Bump, set, Bison

The NDSU volleyball team hits that mid-season grind

The Herd are about to see what kind of team they really are.

The North Dakota State volleyball team defeated both Purdue Fort Wayne and Western Illinois last week to improve their record to 7-9 on the season. The win over the Mastodons on Friday snapped a five-match losing streak for the Bison. The wins pushed NDSU’s conference record up to 2-2 on the season.

NDSU rallied from a large third set deficit to defeat Purdue Fort Wayne 3-0. Alexis Bachmeier led the charge as she delivered eight of match-high 16 kills in the third set. The Bison trailed by as many as seven points early and were down 23-21 late in the third set. The match was tied at 25 all when the Bison were able to take advantage of two Mastodon errors to take the set and match.

Bachmeier notched a double-double adding 16 digs to go along with her 16 kills. Kalli Hegerle flirted with her fifth triple-double of the season with 22 assists, 11 digs and eight kills. NDSU outhit Purdue Fort Wayne .198 to .104 and had a 7-5 advantage in team blocks.

The Herd then defeated Western Illinois at home on Sunday 3-0. The Bison were able to take control of the matches as there were only six ties and five lead changes. Balance was the name of the game for the Bison as Emily Halverson, Allie Mauch and Syra Tanchin each finished with eight kills.

The Bison were able to attack Western Illinois from all angles as they hit .264 overall. Hegerle and Kelley Johnson directed the offense as they combined for 32 assists and 10 digs. Bella Lien picked up her first career collegiate service ace, as well as six kills and a match-high three blocks. Lien finished the night hitting .667, while Mauch finished at .583 and Halverson hit .538. Bachmeier and Johnson each added seven digs.

Looking ahead the Bison will host league-leading South Dakota on Friday. The Coyotes extended their winning streak to 12 on Sunday with a win over Denver. NDSU will then host third place Denver on Sunday.

It was a successful week for the Bison as they have risen to fifth in the Summit League standings. This is a big week for the Bison as it gives them a chance to see if they can hang with the big dogs, or if they belong in the middle of the pack with the rest of the mediocre teams.  

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