Beavers vs. Augustana • Sept. 21 • 7 p.m.
All-time series: Augustana leads 15-3
About the Vikings (7-4, 1-2 NSIC)...
Augustana began its season by going 2-2 at a tournament at Hawaii-Hilo, beating the host Vulcans twice and losing to top-ranked Nebraska-Kearney and British Columbia. The Vikings followed that up with a 4-0 run at the Black Hills State Tournament, which included a win against conference adversary U-Mary. In NSIC play, AC started with a home win against Upper Iowa before falling to Winona State and Wayne State, also at home.The Vikings are led on offense by Holly Hafemeyer’s 106 kills, as well as 320 assists by Marissa Johnson. Hefemeyer’s .342 hitting percentage is good for seventh in the conference, while Johnson’s 11.1 assists per game are fifth-best in the NSIC. Grace Sanders’ 4.43 digs per game (164 total) is also fifth-best in the NSIC.
Bemidji State vs. Augustana...
Bemidji State is 3-15 all-time against Augustana dating back to 1983. The Vikings have won the last three meetings and the Beavers have one win against them since 1987, a 3-2 home victory in 2009.
Beavers vs. No. 21 Wayne State • Sept. 22 • 3 p.m.
All-time series: BSU leads 10-7
About the Wildcats (8-3, 2-1 NSIC)...
Wayne State is off to an 8-3 start on the season and owns a current national ranking of 21. The Wildcats began the season by going 6-2 in two tournaments in Colorado. WSC began NSIC play with a home loss to Winona State, but posted a home win the next day against Upper Iowa and a road win on Tuesday against Augustana. The Wildcats are led by Kalli Lochner and Leisa McClintock. Lochner is sixth in the conference with a .370 hitting percentage, while McClintock is eighth at .348 and leads the team with 387 assists. Lauren Sieckmann is third in the NSIC with 3.82 kills per game (149 total). On defense, Alex Armes and Katie Beiermann are both top-ten in the conference in blocks per game at 1.15 and 1.07, respectively.
Bemidji State vs. Wayne State...
The Beavers are 2-23 against the Wayne State all-time and have dropped the last 14 matches. BSU last beat the Wildcats on Nov. 15, 2003 on the road. Last year, WSC beat Bemidji State 3-0.
Last weekend, Bemidji State opened its conference schedule with a win at Minot State and a loss at U-Mary. BSU won its NSIC opener for the third time in 10 years and second time in three years under head coach Wayne Chadwick. The Beavers improved to 6-0 all-time against MSU and played their second five-set match of the year against U-Mary after playing just one in 2011. On Tuesday, Bemidji State lost its home opener to Minnesota, Crookston 3-0.
Senior Bethany Thompson and sophomore setter Courtney Volkmann have landed themselves among the statistical leaders of the NSIC. Thompson is ranked second in kills per game at 4.17 (146 total) and second in points per game with 4.54 (159 total). Volkmann is third in service aces per game at 0.51 (18 total) and 10th in assists per game with 9.31 (326 total).
A Career Weekend
In three matches at the UMD Volleyball Classic two weeks ago, senior outside hitter Bethany Thompson beat or tied personal career bests in kills (24), digs (21), aces (4), blocks (3), and assists (3). Her performance, which saw her collect a double-double in all three games, earned her a spot on the UMD Classic all-tournament team as well as Beaver Pride Athlete of the Week honors (third of her career).
The Beavers wrapped up nonconference play at the UMD Volleyball Classic on Sept. 7-8, beating Erskine and falling to Ferris State and Shippensburg. BSU finished non-NSIC play with a 2-5 record, bringing Wayne Chadwick’s nonconference record with the school to 11-12.
According the Week 3 AVCA’s current Division II volleyball rankings, the Beavers will face seven ranked teams. In addition to playing 19th-ranked Ferris State last Friday, BSU faces six top 25-ranked NSIC opponents, including three teams currently ranked in the top four.
Out and About
Bemidji State’s 2012 schedule doesn’t feature much travel and the Beavers have already taken care of most of it. BSU made its longest trip of the season to Pittsburg, Kan. and played four of its eight out-of-state matches. After two matches in North Dakota last weekend, the Beavers will now only leave Minnesota to play at Upper Iowa and Northern State.
A Young Squad...
The Beavers entered the season with only two upperclassmen: Bethany Thompson, the lone senior and team captain, and Halee Staskivige, who sat out last season. The rest of the 14-player roster, which lost six letterwinners, includes six freshmen and six sophomores.
...But an Experienced Squad
Though the team only has one senior and one junior, the Beavers have brought back several players who played key roles on the team in 2011. Six members of the current team started at least one of last season’s 28 matches: Bethany Thompson (28), Rachel Craig (28), Kelsi Crawford (17), Kelly Niles (17), Courtney Volkmann (11), and Elissa Christensen (1). Thus far in the season, each of freshman has seen playing time in at least four of the nine matches. Overall, the team returned eight letterwinners.
Trying Something New
Former Ball State (Division I) captain and Northwerstern State graduate assistant Elaina Kakatolis is joins the team as the program’s first full-time assistant coach. Graduate assistant coach and former Beaver Nicole Solum returns for a second season.