FARGO, N.D. - The Drake volleyball team dropped a close rematch against North Dakota State, 3-1, Monday night in Fargo, N.D. Senior Bentley Mancini (Burnsville, Minn.) led the Bulldogs with 13 kills and Jadranka Tramosljanin (Ruma, Serbia) added 11 kills and 19 digs for her team-leading ninth double-double of the season.
Sarah Madden (Van Meter, Iowa) continues to be a defensive anchor for the Bulldogs (3-17, 2-7 MVC) as she recorded a career-high 45 digs and added five assists. Halli Meyer (Bettendorf, Iowa) finished with a double-double with 24 assists and 12 digs.
North Dakota State (9-12, 5-4 Summit) had three players in double figures in kills with Brynn Joki and Megan Lambertson leading the attack with 18 each to help the Bison win 25-21, 27-29, 25-21, 25-23. Joki added 14 digs for the double-double.
"Our defense was outstanding tonight especially by Sarah as evident by her 45 digs, which averages out to just over 11 a set," head coach Tony Sunga said. "We just weren't as efficient in our hitting as they were and needed to cut down our ball-handling errors. We pushed back but they had just a little more push being at home."
The Bulldogs held an early lead in the opening set at 4-3, after a kill by Amanda Platte (Mount Vernon, Iowa), but trailed 15-10 after an attack error by Mancini. The Bulldogs mounted a rally and tied the set at 16-16 after a Bison attack error. Drake fell behind, 21-19, after an attack error by Katie Dulek (Lenexa, Kan.) but cut the deficit to 21-20 with a kill by Mancini. The Bison went on to score four of the final five points of the set to win 25-21.
The Bison took a 9-5 lead in set two and forced Drake to take a timeout. The Bulldogs used a 5-0 run out of the break to take a 10-9 lead and force the Bison to take a timeout. A block by Dulek and Shelby Daum (Battle Creek Neb.) extended the Bulldogs lead to 16-13 before the Bison mounted a rally to take a 21-19 lead. The Bulldogs responded with their own rally and tied the set at 25-25 after a kill by Dulek. NDSU took a 27-26 lead but back-to-back kills by Mancini and a Bison attack error gave the Blue and White the set, 29-27.
Drake and North Dakota State traded multiple leads early in set three and neither team held a lead greater than three points until an attack error by Platte gave the Bison a 17-13 lead and forced Drake to take a timeout. The Bison went on a 6-3 run and the Bulldogs used their last timeout of the set down, 23-16. Drake cut the Bison lead to 23-21 after back-to-back attack errors but kills by Carissa Whalen and Lambertson helped the Bison pull away for the 25-21 win.
Back-to-back kills by Mancini and Tramosljanin helped the Bulldogs tie the fourth set at 15-15. The Bison scored two straight points but the Bulldogs answered with two straight points of their own to tie the set at 17-17. A 5-3 run by the Bison forced the Bulldogs to take a timeout down 22-19. Out of the break Drake scored two straight points to cut the Bison lead to 22-21. A kill by Lambertson extended the Bison lead to 23-21 and forced the Bulldogs to take their final timeout of the set. A Bison attack error followed by a kill by Lambertson and a kill by Cassie Effken (Lincoln, Neb) made the score 24-23. The Drake rally fell just short as a kill by Lamberston gave the Bison the match with a 25-23 win.
Effken finished the night with nine kills, three block assists and two digs. Dulek tallied six kills, two digs and two block assists.
Drake will return to MVC play when it hosts the Creighton Bluejays Saturday, Oct. 20. The game is the annual Dig Pink Match and first serve is set for 7 p.m. at the Knapp Center.
"We are looking forward to getting back home and excited to face Creighton and have Dig Pink," Sunga said. "We will rest up and get ready to play on our home court these next three matches."