BOZEMAN, Mont. – Oregon State made quick work of North Dakota on the final day of action in Montana, dispatching the Fighting Hawks for the first win of head coach Lindsey Behonick’s career in a sweep. The Beavers (1-2) took the matches by scorelines of 25-18, 25-14 and 25-14.
“I’m proud of the way the team came out to play today,” said Behonick. “Anytime you put a new group of players it can take time to figure out the on-court cohesion. This team found it today and I’m looking forward to building on it.”
Mychael Vernon led the Beavs in kills with 11, while Amanda Burns had nine but led the squad in assists with 19. Ryan White had a team-leading 12 digs and dished a pair of assists. Burns was a kill shy (nine) of a double-double, while Vernon needed just two more digs herself. Three – including Doga Diraz’s first three in her career – tallied at least one ace: Vernon (1), Lauren Rumel (2), Peyton Suess (2) and White (1).
After the set’s first 12 points were split to open things up, the Beavs changed things quickly with an 8-1 run to take control. In the OSU hot streak, Amanda Burns, Rumel and Suess contributed with timely kills to keep the momentum. North Dakota closed their margin of eight down to just three before blocks from Burns and Aliyah McDonald, an ace from Ryan White and some more Suess kills helped push the Beavs to the set win.
Taking control from the set’s first serve, the Beavs used strong scoring runs to never let North Dakota get within two points and led by as many as 11 on multiple occasions. Jumping to an early big lead at 12-2, Rumel and Diraz both tallied aces to ward off any opportunities for the Hawks. Burns helped the offensive cause in the set, as she dished out seven of her 19 assists in this frame. To further push North Dakota to the brink, a Vernon ace ended the set to its 11-point difference.
Like the first set, the third was back-and-forth until Suess took charge early. The outside hitter took matters into her own hands and used a kill and a pair of aces to lead the Beavs in the decisive set. Oregon State used Suess’ example and went on a 7-1 run to start to pull away. North Dakota tried to creep back when they turned an 18-10 Beaver lead to as close as 19-14 but that was all they could muster. Vernon’s ensuing kill sparked the final points needed to complete the sweep.
Coach Behonick and the Beavs will return to host their first games as a part of the Asics Invitational at Gill Coliseum. The first set of the home slate is scheduled for 3 p.m. against Oklahoma.