Match Notes: BSU @ Northern Michigan Tournament, Aug. 28-29
Thursday, August 19, 2004
Bemidji State Opens 2004 Season at Northern Michigan Tournament
The 2004 Bemidji State (0-0, 0-0 NSIC) volleyball team begins play at the Northern Michigan Tournament with two matches against perennial powers, Minnesota Duluth and Northern Michigan. The Beavers face off against UM-Duluth, who defected from the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) to the North Central Conference (NCC) to begin the 2004-05 season, with a match at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday. Host school NMU, ranked 14th in the CSTV/AVCA Division II Coaches Top 25 Preseason Poll (Aug. 10), will be the second opponent on Sunday at 4:00 p.m. UMD is ranked No. 17 in the preseason poll.

Quick Hitters
• In 35 season-openers, the Beavers are 23-12 (.657) including a 14-11 (.560) record away from BSU Gymnasium.

• Bemidji State has competed in tournament play to begin the last six seasons - in those years, BSU is 10-13 (.434).

• The Beavers take on Northern Michigan, the former school of head coach Kim Falkenhagen. While a player from 1994-95, Falkenhagen earned AVCA All-Great Lakes Region and All-GLIAC honors in 1995.

• Taking fifth in the 2003 NSIC standings, the highest since 1999, the Beavers went 15-17 overall. They return six starters including All-NSIC Honorable Mention performers Heather Haugen and Kristin Smith.

• Senior Heather Haugen looks to become the seventh player in history to record 800 career kills and 200 career blocks - she stands with 799 kills and 215 blocks entering the weekend.

Series History
BSU vs. Minnesota Duluth: UMD leads 78-9 winning the last 11 meetings. The last encounter occurred Nov. 8, 2003 with a 3-0 UMD win. BSU last won Sept. 30, 1998 in a 3-2 affair.

BSU vs. Northern Michigan: NMU has won all six meetings in the series with the last one coming Aug. 29, 1998, 3-0. BSU has yet to take a game in the all-time series.

About the Opponents
#17 Minnesota Duluth: The Bulldogs, who ended 2003 with the No. 17 spot in the national rankings, enter the tournament with a 0-0 mark. Head coach Jim Boos holds a 55-8 career mark in two seasons at UM-Duluth. The Bulldogs, who finished 26-5 last season, welcome back AVCA Second Team All-America selection Callie Zwettler and All-Region setter Greta Iisakka.
#14 Northern Michigan: The Wildcats rolled through the 2003 season with a 26-1 mark and a No. 18 national ranking. Head coach Jim Moore sports a 149-56 record in six seasons at NMU and is 328-149 overall. The Wildcats have five starters returning, including senior outside hitter Aimee Dewitte, senior outside hitter Jennie Little and senior middle blocker Beth Honaker.

Head Coach Kim Falkenhagen -- 2nd Season (15-17 Career Record, .469)
Second-year head coach Kim Falkenhagen, who tallied the second-most wins (15) as a BSU rookie general in 2003, became the 11th head coach after a three-year stint as an assistant coach at West Texas A&M. At WTAMU, she helped direct one of the best Division II programs in the nation, taking the Buffaloes to the NCAA round of 16 in each of her three years on staff, including national quarterfinal appearances in 2000 and 2002.
Prior to her stint at West Texas A&M, Falkenhagen was varsity coach at Bay City Central High School in Bay City, Mich. from 1997-’99. There, she helped develop several Division I athletes including Michigan State defensive specialist Emily Engel.
Falkenhagen began her collegiate playing career at Weber State, playing with the Wildcats from 1992-’93 before transferring to Northern Michigan. There, Falkenhagen helped lead the Wildcats to the 1994 NCAA Division II national championship and a national runner-up finish in 1995.
She earned AVCA All-Great Lakes Region and All-GLIAC honors in 1995, and was named to regional All-Tournament teams in both 1994 and ‘95. She led NMU in total blocks (93) and block assists (82) in 1995.
Falkenhagen earned a bachelor of science degree from Northern Michigan in 1997 and a master of arts in interdisciplinary studies from West Texas A&M in 2002.
Falkenhagen is assisted by first-year graduate assistant Eric Carlson (Oakland (Mich.) ‘04), first-year student assistant Lisa Smith and second-year volunteer assistant Todd Frauenholtz (St. Cloud State ‘95).
−>First career collegiate win: 3-1 vs. Concordia-Moorhead, Aug. 29, 2003
−>First BSU sweep: 3-0 vs. Dakota Wesleyan, Aug. 30, 2003
−>First BSU road win: 3-1 vs. Concordia-Moorhead, Aug. 29, 2003
−>First BSU home win: 3-0 vs. Mayville State, Sept. 2, 2003
−>First BSU conference win: 3-0 vs. Minnesota-Crookston, Sept. 26, 2003

