ST. CLOUD, Minn. (Hallenbeck Hall) - The Bemidji State University volleyball team dropped a tough four set match to the St. Cloud State University Huskies tonight at Hallenbeck Hall on election night. The Huskies earned the victory and the season sweep of the Beavers by scores of 23-25, 25-18, 25-19, 27-25.
In a very close match the Huskies prevailed over the Bemidji State Beavers. The Huskies out hit the Beavers by the slimmest of margins as St. Cloud State hit .191 (62k-25e-194at) while the Beavers hit a few points lower hitting .141 (51k-26e-177at) in the match.
Melissa McNeely (Fr., OH, Burnsville, Minn.) and Heather Sampson (So., OH, Brooklyn Park, Minn.) led the Beavers attack as McNeely posted a career-high 11 kills on a career-high 40 attempts while Sampson netted nine kills hitting a team-high of .320 (9k-1e-25at). Laura Slinger (Fr., OH, Faribault, Minn.) and Jennifer Janckila (Sr., MB, Appleton, Wis.) each gathered eight kills in the match.
Defensively, the Beavers were led by five players who reached double-digit dig totals. Jessi-Beth McCannell (Fr., LB, Brandon, Manitoba) led the way with a career-high 25 digs while McNeely netted 15 digs to go with her 11 kills for her first career double-double of her career. Nicole Olson (So., OH, Baudette, Minn.) netted 14 digs while Courtney Bitter (Fr., S, Bemidji, Minn.) and sophomore outside hitter Lindsey Weyer (Loyal, Wis.) each had 13 digs. Weyer’s 13 dig performance was also a career-high, breaking her previous mark of nine digs.
Bitter led the Beavers offense with 44 assists in the match. Her 44 assists and 13 digs is her second consecutive double-double performance and her team leading seventh of the season.
Janckila controlled the net for the Beavers netting five blocks (1bs-4ba) putting her over the 250 mark for her career with 253.
St. Cloud State had three girls who garnered double-digit kills. Ashley Shields led the Huskies with 18 kills while Kayla Tschida and Erica Beacom chipped in with 12 kills apiece. Andreana Pieper led the defensive charge for SCSU as she recorded 21 digs. Jennifer Waterman had eight blocks to control the net for St. Cloud State. Jennifer Waterman paced the offensive attack for the Huskies as she had 53 assists in the match.
In set one Bemidji State had to battle back from a five point deficit to take the set 25-23. After surrendering the first point of the set off a service error by Kristen Stott the Huskies went on a 3-0 run to take a 3-1 lead off two attack errors by Olson. The Huskies continued to push forward as they eventually pushed their lead to the largest of the set for either team at 13-8 off a service ace by Kayla Tschida forcing the Beavers to take a timeout.
The Beavers came out of the timeout and rattled off six of the next eight points to close the Huskies lead to one at 15-14 off two consecutive kills by Olson forcing St. Cloud State to call its first timeout of the set. BSU came out of the timeout and continued to push forward as the Beavers eventually tied the set at 18-18 off an ace by McNeely. St. Cloud State regained the lead at 21-19 but BSU fought back and strung together a 4-0 run behind the serving of Kunde to take a 23-21 lead. St. Cloud State tied the match once again at 23-23 but the Beavers pushed forward to take the first set 25-25 to take a 1-0 lead in the match.
St. Cloud State came back in set two and controlled much of the set. BSU held the lead for five points, with its largest being two points at 6-4, until the Huskies went on a six point run to take a 10-6 lead. St. Cloud State continued to push forward and eventually evened the match at 1-1, taking the second set 25-18 off a kill by Erica Beacom.
Bemidji State scored first in set three and saw its lead grow to 6-3 before St. Cloud State went on a 6-0 run to pull ahead of the Beavers 9-6. BSU went on a run of its own rattling off seven of the next nine points to regain the lead at 13-11. With the score tied at 15-15 the home team used a two-point run to extend its lead to 17-15 before going on to take a 2-1 advantage in the match with a 25-19 victory.
In game four BSU jumped out to a early lead at 1-0 before SCSU took a 4-1 lead behind the serving of Tschida. BSU took advantage of three St. Cloud State errors followed by a kill by Laura Slinger (Fr., OH, Faribault, Minn.) to tie the score at 5-5. St. Cloud State pushed its lead to 9-6 but BSU quickly closed the gap and took the lead at 11-9 off three consecutive kills by Bitter and one kill by McNeely forcing St. Cloud to take a timeout.
Following the timeout St. Cloud State went on a 7-2 run extending its lead to as large as any in the set to 16-13 behind five consecutive kills for St. Cloud State forcing BSU to use a timeout. BSU tied the set back up after the timeout at 16-16 behind the serving of McNeely and eventually pushed its lead to 19-17. BSU had a 24-22 lead on the verge of sending the match into set five but the Huskies went on a 5-1 run to take the set 27-25 and the match 3-1.
With the loss the Beavers are now one an eleven-match losing skid and a two match losing skid to the Huskies. The Beavers fall to 16-41 all-time versus St. Cloud State and to 3-17 all-time versus the Huskies at Hallenbeck Hall.
Bemidji State (6-22; 2-14 NSIC) will return home for its final home stand of the 2008 season this weekend when the Beavers host No. 21 Augustana College at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 7 and No. 23 Wayne State College on Saturday, Nov. 8 at 4 p.m. from the BSU Gymnasium.
Bemidji State University, located in Bemidji, Minn., is an NCAA Division II institution and a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).