Winona State edges Bemidji State, 3-2, in NSIC opener
Friday, September 19, 2003

WINONA, Minn. - [box score] Opening up conference action at McCown Gymnasium, Bemidji State (7-7, 0-1) fell in a hard-fought battle to Winona State (4-11, 1-0), 3-2. Scores were 30-26, 22-30, 30-28, 25-30, 15-10.

“We knew we had a chance going into the match because we thought that they might take us lightly,” said junior Heather Haugen. “They are a scrappy team but I think that we could have jumped on them right away.”

Game one seemed to slip away from the Beavers as they held a three to four-point lead for most of the match, the last one being 23-20. Winona State clawed back scoring five unan-swered and never trailed from that point in winning the first game. WSU notched four of the final five points.

After an early deficit, BSU went on a 5-1 run to take its first lead at 10-9 in game two. The Warriors held a slight 19-17 edge until the block duo of junior Heather Haugen and freshman Kathryn McCannell ignited a 10-2 spurt. Bemidji State led 27-20. The blocking was con-tagious with three of the final seven BSU points being in the form of blocks. A kill by senior Kristin Peterson sent the Beavers to the game two victory.

Winona State was the first club to hit the 10-point mark in the third game as it went up 10-5. The Beavers trailed by as much as six at 11-17 before a furious comeback. With Peterson notching two of her patented jump-serves, BSU scored six of seven during one stretch and led 25-23 forcing the home Warriors to call time-out. However, WSU tallied seven of the final 10 points grabbing a 2-1 advantage in the match.

Powered by two straight service aces by McCannell, the guests scored four consecutive and led 7-5 in game number four. Garnering her fifth service ace, Peterson forced WSU into a stoppage of play, putting the Beavers up 17-10. Her point capped a 8-1 run. Responding to a 6-1 WSU spurt, the Beavers seemed to take control at 25-17, however the Warriors came within two at 26-24. BSU was able to hold though, winning 30-25.

The fifth and deciding game began with the Warriors jumping out to a 7-4 lead. Hanging onto a four-point margin at 10-6, Winona State carried its lead and won 15-10.

Peterson notched her 19th career double-double, tops among the active players, with 14 kills and a game-high 17 digs. Haugen tied Peterson in kills while senior Lisa Smith came off the bench to hit .348 (9-1-23). McCannell recorded a career-high 48 assists and junior Kristine Engman and freshman Katie McKenzie added 10 and 12 digs, respectively.

For Winona State, Britta Hoffman came away with 15 kills while Melissa Lougheed totaled 49 assists and 10 digs.

Bemidji State travels up the river for a match against Concordia-St. Paul (10-1) tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. The Golden Bears, which received 72 votes in the Sept. 16th edition of the AVCA national polls, stood second in the league entering tonight’s contest.

“We are going to really have our blocking game down for tomorrow,” said Haugen. “They (Concordia-St. Paul) are so quick and run a faster offense than we are used to.”

NOTE: Despite the loss, Bemidji State still holds a 40-32 all-time edge over Winona State - however, WSU has taken the last three meetings...Entering its 12th season in the league, Bemidji State stands 61-95 (.394) overall and 21-48 (.309) on the road...Beginning league play with a five-set match, the Beavers did the same in the 2001 season...Kristin Peterson has now gone six matches in 2003 with a double-double.