|September 07, 2012||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||Final|
Aly Brecht - 10
Volkmann - 4
Niles - 3
DULUTH, Minn. – The Bemidji State University volleyball team faced its first top-25 ranked opponent of the season on Friday night, falling 3-1 (25-14, 23-25, 25-23, 25-17) to 19th-ranked Ferris State University in its opening match at the two-day, six-team Duluth Volleyball Classic. The match was the first of the season, win or loss, to go more than three sets for the Beavers.
The loss drops BSU’s record to 1-4, while the Bulldogs improve to 5-1 after two wins against NSIC opponents on Friday. Ferris State also topped the University of Minnesota, Crookston 3-1 in its earlier match.
“Ferris State is a good, solid team,” said head coach Wayne Chadwick. “I didn’t think we played a very good game in Game 1, but in the second game we played much, much better.”
The Beavers opened the first set by going back and forth with FSU until the Bulldogs used two five-point rallies—one that closed out the game—to take a 1-0 lead with a 25-14 win. The opening game was the 10th straight set Bemidji State had dropped, but BSU was motivated to halt the skid and get back into its fifth match of the season.
In the second set, the Beavers again exchanged points with Ferris State and prevented the Bulldogs from scoring more than three times in a row. On the verge of winning the set at 24-21, BSU committed two errors that made it a one-point game, but a Kelsi Crawford (So., OH, Wadena, Minn.) kill sealed the 25-23 win.
After BSU rallied to knot the score at 23 following two more large runs by the Bulldogs, Ferris State emerged with a 2-1 lead by earning the last two points. The Bulldogs completed the win by pulling away midway through fourth set and claiming a 25-17 victory. The final set was interrupted for over an hour when the Romano Gym fire alarms went off. The teams split the final 16 points of the game and the 17-9 lead that FSU held going into the delay was enough for the Bulldogs to hold onto the victory,
Captain Bethany Thompson (Sr., OH, Owatonna, Minn.) and setter Courtney Volkmann (So., Wadena, Minn.) both recorded double-doubles in the match. Thompson compiled 14 kills and 21 digs, while Volkmann completed her second double-double in three games with a career-high 41 assists and 11 digs. The Wadena, Minn. native also contributed seven kills.
“I thought we responded well after the break,” Chadwick said. “We played them even [after the delay], but we never got on track in that game. There were lots of positive from the game overall, but that third game was a killer.”
Freshman Chelsea Frison (MH, Whitewater, Wis.), who sat out the team’s first four matches due to injury, made her collegiate debut on Friday, recording seven kills and assisting on three blocks. Fellow middle hitter, Rachel Craig (So., Wadena, Minn.) was solid as she chipped in 11 kills and libero Elissa Christensen (So., Montevideo, Minn.) was one dig shy of her career high with 23.
“Chelsea is only going to get better,” said Chadwick of Frison. “I was pleased with what she was able to do, all things considered. She responded well.”
The Beavers, who went 0-4 at an early-season tournament in Duluth in 2011, will look to rebound against Erskine College of South Carolina at 9 a.m. and against Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania at 5 p.m. on Saturday. The matches against the Flying Fleet and the Raiders will be BSU’s final non-conference games of 2012 as it opens NSIC play at league newcomer Minot State University next Friday.