Blazers Defeat North Dakota in Straight Sets

Junior Sara Rishell had 11 kills and eight blocks against North Dakota.

Sep 6, 2013

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MURFREESBORO, Tenn. ----- In the fourth-straight win of the season, the UAB volleyball team defeated North Dakota 3-0 (25-23, 25-18, 25-21) on Friday at the Alumni Memorial Gym. The Blazers improved to 5-1 on the season, while North Dakota dropped to 1-3.

UAB's 5-1 start is the best in a six-game stretch since the 2005 season when the team sent 6-0.

The first set was a close contest between the two teams. North Dakota took an early lead, but the Blazers fought back to tie the set up at 14-14. Both teams traded points until UAB went up 22-20 and then capped of the set win with a kill by sophomore outside hitter Sam Skinner.

The Green and Gold wasted no time in the second set as they quickly jumped out to a 9-3 lead. UAB never relinquished the lead and won 25-18, punctuated by an ace from senior libero Rachel Fairbanks. Junior middle blocker Sara Rishell notched six kills in set two to propel UAB to the win.

It was another close battle in the third set. Both teams traded the lead until UAB went up 20-19. The Blazers then rallied off three more points for a score of 23-19. A kill by Rishell and service ace from junior outside hitter Bethanie Thomas closed out the win 25-21.

Two Blazers hit in double-figures on the afternoon. Sophomore outside hitter Sam Skinner led the team with 15 kills, while junior middle blocker Sara Rishell tallied 11 kills. Rishell just missed a double-double as she added eight blocks against North Dakota.

Senior setter Becca Howard dished out 33 assists. Fellow classmate and libero Rachel Fairbanks grabbed 13 digs and landed two service aces on the afternoon.

Ronni Munkeby led North Dakota with 12 kills, while setter Nikki Husfeldt grabbed 31 assists and had three kills for a .500 attack percentage.

The Blazers will continue play in the Middle Tennessee Invitational when they face Austin Peay on Saturday, Sept. 7 at 10:00 am CT. Fans can follow all the action here.

For the latest news on Blazer sports, follow the UAB Athletics Twitter account: @UABathletics. For volleyball news, follow @UAB_VB.