Beavers Take Down the Golden Eagles, 3-0;
Friday, September 26, 2003
BEMIDJI, MINN. -- Putting a halt to its worst conference start in eight seasons, Bemidji State (9-8, 1-2 NSIC) came away with a 3-0 sweep of Minnesota-Crookston (4-11, 0-3 NSIC) at the BSU Gymnasium, tonight. Behind a season-high hitting mark of .336, the Beavers won by scores of 30-19, 33-31, 38-36. The 38 points in game three is the most in the rally-scoring era for Bemidji State.

The hosts controlled the beginning of game one, jumping out to a 11-5 lead. After a Minnesota-Crookston 4-0 surge to come within 12-9, BSU countered with a 10-3 run to go up 21-12. Junior Heather Haugen fueled the scoring streak with five kills while senior Lisa Smith had four. The Beavers won easily, scoring six of the final 10 points.

The second game was a back-and-forth contest with the Beavers holding a slight 13-10 edge. Six of the next seven points went in favor of UM-C as it led 16-14. From there, a kill by senior Kristin Peterson capped a 10-5 run that put BSU up 29-25. However, the Golden Eagles responded with four unanswered points, tying the score at 29. The serving game was just too much for the visitors as Haugen ended it with a service ace - BSU totaled four of its 10 service aces in the game. The Beavers have now gone over 10 service aces in six of the 17 matches this season.

The Beavers had to fight back hard in game three as they dug themselves an early 3-9 hole. Senior Nicole McDougall’s knock-down fueled a 9-4 run to bring the green and white within two at 13-15. The Golden Eagles led until BSU rattled off eight of 11 at one point and trailed 25-24. Both squads had several opportunities late but two kills by Peterson and a hitting error by the guests sent BSU and head coach Kim Falkenhagen home with their first Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference victory of the season.

“UM-C put up a great fight, but we answered every run of theirs and got the win,” said Falkenhagen. “I think the seniors stepped up, because with their level of experience, played well in this tight match.

“They (Crookston) looked a lot tougher than what people give them credit for.”

Peterson tallied her 21st career double-double, and fourth in five matches, with a team-high 15 kills and 14 digs. Haugen, who along with Lisa Smith, hit for .500 with Smith totaling 13 kills and Haugen recording 12. Junior Kelly Pipertotaled 11 digs while junior Kristin Smith came away with 48 assists, her fourth match of 45+ assists in 2003, and added nine digs.

Joan Ebnet led all players with 21 kills and complimented that with 12 digs for the Golden Eagles. Jamie Wolff had 49 assists in the losing effort.

Bemidji State wraps up its busiest stretch of the season with three matches next week. First, the Beavers travel to St. Cloud State on Tuesday for a 7:00 p.m. in Halenbeck Hall. Then, BSU plays host to Northern State and MSU-Moorhead for Homecoming on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 3-4. Friday’s match begins at 7 p.m. with first serve at 6 p.m. on Saturday.

Bemidji State leads the overall series, 14-1 with the last three matches going in favor of the green and white...The Beavers ended its 0-2 conference start, the worst since the 1996 season when BSU dropped its first six NSIC contests...Freshman setter Kathryn McCannell sat out the match with a sprained MCL, suffered Tuesday night...The highest point mark for BSU in one game was 33 points against Concordia-St. Paul (11/2/01)...The combined 74 points in the third game is the most in school history for two team (in rally scoring era)...The highest hitting mark of the season before tonight occurred on Tuesday against St. Scholastica (.327)...Both hitting percentages by Lisa Smith and Heather Haugen were a season-high for a BSU individual...The team hitting percentage of .336 is the highest since BSU went for .336 (56-15-122) against Minnesota-Morris, Oct. 25, 2002.