Bison volleyball falls into tie for 1st place after loss to Fighting Hawks

Senior Syra Tanchin reaches 1000th hit mid-game

The North Dakota State University volleyball team’s clean 5-0 Summit record came to an end at a full house game against the University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks at Bentson Bunker Fieldhouse Saturday night. The two teams were neck and neck throughout most of the match with the Bison eventually losing to the Hawks 3-2 by scores of 25-23, 17-25, 25-20, 23-25, and 11-15. 

The Bison, the Fighting Hawks, and the University of South Dakota Coyotes are now in a 3-way tie for 1st place in the Summit League with 5-1 records.

Both teams started strong in the first set, managing 9 ties with their short rallies. However, because of the Fighting Hawks’ inability to keep hits from going out or past the Bison’s defensive blocks, the Bison (12-6, 5-1 Summit) were able to keep on top of the score for the entire set and won 25-23.

The Fighting Hawks (8-9, 5-1 Summit) came back with a vengeance on the second set, especially after the intense “booing” from Bison fans in response to Jesse Tupac’s, Head Coach of the Fighting Hawks, first of four challenged calls that night. As the Bison danced their way back onto the court after keeping their point, they quickly lost their spark and lost the set 17-25.

The third set started off with the Fighting Hawks’ lead, but with consistent kills from Syra Tanchin (8 kills) and Michelle Glover (6 kills), the Bison took the set 25-20. Tanchin also earned the 1000th kill of her career early on in the set. 

Going into the 4th set, the Bison struggled to set the ball up and send attacks over the net. Eventually, they managed to take the lead and the Fighting Hawks called a timeout at 21-19. After Tupac’s 3rd challenged call that resulted in his favor, the Fighting Hawks regained focus and shot back with a 23-25 win.

Either team had the chance of winning the last set, but it was up to the mental game of the players to determine who would come out on top. The Bison led the set at 8-7 before the teams switched sides to play the remaining points.

With Tupac’s final challenged call of the night, the Fighting Hawks turned an 11-12 deficit into a 12-11 lead. From that point on, the Bison could not gain back their lead and lost the final set 11-15 and the match 3-2.

NDSU forward Syra Tanchin prepares to deliver a kill against North Dakota on Saturday night at The Bentson Bunker Fieldhouse. Hayden Austin | Photo Credit

Tanchin ended the game with 23 kills totaling 1,014 kills throughout her four-season career and ranks 25th on the all-time kills list. She is also one of eight players to reach the mark in the NDSU Division I era, according to NDSU Athletics. 

In a preseason interview with Jennifer Lopez, Head Coach of the NDSU volleyball team, she stated that Tanchin would be a huge impact player for the upcoming season. “Your six rotation kids, or hitters, get a lot more vision and more love because they score most of the points,” Lopez explained. “…Syra Tanchin…being a huge impact player on what is about to happen this season.”

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