Expectations in 2004
After keeping up with a five-year trend of finishing in the middle of the pack in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC), the 2004 Bemidji State Volleyball team is geared to get over that “hump.” Taking fifth in the 2003 NSIC standings, the highest since 1999, the Beavers went 15-17 overall and saw head coach Kim Falkenhagen lead her club to its most wins in four seasons. Consistency in the league has been the norm for BSU since 1999, finishing fourth, fifth, sixth on two occasions and seventh. But the glaring question is, how do Falkenhagen and her crew overcome that mediocrity?
“We have a lot of talent coming in and will build off the solid foundation that is already in place,” said Falkenhagen. “We have been getting better the last couple of seasons and expect to compete for those top three spots in the conference in 2004.”
Falkenhagen will have her hands full trying to replace the senior leadership from 2003. The fact that only three players graduated is a good thing; however the number does not begin to tell the true story. Nicole McDougall, Kristin Peterson and Lisa Smith played all four years and appeared in a combined 78 percent of the games. Between the three, they created 14 mentions in the BSU career record annals.
“We are not really replacing their talent because you can’t,” said Falkenhagen. “We are just filling their positions with eager athletes.”
Defense and serving was a strong suit last season. The 247.0 team blocks was the most since the 1999 club had 272.5 and the 87 solos was the highest output since 104 in 1995. BSU totaled nine matches of 10 or more blocks and nine matches with double-digits in service aces. Those figures were the best since the 1999 program recorded 13 matches of 10+ blocks and the 1997 team had 13 contests of 10+ service aces.
In conference action, the Beavers averaged 1.89 service aces per contest, good for third in NSIC rankings - BSU had just 1.17 per game in 2002 which was worst, statistically speaking. Also, 2003 saw BSU improve to 2.23 blocks per game which was up from 1.65 in 2002. Falkenhagen mentions that serving and blocking are two areas she emphasis to her squad.
“We did learn some completely different techniques for blocks and serves last season,” said Falkenhagen. “Those skills work better both with the style of our play and the style our girls need to be successful.”

What the Coaches Think in 2004
The 2004 Bemidji State volleyball squad was picked to finish fifth in the Preseason Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) Volleyball Coaches Poll. The Beavers, who took fifth in the 2003 NSIC standings with a 7-9 mark, return six starters including 2004 NSIC Player to Watch senior Heather Haugen.
Just four points from the third spot and six from second-place, BSU received 48 total points, its highest mark in at least three seasons. BSU was tabbed seventh in 2003 and eighth in 2002 in the preseason voting.
Concordia-St. Paul, who advanced to the 2003 NCAA Division II National Championship and ranked No. 1 in the 2004 AVCA Preseason Poll, tallied 70 total points and seven first-place nods to get the number one league ranking. SW Minnesota State (54 points), MSU Moorhead (52) and Wayne State (52) fill the number two through four slots with the Dragons and Wildcats in a tie for third. Northern State (44), Minnesota-Crookston (42) and Winona State (30) round out the eight league institutions.

Turning the Corner
Last year, BSU rolled out to a 4-1 mark to begin the season. That fortune turned around several seasons of slow starts. In 2002, the Beavers opened 2-6, dropping their first four contests. They had an identical record in 2001 after eight matches and 2000 saw them lose seven straight and open 1-10.

Program History
Bemidji State volleyball begain in 1969 and holds an all-time record of 603-572-6 (.513). The Beavers own one Northern Sun Conference Championship (the NSC merged with the NIC before the 1992 season) earned in 1988. Prior to that, BSU nailed down seven Minn-Kota crowns (1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978). Since becoming a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (formerly the Northern Sun Conference) in 1979, BSU is 132-174 (.431).

The BSU Gymnasium
In the 2003 home opener, 397 fans came to see BSU sweep Mayville State for its third straight 3-0 win. It was the largest attendance in the rally scoring era (2001). The two contests to open the 2002 campaign saw 592 in attendance -- the most in school history for back-to-back home matches. The 2003 opening match in Bemidji extended a streak of three seasons in which the lid-lifters have been over 300: 324 against St. Cloud State (9/6/02) and 375 vs. North Dakota (9/18/01).
The home court has treated BSU well as it maintained a 8-3 record in 2002, the best win percentage (.727) since 1999 when it had a .800 mark (12-3). Last season, Bemidji State was 7-4 (.636) including a six-match winning streak spanning 2002 and 2003. The five home wins without a loss to begin the season was the best start since the 1979 team went 6-0.
Ticket prices for home events are: $5 adults; $2 non-BSU students, alumni with ID; $1 children under 12; Free BSU students with ID. Tickets can be purchased at the gate the day of the event or by calling 218-755-3993.

