By: Aubrie Laufenberg
Score: No. 4 Purdue Fort Wayne 3, No. 5 North Dakota 0
Records: Purdue Fort Wayne (18-13), North Dakota (14-18)
Location: Hamilton Gymnasium
Denver, Colo. –No. 4 Purdue Fort Wayne overcame No. 5 North Dakota (25-23, 25-21, 25-16) in the first quarterfinal match of the 2018 Summit League Volleyball Championship. The Mastodons advanced to the semifinals scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 17 at 3 p.m. MT where they will meet up against No. 1 Denver.
Who Stood Out
Purdue Fort Wayne's Madelyn Wurster led the team with 14 kills and a .333 hitting percentage. Nicole Rightnowar and Elizabeth Fuerst were right behind Wurster with 12 kills apiece. On the defensive side, Elizabeth Britner paved the way with 14 digs, while Rightnowar recorded 10 and Katie Crowe added seven more.
North Dakota was led by Jordan Vail's nine kills and .471 clip. Lexi Ahrens tallied an additional six, while Ashley Brueggeman and Darian Chwialkowski added five kills apiece. Alivia Fraase led the defensive effort for the Fighting Hawks with 11 digs. Taliyah Flores added nine more.
The Mastodons toughed out a gritty 25-23 set victory to take a 1-0 lead over the Fighting Hawks. North Dakota brought the momentum and took the lead right away to start off the second set. A kill by Elizabeth Fuerst would tie up the score 7-7, but the Fighting Hawks turned around and went on a 5-2 run to put the score up 12-9 on the Mastodons, but the run didn't last for UND.
The score would remain within one point until a service ace by Purdue Fort Wayne's Madison Jaqua would give the Mastodon's their first lead of the second set 17-16. One more score change was in store between the two teams until a kill by Rightnowar followed by a service ace by Taylor Duddleston, another Rightnowar kill and a Fighting Hawks error would give the Mastodons the second set. Purdue Fort Wayne carried the fight over to the third set and captured the game with a third set victory 25-16.
"I think some experience played in our victory tonight," Purdue Fort Wayne head coach said. "We have a lot of seniors on the team and experience is a big factor in the playoffs.
"The first two sets were so close I didn't need to say much to keep the team motivated. We made that come from behind victory in the second set, so the team understood that they could take set three if they were to stay sharp."
- This is the third sweep of the 2018 season over North Dakota for Purdue Fort Wayne
- Wurster's 14 kills against UND tied her season-high kills which she logged against North Dakota State on Nov. 4
- Rightnowar's double-double makes this the 21st double-double of the season and 64th double-double of her career
- The second set had 10 tied scores and three lead changes
- North Dakota's Vail ends the 2018 season as the Fighting Hawks' leader in kills and kills per set
Purdue Fort Wayne enters the semifinals match against No. 1 Denver at 3 p.m. MT Saturday.
ABOUT THE SUMMIT LEAGUE
Through 36 years of Division I athletics, The Summit League offers 19 championship sports and has a combined enrollment of nearly 115,000 at nine institutions, including three located in top 60 U.S. metro populations and two land-grant universities. Member institutions include: Denver (University of Denver), Purdue Fort Wayne (Purdue University Fort Wayne), the University of North Dakota, North Dakota State University, Omaha (University of Nebraska Omaha), Oral Roberts University, the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University and Western Illinois University. Previously known as the Mid-Continent Conference, The Summit League rebranded in 2007 and has since produced 12 NCAA Champions along with over 100 Academic All-Americans, nearly 125 All-America selections and numerous former student-athletes competing at the highest professional level. For more information about the league, visit www.thesummitleague.org website, follow The Summit League on Twitter @thesummitleague.