on Thursday.
Fans can stay up-to-date on all things Idaho volleyball by following the team on Twitter and Instagram, @IdahoVolleyball.
For more information on Idaho Athletics, visit GoVandals.com. Fans can also find Idaho on Twitter and Instagram, @Idaho_Vandals, or on Facebook by searching Idaho Vandals.
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