BSU opens conference play against U-Mary in Peace Garden State
Monday, September 12, 2011
BSU opens conference play against U-Mary in Peace Garden State
Setting The Scene

UMD Volleyball Classic
Tuesday, Sept. 13
Opponent: University of Mary
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Bismarck, N.D.
Arena: McDowell Activity Center
Live Stats: http://www.umary.edu/sports/LiveStats.php?team=volleyball

BSU Preview

Over the last two weeks the Beavers experienced a trial by fire as they looked to get much needed experience for 10 newcomers before the start of a tough NSIC season. Coach Wayne Chadwick saw strong performances from several of the new faces but unfortunately Bemidji State struggled in the win-loss column coming out of nonconference play with a 3-5 mark. However, included in their nonconference schedule were two 2010 NCAA Regional participants in Rollins College and California University (Pa.)

Bemidji State has been led thus far by junior outside hitter Bethany Thompson (Owatonna, Minn.). Thompson, the NSIC Player to Watch for the Beavers, has averaged 2.86 kills per game and is hitting .184. BSU currently boasts a .194 hitting percentage as a team. Thompson is joined on the offensive attack by newcomers Kelsi Crawford (Fr., OH/DS, Wadena, Minn.), Rachel Craig (Fr., MB, Wadena, Minn.) and Kelly Niles (Fr., OH, Grand Rapids, Minn.) All three players have had strong moments in eight matches so far for the Beavers. They have each started all eight matches for Coach Wayne Chadwick's squad.

At setter, Jessi-Beth McCannell (Sr., Brandon, Manitoba) comes into the week averaging 8.04 assists per game. She has gotten the most playing time at setter as Courtney Volkmann (Fr., Wadena, Minn.), the 2010 Minnesota Class AA Player of the Year gets engrained into the BSU system. Volkmann is currently averaging 3.94 assists per game.

Defensively, Laura Carlson (Jr., Lib., Hutchinson, Minn.) is currently the leader averaging 3.38 digs per set. She is joined by Thompson, who has played the entire rotation for BSU much of the season thus far. Thompson is averaging 2.28 digs per set.

U-Mary Preview

The University of Mary Marauders enter Tuesday's match with a 1-7 mark on the season. The Marauders went 1-3 over the weekend at the Colorado Mesa Tournament in Grand Junction, Colo. U-Mary's lone victory came over Western State. They lost to Mesa State, Fort Lewis and Adams State.

U-Mary is paced by Julie Paradine's 3.26 kills per game. Paradine, a 5-10 junior outside hitter, is hitting .195 on the season. She is joined by freshman outside hitter Lauren Boldt as the two most potent offensive threats for the Marauders through the first eight matches. Boldt is averaging 2.42 kills per game and is hitting .245.

At setter,sophomore  Emily Turkowski and junior Hailee Walsh have split time so far this season. Walsh comes into Tuesday averaging 5.00 assists per set, while Turkowski is averaging 4.59 assists per set.

Defensively, junior Valerie Lesu comes into the Bemidji State match averaging 4.11 digs per set. Opponents are hitting .263 against U-Mary so far this season.

Newcomers Gaining Experience

Through eight matches so far this season Wayne Chadwick has played eight of 10 newcomers including three players who have started every match for the Beavers. Wadena-Deer Creek High School teammates Rachel Craig and Kelsi Crawford, along with Grand Rapids product Kelly Niles are the three players getting the most time in the BSU rotation. Courtney Volkmann and Elissa Christensen (Fr., DS) are two other freshman that have played notable roles with the Beavers so far this season. Christensen has been a bit of surprise coming in from Montevideo, Minn. She has currently appeared in all eight matches for the Beavers and is averaging 1.28 digs per set. Courtney Lermon (Jr., S, Owatonna, Minn.), Leigh Peterson (Jr., DS, Deer River, Minn.) and Kristen Thingvold (Fr., OH, Crystal, Minn.) have also played for Bemidji State.

Top Returnees

MB/RS 9 Kimberly Hacker, Sr., Hutchinson, Minn.
S 10 Jessi-Beth McCannell, Sr., Brandon, Manitoba
Libero 11 Laura Carlson, Jr., Hutchinson, Minn.
OH 2 Bethany Thompson, Jr., Owatonna, Minn.

Newcomers to Watch

MB 1 Rachel Craig, Fr., Wadena, Minn.
OH/DS 6 Kelsi Crawford, Fr., Wadena, Minn.
OH/MB 5 Kelly Niles, Fr., Grand Rapids, Minn.
S 3 Courtney Volkmann, Fr., Wadena, Minn.

2011 Stat Leaders

Kills: Bethany Thompson (83)
Hitting Percentage: Rachel Craig (.348)
Assists: Jessi-Beth McCannell (209)
Service Aces: Bethany Thompson (10)
Digs: Laura Carlson (98)
Total Blocks: Rachel Craig (20)

Match Starters

(All Players Have Started Eight Matches)
OH 2 Bethany Thompson, Jr., Owatonna, Minn.
MB 9 Kimberly Hacker, Sr., Hutchinson, Minn.
MB 1 Rachel Craig, Fr., Wadena, Minn.
OH 5 Kelly Niles, Fr., Grand Rapids, Minn.
DS 6 Kelsi Crawford, Fr., Wadena, Minn.
S 10 Jessi-Beth McCannell, Sr., Brandon, Manitoba
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