|September 18, 2012||1st||2nd||3rd||Final|
Fox - 2
Christensen - 2
BEMIDJI, Minn. – The Bemidji State University volleyball team dropped its first home match of the season on Tuesday night, a 3-0 (25-23, 27-25, 25-21) decision to the University of Minnesota, Crookston. The Beavers dropped to 3-7 on the season with a 1-2 NSIC ledger and are now 20-11 all-time against the Golden Eagles with a 3-2 record under current head coach Wayne Chadwick.
“To see this energy, execution, and effort was a huge step forward for us,” Chadwick said. “Coming off a disappointing loss to U-Mary where we were up 2-0 and had a 13-10 lead in the fifth set, this is something we can build on.”
The match began with an intense first set in which the teams went back and forth and neither team had a lead of more than three points. After trailing 23-21, the BSU fought back to tie the score at 23 with back-to-back kills by senior Bethany Thompson (OH, Owatonna, Minn.), but the Golden Eagles capitalized on a Bemidji State service error and finished the game with a kill by Alexandra Skeeter.
Game 2 began in a similar fashion to the first set, but the Beavers rallied for their first three-point streaks of the night to take a 14-9 lead. UMC stormed back, however, and quickly erased its deficit by claiming nine of the next 11 points. BSU again trailed by two late in the match when the Golden Eagles made it 22-20, but the Beavers found a way to rally again before Minnesota, Crookston came out on top. After tying the set at 22, Thompson sandwiched two kills between UMC scores and a Courtney Volkmann (So., S, Wadena, Minn.) service ace put the Bemidji State on the brink of tying the match, but the Beavers conceded three straight points and fell 27-25.
Looking to avoid being swept in its home opener for the third time in four years, the Beavers came out strong in the third set and built a 15-10 lead, but UMC reeled off four runs of three points or more and stymied BSU’s attack, not allowing Bemidji State to score back-to-back points for the rest of the match, in a 25-21 win.
Thompson paced Bemidji State with her team-leading fifth double-double of the season with 17 kills and 10 digs. Volkmann had a match-high 28 assists and was one of three players on her team with multiple service aces. Courtney Fox (Fr., DS, Hutchinson, Minn.) and Elissa Christensen (So., Lib., Montevideo, Minn.) also had two aces apiece. Christensen added a team-high 11 digs.
“It’s great to be in front of the home fans,” said Chadwick on the team’s first match at the BSU Gymnasium, where the largest crowd to see a BSU game all season was in attendance. “There were a lot of people, a lot of energy, and it was just nice to be at home for a change.”
Within the Bemidji State-Minnesota, Crookston rivalry, the Golden Eagles broke up a string of six straight matches won by the home team.
BSU will host Augustana College on Friday and 21st-ranked Wayne State College on Saturday before hitting the road again with matches at Winona State University, who received votes in the latest AVCA Division II National Poll, and Upper Iowa University.