(Photo Credit Russ Hons-FightingHawks.com)
Coming into the final match of the UND Classic for the University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks, Head Coach Mark Pryor’s squad had ridden a roller coaster in their previous two games. Both resulted in sweeps, both included points where the opponent was able to exude some influence and make some plays or cause a few UND errors. Tonight was no exception. UND was able to utilize consistent offense throughout while working to keep its mistakes to a minimum to withstand opponent runs. The Fighting Hawks ended tonight with a sweep of the UND Classic thanks to a 3-0 sweep of the Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters.
One player that stood out tonight was freshman Finnish setter Roosa Rautio. Her ability to provide clean set after set for the superb hitters this team has does not go overlooked by anyone. Kayla Williams noted the energy she brings to the team. Tonight, Rautio had a double-double featuring 32 assists and 10 digs. She helped set 32 of the 37 kills UND had on the evening. Rautio assisted on 86.4 percent of the offense generated by the Fighting Hawks.
After this weekend,we are beginning to see the form of this UND team. They prioritize not only being low error, but using superb passing and setups to spur their front line hitters to greatness every game. Rautio and her years of international experience will help UND drive to its goals this season. In addition, Kayla Williams has had a superb weekend for the Fighting Hawks. She had a double-double on Thursday against Eastern Washington and participates in all phases of the game for UND. From her jump serve to her ability to play all six rotations for UND and lead the way with kills, Head Coach Mark Pryor has found a talented hitter, that along with Rautio and the rest of the Fighting Hawks should provide a strong base from which to retool this year.
The Fighting Hawks spend the next few weeks on the road to finish out their non-conference schedule before starting the Summit Season at home against The North Dakota State University Bison.