|September 15, 2012||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||5th||Final|
Fox - 1
Christensen - 1
DeJong - 1
Lesu - 2
Volkmann - 1
Frison - 1
Niles - 1
BISMARCK, N.D. – The Bemidji State University women’s volleyball team got off to a good start on Saturday afternoon, but was unable to stave off a University of Mary comeback in a 3-2 (25-18, 25-14, 16-25, 17-25, 16-14) road defeat. The win was U-Mary’s first of the season and dropped BSU’s overall record to 3-6 with a 1-1 mark in NSIC play. The Beavers were denied their first 2-0 conference start since opening with three wins in 2002.
“In the first two games we played almost flawless and that’s why we won,” said Bemidji State head coach Wayne Chadwick. “Lots of credit to Mary—they stepped up and made adjustments and we did not react.”
BSU carried its momentum from a 3-0 win over Minot State University on Friday into the match’s first set. The Beavers used a four-point streak to pull away early and used another four-point run to extend their lead again after the Marauders made things interesting with a five-point run of their own. Bethany Thompson (OH, Owatonna, Minn.) led the way offensively with seven kills while freshman Courtney Fox (DS, Hutchinson, Minn.) and sophomore Elissa Christensen (Lib., Montevideo, Minn.) tallied six and five digs, respectively, in a 25-18 win.
The second set saw an even faster start for Bemidji State as the Beavers led the entire way in a 25-14 win. The Marauders comeback attempt with the score at 13-10 was thwarted when BSU went on an 11-2 run. There was bit of a changing of the guard in the offense in Game 2, as sophomore outside hitters Kelly Niles (Grand Rapids, Minn.) and Kelsi Crawford (Wadena, Minn.) led the charge with six kills apiece. Setter Courtney Volkmann (So., Wadena, Minn.) racked up 12 assists in the set.
U-Mary began to climb back into the match in the third set by opening the game by scoring 10 of the first 13 points en route to a 25-16 win. The Marauders knotted the match up by winning again in the fourth game after jumping out to 10-6 lead. The Beavers tried to rally late, fell short in a 25-17 loss. U-Mary capped its comeback by erasing a late 13-10 lead by outscoring the BSU 6-1 down the stretch in Game 5 for a 16-14 final.
Thompson (match-high 16 kills and 11 digs) and Volkmann (career-high 45 assists and 14 digs) each recorded her fourth double-double of the season, while Fox had a career-best 14 digs. Christensen led the team with 15 digs and Niles and Crawford achieved double-digit kills on the day with 11 and 10, respectively.
“In the first two games, our serve-receive passes were almost perfect and Bethany was getting some good swings,” Chadwick said. “In Games 3 and 4 we stopped passing the ball. We had our chances in Game 5, but we couldn’t finish. Hopefully it’s a lesson learned and we can get ready for Tuesday’s match against Crookston.”
After playing in just one five-set match in 2011, Bemidji State has now had two in the first nine matches of this season after beating Erskine 3-2 last week.
The Beavers will open their home schedule on Tuesday night at 7 against the University of Minnesota, Crookston at the BSU Gymnasium. BSU will then play home matches against Augustana College and 18th-ranked Wayne State College on Friday and Saturday before hitting the road again.