With the pre-conference play schedule not going as planned, the Bison volleyball team looked to get a fresh new start with conference play.
The Bison volleyball team started Summit League Conference play with a victory Friday against Oral Roberts and another win Saturday against Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.
ORU came in with a record of 8-7, IUPUI with a record of 4-11. The Bison came into this weekend supporting a 2-11 record.
North Dakota State got off to a great start with a win over ORU with a score of 3-1 (25-17, 30-32, 26-24, 25-22) on Friday.
The Bison came out firing on all cylinders in the first set and finished with a .481 hitting percentage compared to .118 for Oral Roberts. The Golden Eagles did not look back however, taking the second set with a score of 32-30. The set had seven lead changes and 13 ties to go along with the many featured long rallies from both teams.
In the pivotal third set, the Bison were down by four points numerous times, the last at 11-15 on an ace serve from ORU Laura Milos. NDSU came back with four straight to force the first tie of six ties. The last tie came at 24-all after a solo block from Jessica Jorgensen.
NDSU was able to take advantage on a pair of errors by ORU to win the set 26-24.
In the fourth set the Bison went on a 7-1 run to turn an 8-7 deficit to a 14-9 lead. The Golden Eagles did come with a late rally, but the Bison where able to stop it and win the set 25-22 giving them the win in four sets.
NDSU hit over .300 for only the second time this season (.316). Emily Minnick and Emily Miron both led the team with 13 kills apiece followed Hadley Steffen with 12, and Jorgensen with 11 and Erickson with 10.
The Bison continued to play well Saturday with a 3-0 (25-21, 25-18, 25-20) over the Jaguars of IUPUI.
The Bison were down midway through the first with the score 16-19, but that was after a kill by Jorgensen to give NDSU the serve. Erickson followed the score with two back-to-back aces to make the score 19-all.
After a couple of errors by IUPUI and a kill by Steffen, the Bison found themselves serving for match point at 24-19, eight-point streak. After a few points by the Jaguars, Steffen had another kill to win the set.
NDSU were able to break free in the second set with a streak of five straight and seven out of the next nine to build an 11-8 lead to 18-10. Minnick, Steffen, and Erickson all had kills during the rally.
The Bison had to battle back as IUPUI took a 17-16 lead after a five and six-point rallies in set three. Jorgensen and a pair of kills and double-teamed on a block with Miron, while Morgan Morgan served an ace to keep the Bison in the lead.
Steffen had a team and career high with 16 kills as the Bison hit .295 against the Jaguars. Steffen also contributed 10 digs to complete her fourth ‘double-double’ of the season.
When asked about moving on with the rest of season coach Kari Thompson had this to say. “We’re going to win today. We want to go one and O on today. That’s going to be the same thing next week and that one after it. We are going to have to go on the road the first have of conference. To get these two is nice, especially against some really tough teams. They are going to do well in the Summit League.”
The Bison next play South Dakota 7 p.m. Friday.