Beavers drop heartbreaker to Minnesota State
Friday, October 31, 2008

BEMIDJI, Minn. (BSU Gymnasium) - The Bemidji State University volleyball team dropped a heartbreaking Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference match to the Minnesota State University Mavericks on Halloween night from the BSU Gymnasium. The Mavericks earned the victory by scores of 26-24, 26-24 and 25-13.

The Beavers committed four more errors than the Mavericks, which proved to be the difference in the first two sets and the Beavers dropped the first two sets by a combined total of four points. BSU committed 30 errors in the match while Minnesota State netted 26 in the match.

The Mavericks totaled 47 kills on 98 attempts while committing 14 errors for a team hitting percentage of .337 while BSU collected 36 kills on 102 attempts with 19 errors for a .167 hitting percentage. MSU dominated the net collecting nine total blocks (2bs-14ba) with Ally Kwikkel leading the charge posting two solo blocks and four block assists in the match.

The trio of Heather Sampson (So., OH, Brooklyn Park, Minn.), Nicole Olson (So., OH, Baudette, Minn.) and Jennifer Janckila (Sr., MB, Appleton, Wis.) netted 31 of the Beavers 36 kills on the night. Sampson posted a season-high with 12 kills and a .500 hitting percentage while Olson pounded down 10 kills with Janckila gathering nine kills in the match.

Jessi-Beth McCannell (Fr., LB, Brandon, Manitoba) led the Beavers on the defensive side of the ball for the fifteenth time this season with 11 digs. Janckila controlled the net for the Beavers picking up four blocks (1bs-3ba), just nine blocks shy of reaching 250 in her career.

Courtney Bitter (Fr., S, Bemidji, Minn.) amassed 29 set assists with four digs and two kills in the match.

The Mavericks were paced by Ashley Nachreiner and Amanda Beekman. Nachreiner had a match-high 18 kills with seven digs and one block assists while Beekman had nine kills, seven digs and two block assists. Defensively, Brittany Stamer, Kelly Sandstrom and Alli Rice led the Mavericks with eight digs.

The match began with back-and-fourth action as both teams struggled to separated themselves from one another. Bemidji State took the largest lead of the set at 10-8 off an attack error by Allison Kunath and eventually took a three point lead (18-15) off one of Olson’s 10 kills in the match forcing MSU to take a time out. Coming out of the time out the Mavericks rattled off seven of the next nine points to take their largest lead of the set at 22-20 forcing BSU to take a time out.

BSU tied the match at 22-22 but MSU pushed its lead to 24-22 and eventually held on for a 26-24 set one win.

In set two the Mavericks jumped out to a 2-0 led before BSU rattled off 4-of-5 points to take a 4-3 lead. With the score tied at 10-10 the Beavers pushed their lead to 13-10 behind the serving of Sampson forcing MSU to take a time out. The Beavers held their three point lead all the way up until 19-16 and then the Mavericks scored four of five points to tie the set back up at 20-20. A kill by Sampson gave BSU a 24-22 lead with BSU on the verge of winning its first set since Sept.. 27. The Mavericks had other ideas as they rattled off the next four points behind the serving of Alecia Fruechte to take a 26-24 set two win and a 2-0 lead in the match heading into the intermission.

Set three the Beavers and Mavericks had four lead changes and five tie scores in the first fourteen points. With the score tied at 7-7 the Mavericks separated themselves from the Beavers with a four point run to go up 11-7. The Mavericks Brittnay Stamer put the match away as she led MSU on a seven point run to push its lead to 20-12 helping the Mavericks take a 25-13 set three win and a 3-0 sweep over the Beavers.

The loss pushes BSU back further in the all-time series as MSU extends its lead to 26-18 over the Beavers since the series began in the fall of 1971. MSU has now defeated BSU in the last six matches dating back to Sept. 13, 1997.

Bemidji State (6-20; 2-12 NSIC) will attempt to put an end to its current nine-match losing skid as the Beavers will face their seventh ranked opponent of the season as they will host No. 3 Southwest Minnesota State tomorrow afternoon from the BSU Gymnasium. The first serve is slated 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).