Strong Service, Steady Attack Leads Hawks to Five-Set Triumph
TULSA, Okla. (UND Athletics) – In a back and forth battle, the University of North Dakota (1-2, 1-0 Summit) overcame a deuce set loss, and a reversed official review on match point to win its Summit League opener at Oral Roberts (0-3, 0-1 Summit) in five sets Sunday night, 30-32, 25-8, 15-25, 27-25, 15-10.
Three Fighting Hawks tallied 10+ kills in the match, led by Lexi Ahrens’ game-high 17 kills and .447 hitting percentage. Sara Antic and Taylor Riedl also amassed 12 kills from the outside as North Dakota outhit Oral Roberts, .180-.160.
Errors proved to be the biggest difference in the match as the University of North Dakota forced the Golden Eagles into 34 attacking errors while only committing 19 on the attack, despite ORU finishing +15 in kills in the match. North Dakota’s service paid dividends on the scoreboard as well as it tallied 12 service aces in the match, a +4 ratio over Oral Roberts, and also led to nine blocks to the Golden Eagles three in the match.
North Dakota held the biggest lead of the first set at 11-7, but battled point for point with Oral Roberts for the remainder of the set until taking a 30-29. However, ORU won three-straight games to take the early lead. The motivated Fighting Hawks responded in the second set by winning 16 of the final 20 games in the frame and tallied seven aces in the set. With the 25-8 victory, UND recorded its largest margin of victory in a set since Sept. 27, 2014 at Idaho and its first on the road since Oct. 25, 2009 at Chicago State
Oral Roberts responded with a dominant third set to put the advantage back in their court as it it .389 in the set with 17 kills. Though the Golden Eagles continued to pound and attack at the net, tallying 18 kills, North Dakota recorded three blocks and hit a more efficient .200 than the Eagles .141 to force a fifth st.
Though the Golden Eagles mounted a late rally, the fifth set belonged to UND as it controlled the pace and tempo of play with its service as it forced seven attacking errors and sealed the deal with the final service ace of the night.
The bird fight will resume tomorrow night at 7 p.m., and stream live on ORU Sports Network.
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