BEMIDJI, Minn. – With just six matches remaining on the 2016 schedule, the Bemidji State University volleyball team returns home to host a pair of nationally ranked opponents in No. 7 Augustana University (S.D.) and No. 8 Wayne State College (Neb.). The Beavers (7-13, 3-11 NSIC) hope to snap a three-match losing streak over the weekend by hosting the Vikings (20-4, 11-3 NSIC) Friday, Oct. 28 and the Wildcats (17-6, 8-6 NSIC) Saturday, Oct. 29.
the Vikings: Bemidji State and Augustana’s series dates back to 1983 while the Vikings hold the all-time series record, 21-3. The Beavers are winless in the last five matches against the Vikings and in their most recent meeting, Augustana defeated Bemidji State, 3-0, Oct. 10, 2015.
the Wildcats: The Beavers and Wildcats have faced off with each other since 1995 with Wayne State leading the all-time series record, 28-2. The Wildcats are currently on a 19-match winning streak against the Beavers and in their last meeting, Wayne State defeated BSU, 3-0, Oct. 9, 2015.
Bemidji State: The Beavers begin the weekend’s action tied for 13th in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference standings and have lost three matches in a row. The Beavers return home after spending the last three matches on the road at University of Minnesota Crookston, No. 2 Southwest Minnesota State University and University of Sioux Falls.
The Beavers are ninth in the NSIC in hitting percentage (.206) but are just 14th in the league in kills per sets (11.39). BSU is eighth in the league in blocks (1.85) but are 13th and 15th in opponent kills (13.02) and hitting percentage (.241), respectively.
The Beavers are led by senior outside hitters Jessica Yost and Amanda Tronick. Yost and Tronick are each having career seasons and are on pace to set career highs in kills. Yost leads the team with 325 kills and is fourth in the NSIC with a 3.92 kills per set average. Tronick is second on the team with 279 kills and stands 10th in the conference with 3.36 k/s. Both players have entered the program’s record book and each have eclipsed 1,000 career kills while at Bemidji State. Tronick stands ninth on BSU’s career kills list with 1,043 while Yost is just two kills shy of breaking the school’s career record. Yost has 1,299 career kills and will look to surpass Peggy Hammel-Moran (‘96-’99) for the top spot.
Augustana: The Vikings travel to Bemidji, Minn., as the seventh ranked team in the American Volleyball Coaches’ Association national poll. The Vikings boast a 20-4 (11-3 NSIC) record and are tied for fourth in the NSIC standings. Augustana hosted St. Cloud State University and No. 1 University of Minnesota Duluth last weekend and earned two wins in conference play.
The Vikings are led by Courtney Place who averages 3.38 k/s, ninth-best in the NSIC. Leading the team in hitting percentage is Bailey Koch with a .364 average and in 462 attacks, has just 39 errors. Anna Sykora coordinates the Vikings’ attack and ranks sixth in the league with 11.67 assists per set.
Wayne State: The Wildcats enter the weekend ranked eighth in the latest AVCA national poll and are coming off a weekend that saw a split with No. 1 Minnesota Duluth and St. Cloud State. Wayne State fell to the No. 1 Bulldogs but rallied against St. Cloud State for their only win over the weekend. The Wildcats are currently tied for seventh in the league standings and are 8-6 in league play.
The Wildcats are led by a group of players on offense who average at least 2.00 kills per set. Michaela Mestl leads the team with a 2.94 average while Alyssa Frauendorfer, Natalie Vondrak and Erin Gross all average more than two kills per set. The Beavers will see the top blocking team in the conference Saturday, with the Wildcats averaging 2.38 blocks per set. Alex Opperman leads the team with a 1.22 average, which is also best in the league.
For more information on the Bemidji State volleyball program, follow the Beavers on Twitter (@BSUBeavers), like them on Facebook (facebook.com/BSUBeavers and Volleyball Facebook) or sign up for the TXTUpdates from BSUBeavers.com text-messaging system through the "Multimedia" pull down menu on the main page of BSUBeavers.com.
Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooden region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, BSU 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).