|September 29, 2012||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||Final|
Thompson - 12
FAYETTE, Iowa - The Bemidji State University volleyball team made a valiant comeback effort in a road match against NSIC opponent Upper Iowa University, but the Peacocks outlasted BSU 3-1 (25-21, 25-14, 23-25, 25-23) Saturday night. After falling behind 2-0, the Beavers overcame a large deficit late in the third set to push the match to a fourth game, but the team could not pull off a similar rally in the fourth set to extend the game further.
With the loss, the Beavers’ sixth in a row, the team dropped to 3-11 with a 1-6 ledger in the NSIC. Upper Iowa upped its season record to 10-6 and jumped above .500 in the conference at 4-3.
“Game 2 was the disappointing part—I’m disappointed with the loss, but I can be relatively pleased with the first, third, and fourth sets,” said BSU head coach Wayne Chadwick. “Tonight wasn’t the prettiest match for both teams, but we found ways to grind points out and stay in the match.”
BSU kept pace with Upper Iowa in the first set until the Peacocks used a 7-2 run to create separation. The game ended how it began, with the teams trading points and UIU came out on top, 25-21. The trouble in Game 2 presented itself early for Bemidji State, who could not get any offense going in a rocky start out of the gate. The Peacocks began the set with a 9-1 lead and never looked back for a 25-14 win.
It looked as if Upper Iowa would cruise to a sweep in the third set when it was two points away from closing out the match at 23-15, but BSU was eager to put an end to a string of 17 consecutive sets lost. From that point on the Beavers capitalized on seven UIU errors and received kills from Kelsi Crawford (So., OH, Wadena, Minn.), Bethany Thompson (Sr., OH, Owatonna, Minn.), and Rachel Craig (So., MH, Wadena, Minn.) to pull off an incredible comeback and keep the match alive. Craig and setter Courtney Volkmann (So., Wadena, Minn.) also posted a pair of block assists each during the 10-0 rally and freshman Courtney Fox (DS, Hutchinson, Minn.) never lost the serve after Bemidji State earned its 16th point.
“The third set was a sign that we’re not going to give up and that we’re going to going to keep battling,” Chadwick said of his team’s momentous comeback. “That run was a great little moment for us.”
In the fourth set, Bemidji State kept up with the Peacocks, but Upper Iowa made a late run to take a 23-18 lead. The Beavers made it close by cutting UIU’s advantage to one point at 24-23, but the Peacocks ended a long rally on the last point with Hailey Brown’s match-high 17th kill of the night to seal the victory.
For BSU, Thompson and Volkmann registered double-doubles. Thompson put up 12 kills in 10 digs in her sixth double-double of 2012 and Volkmann had 36 assists and 13 digs in her fifth. Volkmann also had a career-high four blocks. Also active at the net, Craig tied a career-best with six total blocks (one solo) and had a season-high 12 kills while hitting .409 on the night. Libero Elissa Christensen (So., Montevideo, Minn.) had her highest dig total in eight matches and led all players in the Saturday’s match in that category with 18.
Up next on the docket for the Beavers is a four-match homestand to start the month of October. Bemidji State will host Minnesota State University, Moorhead next Friday before taking on Northern State University on Saturday. The following week, second-ranked Southwest Minnesota State University and the University of Sioux Falls will come to town.