BISMARCK, N.D. (McDowell Activity Center) - The Bemidji State University volleyball team dropped a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference match to the University of Mary Saturday afternoon, 3-0 (27-25, 25-17, 25-21). The Beavers fall to 6-18 overall and 2-10 versus league competition.
The BSU offensive attack sputtered for the six straight match hitting just .081 (28k-21e-86at). The team’s 28 kills stand as its fourth lowest total of the 2008 season, surpassed by a 21, 22 and 24 dig performance earlier in the season.
The lone bright spot for BSU was the play of freshman setter Courtney Bitter. The Bemidji, Minn. native posted six kills while hitting a career-high .600 (6k-0e-10at) and collecting a team best 22 assists with one service ace and two blocks (0bs-2ba). Four Beavers collected four kills apiece while Laura Vonasek (Jr., LB, East Grand Forks, Minn.) led the Beavers on the defensive side of the ball for the first time this season with six digs. Jennifer Janckila (Sr., MB, Appleton, Wis.) caused havoc at the net for the Beavers as she posted four blocks (1bs-3ba), her fourth match of the season with four or more blocks in a match.
the University of Mary was led by the tandem of Amanda Hennessy and Laci Murtha who netted 10 and nine kills. Hennessy hit .227 (10k-5e-22at) and Murtha hit a staggering .462 (9k-3e-13at) at the Marauders’ attack hit an efficient .207 (37k-19e-87at).
Defensively, Murtha led all players with seven blocks as Kendra Hobbs had a match-high dig total of 11.
The UM offensive was led by the duo of Anna Silha and Justina Rudzitis as they each garnered double-digit assists with 23 and 10, respectively.
The first set of the match was back and forth as there were thirteen ties and nine lead changes throughout the set. The largest lead for the Beavers in the set was two points while UM extended its lead to four points at 24-20. BSU battled back scoring five consecutive points behind the serving of Melissa McNeely (Fr., OH, Burnsville, Minn.) to take the lead at 25-24 looking to take a 1-0 lead in the match but the Marauders had different ideas. A service error followed by two attack errors by the Beavers gave the Marauders a 27-25 first set win and a 1-0 lead in the match.
The second set was all UM as the Marauders jumped out to a 8-1 lead, eventually taking the set 25-17 to earn a 2-0 lead heading into the break. Set three once again saw UM open up an early lead at 9-3 and 10-4. BSU rattled off three consecutive points off two kills by Lindsey Weyer (So., OH, Loyal, Wis.) and a service ace by Jessi-Beth McCannell (Fr., LB, Brandon, Manitoba) to close the gap to three points, 10-7. That was as close as the Beavers got as UM stretched its lead to 10 points, 21-11, which was too much for the Beavers to overcome as UM closed out the set and the match with a 25-21 set three win.
The loss ties the all-time series between Bemidji State and the University of Mary at 6-6 while the University of Mary has now defeated BSU in six of the last seven meetings between the teams. BSU falls to 0-4 all-time at the Activity Center in Bismarck, N.D.
With the loss the Beavers losing skid extends to a season long, seven matches. The Beavers have not won a set during the losing streak.
Bemidji State (6-18; 2-10 NSIC) will face its sixth nationally ranked opponent on Saturday, Oct. 25 when the Beavers travel to Duluth, Minn. for a NSIC match-up with No. 16 Minnesota Duluth. The first serve is set for 4 p.m. from Romano Gymnasium on the campus of the University of Minnesota Duluth.
Bemidji State University, located in Bemidji, Minn., is an NCAA Division II institution and a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).