Beavers at Northern State • Nov. 9 • 7 p.m.
All-time series: BSU leads 33-29
About the Wolves (16-10, 11-7 NSIC)...
Northern State has been one of the hottest teams in the NSIC over the past month. The Wolves entered their Oct. 6 match at BSU with a 2-5 conference record, but go into Friday’s match at 11-7 with a spot in the postseason tournament. All-conference selections Keleinani Kabalis (first team), Drew Smith (second team), and Kelsey Chambers (second team) have led the team to 10 wins in its last 12 matches. Kabalis, a senior outside hitter, leads the Wolves with 296 kills and 25 service aces, while freshman setter Smith has amassed over 1,000 assists and is fifth in the NSIC in that category. Senior Ella Campbell leads the squad in digs with 301.
Bemidji State vs. Northern State...
Bemidji State is 33-29 all-time against the Wolves, but NSU has taken the last three meetings. BSU hasn’t beaten the Wolves on the road since Oct. 30, 2004.
Beavers at Minn. State Moorhead • Nov. 10 • 4 p.m.
All-time series: MSUM leads 68-55-1
About the Dragons (15-12, 7-11 NSIC)...
After a hot start to the season that saw Minnesota State, Moorhead jump into the national rankings, the Dragons dropped from playoff contention and now stand at 15-12 with a 7-11 NSIC ledger. MSU Moorhead is led by NSIC Libero of the Year Katy Ness, who has 200 more digs than anyone else in the league and is second in the nation in that category. She also has a team-best 21 service aces. Helping Ness on defense is freshman Kaitlin VanWinkle, who is sixth in the NSIC and 41st in the nation in blocks per set at 1.12. Annie Palmquist leads MSUM in kills with 302 and Heidi Lensing is right behind her with 288.
Bemidji State vs. MSU Moorhead...
With 124 all-time meetings, MSU Moorhead is the most common opponent on BSU’s all-time schedule. MSUM has won the last 17 matches, dating back to 2003 and is 68-55-1 overall against the Beavers.
The Bemidji State volleyball team will conclude an up-and-down 2012 campaign with road matches against Northern State and Minnesota State, Moorhead. Just over a month ago, the Beavers kicked off a four-match homestand, their longest of the season, against these two opponents. BSU fell 3-0 to MSUM before dropping a four-set match to the Wolves. The set win against NSU was Bemidji State’s first at home all season.
Entering the weekend, senior Bethany Thompson is 22 kills away from being the ninth Beaver all-time to reach 1,000 career kills. The senior outside hitter, who was selected to the All-NSIC Second Team this week, is averaging 13.28 kills per match this year and has a mark of 4.05 kills per set.
Last Time Out
Last week, the Beavers played their final two new opponents of the year in a road match against fifth-ranked Minnesota Duluth and their final home contest of 2012 against St. Cloud State. BSU lost both matches and is now riding a three-match losing skid.
The game against Minnesota Duluth was the Beavers’ only Thursday game of the season and it was the team’s final game against a ranked opponent. Bemidji State was unable to defeat the second-place Bulldogs, falling 25-13, 25-13, 25-15. BSU could not deny the high-powered Bulldog attack led by NSIC Player of the Year Kate Lange and finished the match without a service ace for the first time all season.
St. Cloud State came to Bemidji to wrap up the Beavers’ home slate on Saturday on Parent’s Day. The Huskies, who snapped an eight-match losing streak two nights prior against Minnesota, Crookston, continued their success with a 3-0 (25-20, 25-23, 25-18) win over BSU. Bemidji State led at various points throughout the match, but SCSU’s serving heated up at the right times and the Huskies were able to hold on for three close set wins and the overall victory.
Thompson Gets the Nod
Senior outside hitter Bethany Thompson became the 25th BSU player to earn all-conference honors on Wednesday when she was selected to the All-NSIC Second Team. The four-time Beaver Pride Athlete of the Week winner and UMD Volleyball Classic all-tournament team member is the school’s 13th outside hitter to be recognized by the conference and she is the second player to receive the honor under current head coach Wayne Chadwick.
We Meet Again
Bemidji State will conclude its season with matches against two teams it has already played in 2012. BSU lost to both Northern State and MSU Moorhead at home and will now play both squads on the road. The Beavers are 1-2 in rematch games after splitting season series with U-Mary and Minot State and being swept by Minnesota, Crookston. The meeting with NSU will mark the first time since Sept. 29 BSU leaves the state of Minnesota.
Two BSU Beaver volleyball players have landed themselves among the statistical leaders in the conference and in the nation. In the conference, Bethany Thompson is ranked second in kills per game at 4.05 (332 total) and second in points per game with 4.43 (363.5 total). Her kills per game put her at 15th in the nation and her points per set leave her at 22nd. Courtney Volkmann is fourth in the NSIC in service aces per game at 0.39 (32 total) and is 10th in assists per game with 9.07 (744 total).
Thus far in 2012, BSU has notched at least one win in each month of the season, except November. The Beavers’ final two chances to win in November come this weekend. In the month, Bemdji State is 1-9 under Wayne Chadwick with a 91-93-5 record all-time.
No. 2 Killing It
In her final season of collegiate volleyball, Bethany Thompson has racked up a career-best 332 kills. With two matches left in her time at BSU, she needs 22 to become the ninth player in program history with 1,000. Thompson averages 13.28 kills per match and 4.05 per set.
In addition to Bethany Thompson (332), three Beavers have 100-plus kills in Kelsi Crawford (151), Rachel Craig (145), and Kelly Niles (118). Craig has also hit 50 blocks. Thompson also passed the 200-dig mark in her last match, while Elissa Christensen has 235. Courtney Volkmann (189) and Courtney Fox (175) are also in reach of 200, while Kayla DeJong is 10 away from 100. Volkmann has also recorded 32 service ace and 744 assists, both BSU-highs.
Carrying the Load
Bethany Thompson has been the most active player for BSU this season, accumulating 586 more attacks than any other Beaver. Her 12.44 attacks per set are 0.53 more than any other player in the NSIC. In addition to leading the team in kills, she is either second or third on the Beavers in digs, blocks, service aces, and assists.
Last Thursday’s match against No. 5 Minnesota Duluth was BSU’s final contest against a ranked opponent in 2012. The Beavers played nine matches against teams with recognition in the national rankings at the time of the match.
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.