Bemidji State has three matches on tap for this week
The Bemidji State University volleyball team has three matches on the docket this week beginning with a match Tuesday at No. 2 University of Minnesota Duluth at 7 p.m. Following its match with UMD, BSU returns home Friday and Saturday to play host to Minnesota State University Moorhead and Northern State, respectively.
Scouting the Beavers
Bemidji State has three players that have averaged over two kills per set this season. This group is led by Bemidji, Minn. native Jessica Yost (OH, So.) who is averaging 3.16 kills per frame, while Amanda Tronick (OH, So., Hutchinson, Minn.) and Rachel Craig (MB, Sr., Wadena, Minn.) are averaging 2.41 and 2.03 kills per set, respectively.
Setting up Bemidji State’s offense has been senior Courtney Volkmann (Wadena, Minn.). Volkmann has registered 437 assists (8.74/per set), which ranks tenth in the NSIC.
Defensively, Bemidji State has been led by junior Kayla DeJong (DS, Jefferson, Wis.). DeJong not only leads the Beavers with 291 digs but has also paced the squad in digs in 16 of the 18 matches this season. On the block, Rachel Craig has led the way with 56 blocks.
Scouting Minnesota Duluth
No. 2 Minnesota Duluth is not only 17-1 record on the season, but is also riding an 11-match winning streak coming into this week’s action. The Bulldogs have lost just four sets all season and three of those were to No. 1 University of Tampa earlier this season.
The Bulldogs offense is powered by Monica Turner and Mariah Scharf. Turner leads UMD in hitting percentage of .425 with 153 kills, while Scharf leads the team with 218 kills. Setting up Turner and the rest of the Bulldogs’ hitters is Ashley Hinsch who leads the nation in assists per set (13.27). Defensively, senior Julie Rainey leads the way averaging 5.63 digs per frame this season.
Scouting MSU Moorhead
The Dragons will be looking for its first road win of 2014 when it visits Bemidji Friday evening. MSUM is led by Kaitlin VanWinkle who leads the team in kills (220) and blocks (72). Defensively, three different players average over two digs per set this season with Amber Krenske leading the way averaging 4.93 digs per frame.
Scouting Northern State
Northern State is led by 2013 AVCA All-American Kelsey Chambers who leads the team with 245 kills this season. Junior Drew Smith has set up Chambers for a majority of this season as the Ames, Iowa native is averaging 13.13 assists per set.
Rachel Craig, Amanda Tronick, Chelsea Frison (MB, Jr., Whitewater, Wis.), Jessica Yost, Kayla DeJong and Courtney Fox (DS, Jr., Hutchinson, Minn.) have appeared in every set so far this season for the Beavers.
Courtney Volkmann needs 113 more assists to move into a tie for sixth place with former Beaver Amy Soehnen (1992-95) on BSU’s all-time assist list.
BSU sophomore Jessica Yost and Amanda Tronick have accounted for a combined 18 15-kill matches in their two seasons as Beavers, including four each this season.
12 of the BSU’s 15 players this season are from the state of Minnesota.
There are five freshmen on this year’s BSU team. Four of the five have seen action in matches this season. (Laurel Denney, Angela Gareri, Jordyn Koehn and Caitlin Volkmann)
Kayla DeJong currently ranks sixth in the NSIC with 292 digs and ranks seventh with 4.56 digs per set. The last BSU player to finish top 10 in digs in the NSIC was Brie Groskreutz (third, 513 digs).
Hitting the mark
After leading the team with a .199 hitting percentage last season, senior Rachel Craig has improved her consistent hitting in 2014 with .261 hitting percentage.
Head Coach Wayne Chadwick currently has 31 career wins as BSU’s head coach, which is the fifth most in program history. Chadwick needs just one win to tie former Beaver head coach Jan Gudknecht for fourth on the all-time wins list.
Series history vs. Minnesota Duluth
Minnesota Duluth and Bemidji State have met over 100 times in history. UMD has the edge in the all-time series, 94-10-1. BSU’s last win over the Bulldogs came Sept. 30, 1998 in Duluth, Minn.
Series history vs. MSU Moorhead
Like the series against UMD, MSUM and BSU have a long standing rivalry. The Dragons lead the series 70-55-1, including 19 straight wins coming into this tilt. Bemidji State last defeated MSUM Oct. 4, 2003 in Bemidji, 3-1.
Series history vs. Northern State
Bemidji State holds the edge over the Wolves in the all-time series, 33-31. However, NSU has won the last five meetings including a 3-0 win last season in Abeerdeen, S.D. The last win for BSU in the series came Oct. 16, 2009 in Bemidji, 3-0.
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Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).