Beavers Fall to No. 6 Minnesota Duluth 3-0 on the Road
Tuesday, September 21, 2004
DULUTH, Minn. - Bemidji State University head volleyball coach Kim Falkenhagen likes to schedule tough teams early in the season to prepair the Beaves for conference competition, and the 2004 BSU schedule is no different. In five of their first 11 matches the Beavers have been pitted against teams ranked in the Top-25 by the American Volleyball Coaches Association. In each of those contests the Beavers have been defeated. Tuesday evening Bemidji State ran into one of those teams falling in three games (30-23, 30-25, 30-18) to No. 6 University of Minnesota Duluth.

The Beavers continued offensive struggles and the Bulldogs' blocking game were major contributors to BSU's downfall.

This season Bemidji State has hit over .275 on just two occasions and is hitting just .179 as a team. That trend continued Tuesday as only three players managed more than five kills and the team recorded a .109 (36k-24e-110-att) attack percentage. A large reason the Beavers had trouble generating offense was the play if the Bulldogs on the front line. UMD finished the game with nine total team blocks as six players recorded at least one.

Fresh off a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Offensive Player of the Week award, freshman Brittney Burns (Henderson, Minn) together with senior Kristine Engman (Virginia, Minn.) led the charge for the Beavers as each collected nine kills in the game. Engman paced BSU hitting .286 (9k-3e-21att) to go with three assists and eight digs. Senior setter Kristin Smith (Rockford, Ill.) also had eight digs in the match adding a team-high 29 assists. Freshman defensive specialist Alicia Beaman recorded at least 10 digs for the fifth time this season posting 14 to top the Beavers in that category.

The Bulldogs were led by 2003 All-American Callie Zwettler. The senior recorded 17 kills on 34 attempts while committing five errors for a hitting percentage of .353 as UMD posted a .291 hitting percentage as a team. Greta Iisakka led the team with 43 assists while Allison Boddy dug a match-high 16 BSU attempts.

The loss drops the Beavers to 4-7 overall as the team is 1-1 in NSIC play while Minnesota Duluth extends its winning streak to 11 games improving to 11-1 on the season.

Bemidji State returns home for a pair of league match-ups this weekend. Friday BSU hosts Minnesota State University-Moorhead at 7:00 p.m. and Saturday the Beavers welcome Northern State University in a 3:00 p.m. matinee. Both matches are scheduled for the BSU Gymnasium.