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UND VOLLEYBALL: North Dakota sweeps the Bobcats

Midway through the third set Saturday against Montana State, UND volleyball coach Ashley Hardee called a timeout to give a proper ovation to senior Ronni Munkeby, who had just registered her 1,000th kill.

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Midway through the third set Saturday against Montana State, UND volleyball coach Ashley Hardee called a timeout to give a proper ovation to senior Ronni Munkeby, who had just registered her 1,000th kill.

Hardee said the pause didn't do justice to Munkeby's impact on the program.

"It was probably worth a thousand timeouts," Hardee said. "That's something we've all been looking forward to. It's a heck of an accomplishment."

Munkeby registered seven kills as North Dakota swept the Bobcats 25-13, 25-21, 25-21 at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center.

Munkeby, a senior from Lisbon, N.D., became the 15th player in program history to reach the 1,000-kill milestone.

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"I had no idea that was my 1,000th kill," Munkeby said. "(The timeout) was wonderful ... to see my teammates' support. The team support, not just today, but throughout my five years has been phenomenal. It's been a wonderful program to be a part of."

Munkeby, who also added four blocks, has been a team captain for two seasons and was an assistant captain as a sophomore.

"It's a heck of an accomplishment," Hardee said. "To reach that mark with how our offense moves the ball around is pretty special."

Munkeby's honor helped lead UND to an 11-1 mark in the Big Sky Conference and 16-8 overall. The Bobcats dropped to 5-18 overall and 3-9 in the league.

North Dakota holds the No. 1 spot in the conference. UND's closest challenger, Portland State, was upset on Thursday against Sacramento State -- meaning North Dakota now has a two-game lead in the conference. PSU is now tied with Northern Arizona and Idaho State at two games back as of Saturday afternoon.

"The second time around this league, we're going to have a target on our backs," Hardee said.

That didn't bother UND against Montana State. UND's offensive was paced by Anna Pioske's 15 kills. Lisa Parlich chipped in nine kills, while Nikki Husfeldt dished out 30 assists.

MSU's Kennadie Clute led the Bobcats with 12 kills.

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Hardee was especially pleased with UND's 10 blocks in three sets.

"Defense is what we're looking to improve on," Munkeby said. "It's cliché but offense doesn't win championships. That's what we've been preaching."

UND travels to Idaho State and Weber State next weekend to continue Big Sky play.

Related Topics: UND SPORTSUND VOLLEYBALL
Miller has covered sports at the Grand Forks Herald since 2004 and was the state sportswriter of the year in 2019.

His primary beat is UND football but also reports on a variety of UND sports and local preps.

He can be reached at (701) 780-1121, tmiller@gfherald.com or on Twitter at @tommillergf.
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