BEMIDJI, Minn. – As the non-conference season ends, the Bemidji State University volleyball team prepares for its first home matches of the season in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference opening play. The Beavers (3-5, 0-0 NSIC) will open NSIC action against Minnesota State University, Mankato Friday, Sept. 20 before closing out the weekend against Concordia University-St. Paul Saturday, Sept. 21.
Minnesota State: Friday’s clash with the Mavericks will be the 58th meeting between the two programs and Minnesota State holds the all-time series record at 38-19. Minnesota State has been dominant as of late and have won 19 of the last 20 meetings including a current four-match winning streak. In their last meeting, Minnesota State earned a 3-0 sweep over the Beavers in Bemidji on Oct. 13, 2018. BSU head coach Kevin Ulmer is 0-4 coaching against the Mavericks.
Concordia-St. Paul: Saturday’s meeting between the Golden Bears and Beavers will be the 42nd of the all-time series dating back to 1972. Concordia-St. Paul holds the series record at 31-9-1 and are on a 31-match winning streak against the Beavers. Bemidji State and Concordia-St. Paul last met a year ago with BSU falling 3-0 in Bemidji. Beavers’ head coach Kevin Ulmer is 0-4 coaching against the Golden Bears.
Minnesota State: Minnesota State enters the weekend with a 7-1 overall record and are tied for sixth in NSIC standings. The Mavericks return to action after competing at the Bellarmine Invitational in Louisville, Ky., where they went 4-0 at the tournament with wins over Christian Brothers University, Tiffin University, Virginia State University and Bellarmine University.
The Mavericks run their attack through senior Morgan Olson and junior Alivia Garbe. Olson leads the team and own’s the nation’s top kills per set average at 4.91 k/s after recording 108 kills in 22 sets. Garbe is close behind with a 4.31 kills per set average but leads the team with 112 kills in 26 sets. They both are some of the most efficient hitters in the conference and attack at a .336 efficiency for Olson and .326 efficiency for Garbe. Sophomore Dana Schindler coordinates the Mavericks attack and has totaled 264 assists and is seventh in the conference with a 10.15 assists per set average. She has also helped the Mavericks attack at a .280 efficiency which is fifth best in the NSIC.
On defense, Minnesota State is led by junior Mara Quam who averages 4.15 digs per set (108) which is ninth in the league. At the net, the Mavericks are led by senior Anissa Janziq who has totaled 26 blocks (1s-25a) while senior Ashton Lee and Olson follow with 22 and 21, respectively.
Concordia-St. Paul: The Golden Bears enter the weekend’s action ranked sixth in the latest American Volleyball Coaches’ Association Poll and tied for 10th in the league standings after sporting a 6-2 record in non-conference play. CSP concluded non-conference play at the Colorado Premier Challenge where they earned four wins over West Florida, No. 11 Ferris State, Regis (Colo.), and No. 15 Southwest Minnesota State.
Concordia-St. Paul is led on offense by junior Erin Fallert who has totaled 101 kills in 31 sets and leads the team with a 3.26 kills per set average. She is followed by freshman Jasmine Mulvihill who has recorded 98 kills for a 3.16 kills per set average. The Golden Bears attack at a .255 team hitting percentage and is coordinated by a pair of setters in Payton Nutter and Ellie Veldman. Nutter leads the team with 227 assists while Veldman follows with 158.
On defense, the Golden Bears are led by Tori Hanson who has compiled 151 digs for a 4.87 digs per set average which is fourth in the conference. Just behind her is Fallert who has recorded 121 digs and averages 3.90 digs per set. At the net, CSP is led by sophomore Kennedy Brady who has 31 blocks (2s-29a) which is sixth most in the conference.
For more information on the Bemidji State volleyball program, follow the Beavers on Twitter (@BSUBeaversVB), 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).