Beavers Nearly Squeak Out Match Against Golden Bears;
Friday, October 24, 2003
BEMIDJI, MINN. -- Fighting back from a 1-2 game deficit, the Bemidji State (13-13, 5-5 NSIC) volleyball squad nearly upset No. 13 Concordia-St. Paul (21-1, 9-0 NSIC), but the Golden Bears pulled out the 3-2 victory at the BSU Gymnasium tonight. It was the 20th straight victory for the Golden Bears on the season. Game scores were 30-19, 26-30, 30-21, 26-30, 15-12.

“ I am very happy with our performance today,” said head coach Kim Falkenhagen. “We played our best and that is all I can expect from them at this point in the season.

“We were not even supposed to take one game, let alone two and for that, I am very proud of my girls. The Concordia-St. Paul head coach (Brady Starkey) told me that that was the first time his girls were scared all season long.”

Bemidji State got out to its only lead in game one with a 4-1 early advantage. The Golden Bears reeled off eight straight and forced the Beavers into an uphill battle the entire set. The block tandem of senior Kristin Peterson and junior Heather Haugen brought BSU to within an 18-27 count, but the guests notched the final two points.

A kill by junior Kristin Smith finished off a 14-8 run to begin game two. However, C-SP earned 10 of the next 12 points and took an 18-16 lead. Two knockdowns apiece by senior Lisa Smith and Peterson fueled a 7-2 spurt and put the hosts back on top to stay, 29-24. Lisa Smith ended things with her sixth kill of the game.

BSU seemed to get things rolling after a brief 9-12 deficit in the third game. It notched three kills and a service ace apiece by Haugen and Lisa Smith to take a 16-15 edge. But, the Golden Bears responded with a 15-5 game-ending run.

In game four, the Beavers forced the visitors into a tim-eout after a solo block by Haugen. The score stood 12-8 at that point. Concordia-St. Paul tied the score twice afterwards before Bemidji State rattled off nine of the next 12 points to lead 27-21. C-SP made the game interesting, swiping five unanswered before the Beavers knocked home the final three tallies.

Concordia-St. Paul controlled the tempo in game five, jumping out to a 9-3 lead. With Haugen serving, two Lisa Smith kills narrowed the margin at two (12-14). But a BSU error ended the hopes of upsetting the No. 1 North Central Region squad.

“No one player stood out tonight,” said Falkenhagen. “Everyone worked together equally and got the job done.

“This effort will give us a lot of confidence now to finish out the season on a strong note. This is a huge step forward for our program to play a nationally ranked opponent like we did.”

Concordia-St. Paul owned the better hitting mark (.254-.172) and total blocks (15-11). Both clubs had six service aces.

Lisa Smith tied a career-high with 24 kills, the most for any BSU player since she had the same effort against SW Minnesota State, Oct. 18, 2002. She chipped in 10 digs for her 10th career double-double and fifth on the season. Haugen added 12 kills, with junior Kelly Piper notching her seventh career double-double with 11 kills and 14 digs. Peterson came away with 10 kills and Kristin Smith posted 55 assists and 11 digs, her 23rd career double-double. Junior Kristine Engman totaled 14 digs.

Jill Kavlik topped five players in double-figure kills with 21 on the night. Setter Cailin Terhaar recorded a game-high 61 assists and 13 digs while Megan Graham notched a game-high 20 digs.

Bemidji State hosts the Warriors from Winona State tomorrow afternoon at 3:00 p.m. WSU dropped a 3-0 decision at the hands of Minnesota-Crookston tonight.

NOTE: In the overall series, BSU still leads 9-6-1 despite dropping the last four matches...Head coach Kim Falkenhagen sits one win shy of equaling Pat Rosenbrock’s 14 total wins in 1975, which is second-highest for a rookie skipper...The Beavers snapped a 13-game winning streak by Concordia-St. Paul after winning game two; C-SP had swept its last four matches on the season...BSU has now take its last two matches to five games, the last time that occurred was Oct. 15 & 18, 2002...The Beavers fall to 6-3 on the season at the BSU Gymnasium...The double-digit blocks (11) for BSU increases its season total to eight; the most since the 2001 club totaled nine...Kristin Peterson got her double-double streak halted at four matches after a 10 kill, eight dig effort tonight...Bemidji State loses for the first time when Lisa Smith gets 20+ kills or when Kristin Smith records 55 or more assists in their career - the Beavers were 7-0 before the loss tonight.