Bison Defeat USF and Florida A&M to Take NDSU Classic

The Bison defeated San Francisco 3-0 and Florida A&M 3-1 at the NDSU Classic

FARGO, N.D. (NDSU Ahtletics) – North Dakota State University defeated San Francisco 3-0 (25-21, 25-17, 25-22) and Florida A&M 3-1 (25-15, 25-11, 20-25, 25-16) at the NDSU Classic presented by Hampton Inn & Doubletree by Hilton played Saturday, Sept. 2, before 671 spectators in the Bentson Bunker Fieldhouse.

The Bison took the NDSU Classic title with a 3-0 record and have won four in a row to improve to 4-2 overall. Brianna Rasmusson was named the Classic MVP, while Emily Halverson and Erika Gelzinyte were named to the all-Classic team.

North Dakota State is scheduled to play at North Dakota (8-1) for a 7 p.m. match Wednesday, Sept. 6, in Grand Forks. The will host George Washington (1-4) and Appalachian State (2-4) in the NDSU Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 9.

Erika Gelzinyte recorded her second ‘double-double’ of the season with 13 kills and 10 digs to lead a balanced offense in the 3-0 win over San Francisco in Saturday’s first match before 656 fans. The Bison outhit the Dons .223 to .205 as Emily Halverson collected 12 kills and hit .667.

Brianna Rasmusson had plenty of options in recording 37 assists. Rasmusson also collected 12 digs, three kills, three blocks and a pair of service aces. She was one of five NDSU players to come up with double-figure digs. Emilee McGowan also had two aces.

Mikaela Purnell led the Bison with 15 digs reaching double-figures for the 25th straight match and 59th time in her career. McKenzie Burke had 11 digs and eight kills, while Abbi Klos and Gelzinyte each had 10. Bella Lien and Rasmusson each had three blocks.

Carly Lowry led USF with 11 kills and Camille Araujo came up with a match-high 18 digs. Erin Anthony had 33 assists and Laura Leap finished with three blocks.

North Dakota State hit over .350 in the first two sets against Florida A&M (1-6) to set the tone early. The Bison outhit the Rattlers .226 to .122 overall.

Rasmusson directed the balanced offense with 40 assists and also had six kills. McKenzie Burke led NDSU with 12 kills, while Gelzinyte had nine. Bella Lien had a strong net presence with seven kills and match-high seven blocks. Allie Mauch had six kills and five blocks, while Halverson added six kills.

North Dakota State had 11 service aces led by three apiece from Rasmusson and Gelzinyte, two each from Purnell and Klos. Purnell pocketed a match-high 22 digs, Gelzinyte came up with 13 and Klos added 13 digs.

Candelaria Herrera and Nicole Abreu led Florida A&M with 13 kills. Elena Dimitrova had 36 assists, while Valentina Carrasco came up with 15 digs.

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