Beavers finish Las Vegas Blast 3-1
Saturday, August 30, 2008

LAS VEGAS, Nev. - In its final day of competition at the Las Vegas Blast, the Bemidji State University volleyball team (3-1; 0-0) flew out of Las Vegas, Nev. with a sweep over Newman University (25-12, 25-15, 25-21) and Huntington University (25-22, 25-19, 19-25, 25-21). The Beavers 3-1 record is their best start to a season since the 2003 year when BSU opened 3-1.

BSU’s first match of the day pitted the Beavers against the Newman University Jets for the second consecutive day. Bemidji State out-hit its opponent for the third consecutive match as the team recorded a .280 (46k-16e-107at) to Newman’s .033 (19k-16e-90at) while collecting 46 kills.

The stingy BSU defense did not allow a single Jet player to attain more than five kills in the match. The Beavers’ floor defense was a big reason for that, digging 48 NU attempts. Junior Brie Groskreutz (OH, Reedsburg, Wis.) paced the Beavers collecting a season-high 13 kills and 14 digs for her first double-double of the season and the 15th of her career.

BSU also turned in its best serving performance of the season. Junior Allison Kunde (S, Burnsville, Minn.) served a match and career-high five of the team’s 11 service aces while committing seven service errors.

Courtney Bitter (Fr., S, Bemidji, Minn.) led the Beavers offensive attack with 33 set assists while recording seven kills and nine digs.

Lauren Poe and Renee Brechenridge paced the Jets offense as they both had five kills in the match. Kelley Calvi notched a team-high eight digs while Ashley Myers had seven set assists for Newman.

The victory gives the Beavers a 2-0 lead in the all-time series between the teams.

Bemidji State and the Huntington University Foresters played an evenly contested match in the teams first ever meeting seeing the Beavers hold on for a four set decision. Bemidji State out-hit its opponent for the fourth consecutive match hitting at a pace of .258 (50k-19e-120at) while the Foresters hit .244 (50k-21e-119at). The biggest difference in the match was in the error category. Huntington committed ten more errors than the Beavers (45-35) which was the difference in the match.

For the first time in the 2008 season the Beavers had two players reach double-digit kills. Nicole Olson (So., MB, Baudette, Minn.) led BSU with 15 kills hitting at a pace of .273 (15k-6e-33at) while Lindsey Weyer (So., OH, Loyal, Wis.) netted a career-high 11 kills on 29 attempts for a .276 clip.

Jessi-Beth McCannell (Fr., LB, Brandon, Manitoba) and Olson led the Beavers on the defensive end. McCannell recorded a team-high 12 digs while Olson controlled the net sending back a season-high five blocks (0bs-5ba).

Bitter had another sold match from the setter position as she recorded her second 40-plus assist match with 40 assists in the win. She also recorded six digs and six kills.

Natalie Villwock and Kayley Cervenka led the Foresters with 14 kills apiece. Brittney Smelser recorded 15 digs while Alyssa Schroeder had 38 set assists.

With the win the Beavers improve to 1-0 all-time versus Huntington.

Bemidji State (3-1; 0-0 NSIC) will attempt to extend its two match winning streak when it travels to Grand Forks, N.D. to take on the North Dakota Fighting Sioux on Tuesday, Sept. 2 at 7:00 p.m.

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