MOORHEAD, Minn. – At the MSU-Moorhead Tournament, Bemidji State blanked two non-conference opponents in day two, sweeping Dakota Wesleyan and Valley City State. It was the first back-to-back road sweeps since Minnesota-Crookston, Sept. 14 and South Dakota, Sept. 11 during the 1999 season.
" Things are starting to click with our rotations and the different players in there," said head coach Kim Falkenhagen. "It was good to get the bench some playing time in a tournament like this."
Success to open up the season is something of a change for the Beavers of late. In winning three of their first four, the Beavers end a streak of three seasons in which they have gone a combined 5-22. The last time the Beavers opened the year n on a tear was the 1999 campaign when they won 11 of their first 12.
It was a matter of quick starts for the Beavers in the first two games against DWU. Junior Heather Haugen powered home a kill to cap a BSU stretch of scoring 17 of the first 23 points in game one. BSU won that game 30-26. Game two saw BSU grab a quick 7-2 advantage and held on to win 30-28. The third game had the Tigers hold a 12-7 lead only to see the Beavers come back with a 6-1 burst. Bemidji State sealed the win scoring 12 of the final 19 points and won 30-28.
Senior Nicole McDougall had a fine hitting effort, posting 10 kills in 14 attempts for a .571 percentage. Her mark was the sixth-best in the school’s rally scoring era. Junior Kristin Smith moved to 6th place on the career assists list (1,377) as she notched 47 for the Beavers. Junior Kelly Piper was first on the club with 15 digs.
Bemidji State trailed only on two occasions with Valley City State. The Vikings notched the first point of games two and three but from there, it was all Bemidji State. Swiping the first two games by identical 30-17 scores, BSU rattled off seven of eight points to go up 11-5 in game three. Senior Kristin Peterson ignited the run with one of her eight kills.
After both clubs played nearly even, the Beavers responded with nine straight tallies, winning their third match in four efforts. Game three had BSU double up VCSU, 30-15.
Haugen and senior Lisa Smith knocked down 10 kills apiece to pace the Beavers. Haugen and Engman totaled nine digs apiece while Kristin Smith recorded 39 assists. Haugen was one player to catch Falkenhagen’s eye on day number two.
" Haugen did real well all across the board,…in kills, attacks and blocks," said Falkenhagen. "She took control of the court and pretty much dominated out there."
Peterson led the club in service aces with four, helping BSU to its highest total (15) since it had 18 against the Colorado School of Mines, Aug. 31, 2001. Peterson tied the school record in the rally scoring era with seven service aces against Concordia-Moorhead yesterday.
Bemidji State will open up its home 2003 schedule with a 7:00 p.m. match against Mayville State, Tuesday at the BSU Gymnasium. Then, BSU travels to the University of Mary (N.D.) Tournament, Sept. 5-6.
Notes: Against Dakota Wesleyan, it was the school’s first meeting…Kristin Smith added 11 digs for her 15th career double-double – tops on the active players list …Coach Falkenhagen becomes the fourth rookie coach in school history to win three of her first four matches…In the overall series with Valley City State, BSU has taken 18 of the 19 meetings…In all four matches in the tournament, BSU held in advantage against its opponent in service aces.