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Chris Murphy, Published September 22 2012

NDSU volleyball falls at home to IUPUI

FARGO – Coming off a 3-2 loss in the home opener Friday, North Dakota State was looking for answers in Saturday night’s volleyball match against Summit League foe Indiana Purdue-Indianapolis.

Unfortunately for the Bison, they left the match with even more questions, falling to IUPUI 3-1 and losing for the second straight night at Bentson Bunker Fieldhouse. With the 21-25, 25-17, 25-14, 25-23 win, the Jaguars hold on to the top spot in the Summit League with a 4-1 conference record and 10-6 overall record, while the Bison fall to 4-10 overall and 1-3 in league play.

“Being at home and not taking this opportunity to get two wins before we head back on the road is definitely something that will be a little bitter in our mouth,” NDSU coach Kari Thompson said. “There’s a lot of areas we can get better at. We have to stay consistent. We have players that are all over the place.”

Just as they did Friday night, the Bison came out strong, taking the first set behind six kills from Megan Lambertson and four kills each from Brynn Joki, Lauren Cammack and Carissa Whalen. The next two sets belonged to IUPUI. In Set 2, after tying the score 5-5, the Jaguars never trailed and followed that victory by opening the third set on a 10-2 run and never looking back.

“I think we expect them to die down a lot and give us more after we come out strong,” Joki said. “We can’t let them think they have too much and we have to fight more in the next sets. It’s mostly mental. I think our physicality is there, but we just have to use it to the best of our ability.”

NDSU came close to sending the match to a fifth set, but couldn’t outlast IUPUI in the fourth set. There were 12 ties in the set, but after a block from Lambertson tied the set at 22-22, IUPUI closed on a 3-1 run behind kills from Kaitlyn Hickey and Kortni Wright and a dual block from Wright and Alexis Meeks to seal it.

“Winning anywhere on the road is always an accomplishment,” IUPUI coach Steve Payne said.

IUPUI (kills-blocks-aces): Wright 5-2-0, Fair 14-0-0, Hoefer 12-1-0, Meeks 1-1-1 (29 assists), Fogler 10-4-0, Hickey 13-1-2, Howard 1-0-1 (32 digs), Watchel 5-2-0, Jones 0-0-0.

NDSU: Yager 0-0-0 (30 assists), Dombeck 2-0-0, Joki 16-0-0, Lambertson 15-5-0, Cammack 10-5-0, Whalen 6-1-0, Henning 0-0-0 (19 digs), Riese 2-1-1.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Chris Murphy at (701) 241-5548