BEMIDJI, Minn. (BSU Gymnasium) - Sophomore middle blocker Nicole Olson (Baudette, Minn.) recorded double-digit kills for the eighth time this season, but the BSU offensive attack would end there as No. 21 Augustana College secured a 3-0 (25-22, 26-24, 25-19) win in its first ever trip to Bemidji, Minn.
For the first time in twelve matches the Bemidji State offensive attack hit over .200 as the Beavers hit .202 (36k-14e-109at) but the Vikings hit .128 better at .330 (50k-13e-112at) which proved to be the difference in the match.
In set one Bemidji State opened the scoring off a kill by Olson and then pushed the lead to 4-2 off a serving error by the Vikings and an ace by Laura Slinger (Fr., OH, Faribault, Minn.). BSU continued to hold a two point lead at 6-4 but saw Augustana rattle of five points to take its first lead of the set at 9-6. The Vikings continued to push and extended their lead to seven at 16-9 off a ace serve by Cayla Schroeder. The Beavers battled back but the seven-point deficit was too much as they dropped the first set 22-25 to give Auggie a 1-0 lead in the match.
The second set saw Auggie jump out to a 7-3 lead behind the serving of Jenna Hultgren forcing BSU to take a time out. After the time out the Beavers Slinger took control of the serve as she helped BSU rattle of six straight points to take a 9-8 lead. BSU continued to push forward and eventually gained its largest lead of the night at 14-10 off a service ace by Laura Vonasek (Jr., LB, East Grand Forks, Minn.) forcing the Vikings to take their first time out of the match. The Vikings came out of the time out and scored ten of the next fifteen points to take a two-point lead at 21-19 which ended up being the margin of victory as Auggie eventually took the set, 26-24 for a 2-0 lead going into intermission.
BSU scored the first three points of the third set behind the serving of Melissa McNeely (Fr., OH, Burnsville, Minn.) and eventually pushed its lead to five points at 8-3 and 10-5 before the Vikings decided to take a time out. With the score in favor of BSU at 16-14 the Vikings showed why they are ranked No. 21 in the nation as they rattled off eleven of the next fourteen points to take the match and the set 25-19.
In addition to Olson’s 13 kills, she also led the Beavers with a .312 (13k-3e-32at) hitting percentage. McNeely was second on the team with seven kills in the match.
On another positive offensive note, Slinger and McNeely each contributed two service aces as BSU posted at least seven ace serves for the seventh time this season. The two service aces was a career-high for slinger.
Courtney Bitter (Fr., S, Bemidji, Minn.) led the Beavers offense with 31 assists while netting 10 digs for her eighth double-double of the season and third in a row. Jessi-Beth McCannell (Fr., LB, Brandon, Manitoba) led the Beavers with 13 digs while Heather Sampson (So., OH, Brooklyn Park, Minn.) had a team-high three blocks (2bs-1ba).
The Vikings were led by the pair of Cayla Schroeder and Ellen Andrews as Schroeder blasted a match-high 18 kills hitting over .600 while Andrews netted 13 kills for Auggie. Jenna Hultgren paced the Vikings defense with 15 digs while Lisa Hoegh had 43 set assist and nine digs in the match.
With the loss the Beavers fall to 2-12 all-time versus the Vikings from Augustana
Bemidji State (6-23; 2-15 NSIC) will wrap up its 2008 home schedule tomorrow afternoon when the Beavers host No. 23 Wayne State College 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).