Volleyball travels to No. 14 Minnesota State, No. 7 SW Minnesota State
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Volleyball travels to No. 14 Minnesota State, No. 7 SW Minnesota State
Setting The Scene

Friday, September 23
Opponent: No. 14 Minnesota State University
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Mankato, Minn.
Arena: Taylor Center
Live Stats: http://www.sidearmstats.com/mnsu/wvball/
Live Video: NMTV

Saturday, September 24
Opponent: No. 7 Southwest Minnesota State University
Time: 3 p.m.
Location: Marshall, Minn.
Arena: Physical Education Gymnasium
Live Stats: http://smsumustangs.com/custompages/vball/livestats/xlive.htm
Live Video: NMTV

Bemidji State University Preview
The Bemidji State University volleyball team comes into the weekend with a 4-8 (1-3 NSIC) mark. The Beavers travel to No. 14 Minnesota State University and No. 7 Southwest Minnesota State University this weekend. BSU is coming off a tough 3-0 loss at No. 5 University of Minnesota Duluth on Tuesday. BSU has a tough road ahead as five of their next six matches are slated to be against teams currently ranked in the top 15 nationally.

Bethany Thompson (Jr., OH, Owatonna, Minn.) comes in as the offensive leader for the Beavers. Thompson is averaging 2.95 kills per game and hitting .157. In addition, Thompson is leading the team in service aces (16) and is second on the team in digs (99). She is joined offensively by senior middle blocker Kimberly Hacker (Hutchinson, Minn.) and a group of freshmen led by Rachel Craig (MB, Wadena, Minn.) and Kelsi Crawford (OH/DS, Wadena, Minn.). Craig comes into Friday's match hitting .302 and averaging 1.83 kills per game.

At setter, Jessi-Beth McCannell (Sr., Brandon, Manitoba) enters the weekend averaging 8.41 assists per game.

Defensively, libero Laura Carlson (Jr., Hutchinson, Minn.) is averaging 3.74 digs per game. The Beavers come into the weekend holding opponents to a .258 hitting percentage.

Scouting The Opponent: Minnesota State University
The No. 14 Minnesota State University, Mankato Mavericks come into Friday's match with an 8-3 (1-2 NSIC) mark. The Mavericks' two losses came at the hands of No. 1 Concordia University, St. Paul and No. 7 Southwest Minnesota State.

MSU is led by a pair of juniors offensively. 6-2 middle blocker Jill Storlie enters the match hitting .288 and averaging 3.58 kills per game while 5-10 outside hitter Chelsea Fogarty comes in averaging 3.67 kills per game and hitting .221. The Mavericks are hitting .205 as a team with 259 errors coming into the weekend.

Senior setter Brittany Stamer comes into Friday averaging 11.00 assists per game.

Defensively, Storlie comes in averaging 1.26 blocks per game and libero Alli Rice comes in averaging 3.56 digs per game. In addition, Minnesota State has two other players averaging more than three digs per game with Fogarty averaging 3.37 digs per game and Stamer averaging 3.49 digs per game.

Series History: Minnesota State University
The Mavericks lead the all-time series 29-18 against Bemidji State. Minnesota State won both matches last season.

Scouting The Opponent: Southwest Minnesota State University
The No. 7 Southwest Minnesota State University Mustangs enter Saturday's match with a 9-2 (3-0 NSIC) record. The Mustangs only two losses came to No. 9 Metro State University (Colo.) and No. 13 Wayne State College (Neb.). SMSU is one a five-match winning streak since losing to Metro State on Sept. 9.

The Mustangs are playing without 2010 NSIC Offensive Player of the Year and All-American Devin Diedrich, who is out with an injury. In her absence Southwest Minnesota State has turned to Mary Groth and Brooke Burmeister who both come into the weekend averaging over four kills per game. Groth leads the team averaging 4.78 kills per game and hitting .326.

At setter, Cara Carson is second in the NSIC averaging 12.51 assists per set. The Mustangs are hitting .244 as a team coming into Saturday's match.

Defensively, Brittany Wenzel and Rachel Westby lead the squad averaging over four digs per game. SMSU is holding opponents to a .149 hitting percentage this season.

Series History: Southwest Minnesota State University
The Mustangs lead the all-time series 54-31 against the Beavers. SMSU won both of lost year's matches against BSU.

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

DS 14 Elissa Christensen, Fr., Montevideo, Minn.
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 (124)
Hitting Percentage: Rachel Craig (.302)
Assists: Jessi-Beth McCannell (328)
Service Aces: Bethany Thompson (16)
Digs: Laura Carlson (157)
Total Blocks: Rachel Craig (25)

Match Starters

(All Players Have Started 12 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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