BEMIDJI, Minn. (BSU Gymnasium) - The No. 1 team in the nation, the Concordia University, St. Paul Golden Bears were too much for the Beavers to handle tonight at the BSU Gymnasium as the Golden Bears upended the Beavers, 3-0. The Golden Bears completed the sweep by scores of 25-18, 25-14, 25-12.
The Golden Bears offensive attack was too much for the Beavers defense to handle as Concordia University hit as a pace of .385 (48k-13e-91at) for the match as the Beavers hit just .047 (22k-18e-86at). CSP netted 26 more kills than the Beavers along with 23 set assists.
The Beaver offense was very balanced as one player had six kills and two players added four kills in the match. Melissa McNeely (Fr., OH, Burnsville, Minn.) led the Beavers with six kills. Heather Sampson (So., OH, Brooklyn Park, Minn.) and Laura Slinger (Fr., OH, Faribault, Minn.) both recorded four kills on the evening. McNeely netted a team-high .357 hitting percentage (6k-1e-14at).
Courtney Bitter (Fr., S, Bemidji, Minn.) led the BSU defense. Bitter garnered eight digs to lead the Beavers in the dig category for the fifth time this season. Four BSU players netted two digs apiece to give BSU a team total of six total blocks. Jennifer Janckila (Sr., MB, Appleton, Wis.), Nicole Olson (So., OH, Baudette, Minn.), Hannah Eilers (Fr., OH, Little Fork, Minn.) and Kimberly Hacker (Fr., MB, Hutchinson, Minn.) each had two blocks on the night.
Bitter led the Beaver offensive charge with 18 assists along with three kills.
The duo of Maria Steinhagen and Emily Palkert led the Golden Bears offensive attack as Steinhagen had a match-high 15 kills with Palkert garnering 11 in the match. Mary Slinger led the Golden Bears with 10 digs while Palkert recorded eight blocks (1bs-7ba) on the night. The nation’s assist leader and 2008 NSIC Preseason Player of the Year, Maggie McNamara netted a match-high 43 assists.
With the loss to the No. 1 Golden Bears tonight, the Beavers fall to 0-5 this season when playing a ranked opponent and 2-74 all-time versus ranked opponents.
The Golden Bears prove why they are the No. 1 team in the nation as they bent a little bit tonight but they would not break. In game one the Beavers held the lead three times but with the score tied at 7-7 the Golden Bears scored 14 of the next 19 points to push their lead to the largest of the set at 21-12. The Beavers tried to make a comeback closing the gap to six points at 24-18 but a kill by Ellie Duffy gave CSP the first set, 25-18.
Game two saw the Golden Bears jump out to a 4-0 lead behind the serving of Maggie McNamara. BSU was down by just three points at 4-1 and 7-4 but that is as close at BSU got as CSP upended BSU 25-14 in the set to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the match.
Game three was never in doubt as the Beavers never held a lead in the set. CSP pushed its lead to twelve points at 20-8 and coasted to a 25-12 game three win to take the match, 3-0.
With the win the Golden Bears improve their record to 18-9-1 over the Beavers and extend its winning streak to sixteen matches over BSU. The last time the Beavers beat the Golden Bears was on Nov. 11, 2001. The Golden Bears are now 7-2 all-time at the BSU Gymnasium.
Bemidji State (6-15; 2-7 NSIC) will be looking to stop a four match losing skid tomorrow afternoon as the Beavers host the St. Cloud State Huskies (2-15; 0-9 NSIC) from the BSU Gymnasium. First serve is set for 4 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).