Bemidji State even in Vegas
Friday, August 29, 2008

LAS VEGAS, Nev. - The Bemidji State University volleyball team opened the 2008 campaign going 1-1 today at the Las Vegas Blast in Las Vegas, Nev. The Beavers swept the Newman University Jets (25-23, 25-16, 25-13) in their first match of the day and dropped a five set affair to Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) foe Northern State (23-25, 15-25, 25-15, 25-16, 15-17) in the night cap.

For the second consecutive season the Beavers opened with a sweep as they were able to dominate Newman University in the teams first ever meeting. The Beavers offensive attack was to much for the Jets defense to handle as the Beavers hit at a clip of .281 (38k-11e-96at) for the match as the Jets hit just .045 (25k-21e-89at). BSU recorded 13 more kills than the Jets along with nine assists.

The Beaver offense was very balanced as one player had nine kills and two players had five kills in the match. Heather Sampson (So., OH, Brooklyn Park, Minn.) led the Beavers with nine kills while Jennifer Janckila (Sr., MB, Appleton, Wis.) and newcomer Laura Slinger (Fr., MB, Faribault, Minn.) each netted five kills in the win.

Brie Groskreutz (Jr., OH, Reedsburg, Wis.) was the lone Beaver to reach double-digit digs as she recorded 10. With the ten digs Groskreutz went over the 800 mark for her career. Sampson controlled the net for the Beavers turning back four Jets attacks garnering one solo block and three block assists.

The Jets were led by Chelsey Potter and Lauren Poe who each had seven kills. Potter recorded 13 digs while Ashley Myers had 11 assists in the match.

Freshman Courtney Bitter (S, Bemidji, Minn.) helped pace the Beavers offensive charge with 24 assists along with four kills.

With the win the Beavers improve their record to 24-15 in season openers and to 1-0 all-time versus the Newman University Jets.

In the Beavers second match of the day Nicole Olson (So., MB, Baudette, Minn.) led all players with a season-high 15 kills hitting at a rate of .237 (15k-6e-38at). Olson also recorded four digs and four blocks in the match. Lindsey Weyer (So., OH, Loyal, Wis.) tied a career-high with 8 kills hitting a career-best .273 (8k-2e-22at).

Just as BSU proved last season, its defense will force opposing teams to work to find the floor with any attempt. As a team, the Beavers recorded 85 digs, 13 more than Northern State (72). For the third consecutive match, dating back to last season (Nov. 6, 2007), junior Brie Groskreutz led the Beavers in digs with a season-high 21 digs. Jessi-Beth McCannell (Fr., LB, Brandon, Manitoba) also notched 21 digs in the loss.

Bitter recorded a career-high 46 of the Beavers 51 assists while recording five kills and nine digs.

The Wolves were led offensively by Kelsey Aden and Melanie Perez who each reached double-digit kills with 14 and 12, respectively. NSU was led defensively by Stephanie Nygaard who notched 17 digs and Megan Gilbraith controlled the offense with 37 assists.

With the loss the Beavers are on a seven-match losing streak to NSU dating back to Oct. 30, 2004 and fall to 31-24 all-time versus the Wolves.

BSU, 1-1, will wrap up action at the Las Vegas Blast tomorrow, Aug. 30, as the Beavers will play Newman University at 2 p.m. and then at 6 p.m. will play the Huntington University Foresters to wrap up their stay in Las Vegas.

Bemidji State University, located in Bemidji, Minn., is an NCAA Division II institution and a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).