NDSU Tops Western Carolina 3-1 in Home Opener

McKenzie Burke connected for a career-high 24 kills and hit .392

FARGO, N.D. – (NDSU Athletics) McKenzie Burke connected for a career-high 24 kills and hit .392 as North Dakota State snapped a four-match losing skid with a 3-1 (25-12, 25-19, 22-25, 27-25) victory over Western Carolina in a non-conference match played Sunday, Sept. 2, before 845 fans in the Bentson Bunker Fieldhouse.

NDSU (2-5) is scheduled to open against Indiana (4-1) at 11 a.m. Friday, Sept. 7, in the Ball State Active Ankle Classic in Muncie.

Western Carolina (5-2) had gained momentum from the third set win and had designs on sending the match to five.

However, North Dakota State rebounded from a 15-11 deficit to tie the fourth set 15-all on a kill from Alexis Bachmeier. It was the first of six ties and five lead changes down the stretch.

Western Carolina took a 25-24 lead on a Hannah Price block. The Bison would score the final three points of the fourth set on a Burke kill and a pair of Alexis Bachmeier attacks. Bachmeier had 15 kills, .hit 344 and picked up 17 digs in completing a ‘double-double’

It was a community effort for NDSU, which finished the match hitting .268 with 12 service aces and 8 blocks. Kalli Hegerle dished out a season-high 52 assists and added nine digs and four kills. Allie Mauch logged a career best 14 kills, while Emily Halverson followed with eight kills and four blocks to share match-high honors with Bella Lien.

Defensively, Abbi Klos collected 19 digs, while Kaylee Hanger finished with 18 digs and five service aces. Burke served three aces and Klos added a pair.

Merry Gebel and MaKenzie White each had 12 kills to lead Western Carolina. White topped the Catamounts with four blocks. Hannah Price and Sydney Carlson combined for 31 assists, while Meagan Sanchez claimed 19 digs.

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