2003 Season Recap
The Bemidji State volleyball squad had its most successful season since 1999 and handed rookie head coach Kim Falkenhagen the second-best win mark as a first-year coach. The Beavers, which won four out of their first five matches, finished with a 15-17 overall mark.. Also, BSU took fifth-place in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference with a 7-9 record.
BSU hung tough in several affairs including a five-game setback to No. 13 Concordia-St. Paul, Oct. 24. It was just the third five-game match for the nationally-ranked Golden Bears against NSIC opposition during the course of 2003. Later in the year, Falkenhagen ignited the Beavers to a season sweep of Northern State, the first since 1997. In the season-ending road-swing at SW Minnesota State and Wayne State (Neb.), BSU came away with a blanking of Wayne, Nov. 15 - it was the first road win in the series and first win to end the season since 1998.
Success at the BSU Gymnasium has been a constant for the Beavers most recently. Overall, they went 7-4, including a 5-3 NSIC mark last year. The 3-1 win over Minnesota State-Moorhead, Oct. 4 marked the sixth consecutive home win dating back to the 2002 season. BSU has won 11 NSIC home matches in the last two seasons - tied for the most during a two-year span.
The team turned around their fortunes in several categories including service aces and blocks. The Beavers averaged 1.89 service aces per contest, good for third in NSIC rankings - BSU had just 1.17 per game in 2002 which was worst statistically speaking. Also, 2003 saw BSU improve to 2.23 blocks per game which was up from 1.65 in 2002. Overall kills (1,561) and assists (1,365) were the highest output in five seasons. On the serve, BSU had nine matches with double-digits in aces, taking second to the 1997 program (13 contests of 10+ service aces) for the best serve stats in the past seven years.
Defensively speaking, the 247.0 team blocks was the most since the 1999 team had 272.5 and the 87 solos was the highest tally since it went for 104 in 1995. The club totaled nine matches of 10 or more blocks, the most since the 1999 program recorded 13 matches of 10+ blocks. Also, the 16.35 digs per game average was the best in four seasons - the 2000 team was slightly better at 16.39.
Junior Heather Haugen, Kristin Peterson and junior Kristin Smith were recognized on the 2003 All-Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Volleyball Team. All three players received attention on the honorable mention squad. The three honors ties the 1995, 1989 and 1988 clubs for the most BSU all-conference selections in a single season.
Also, Kristin Smith earned Verizon/CoSIDA First-Team All-District V College Division honors. It marked Smith’s second career Verizon award as she received All-District Third Team honors in 2002. She led five BSU players named on the 2003 NSIC All-Academic squad.
Junior Kristine Engman completed the season with 370 digs, the most since Peggy Hammel-Moran had 433 in 1999. That performance followed up 313 digs in 2002 as she became the first player to have back-to-back 300+ dig seasons since Beth Fischer-Virnig (1999-2000). Peterson capped the season with her 30th career double-double against Wayne State (11/15) and ended the year with 17, the most since Jill Anundson had 18 in 2000. Lisa Smith and Nicole McDougall earned their second career NSIC Offensive Player of the Week honors in October.

Schedule Notes
• All league teams will participate in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Tournament for the first time in history. The No. 1 seed hosts the tournament with all eight teams slated to compete. The winner automatically qualifies for the NCAA Tournament, Nov. 18-20.

• The season-opening Northern Michigan Tournament (August 28-29) is a special one of sorts as it is the homecoming of coach Kim Falkenhagen. Falkenhagen, earned AVCA All-Great Lakes Region and All-GLIAC honors in 1995, and was named to regional All-Tournament teams in both 1994 and ‘95 as a player.

• The Wisconsin-Superior Tournament (Sept 3) and NSIC/North Central Conference Crossover (Sept. 10-11) will feature two programs BSU has never faced, Upper Iowa and Martin Luther College (Minn.).

• St. Cloud State and the Beavers square off Sept. 14, which will serve as the 2004 home opener. That match begins a stretch of four out of five home matches - BSU has a mere nine home contests out of 30 overall on the season.

• Concordia-St. Paul, who finished 32-4 and appeared in the 2003 NCAA National Championship, visits Bemidji Sept. 17 for the league beginner.

• After 87 league meetings, UM-Duluth and Bemidji State will compete in a different setting. The Bulldogs, who ended 2003 with the No. 17 spot in the national rankings, will enter the North Central Conference for the 2004-05 season.

• A rare road swing through Missouri pits the Beavers against two clubs they have never faced, Missouri Southern and SW Baptist. MSC finished 17-13 and sixth in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association. SW Baptist went just 2-28 overall.

• BSU has to deal with the prospect of five and six-game road stretches at different points of the season. That five-game streak closes out the campaign leading up to the NSIC Tournament. The season-ending road games seems to be a recent trend. Last year, BSU went on the road for four of the final five affairs. Both 2001 and 2002 saw the Beavers end with three consecutive road games.

• In the CSTV / AVCA Divisionn II Coaches Top 25 Poll (Aug. 10), four opponents were recognized nationally. Concordia-St. Paul (1), Northern Michigan (14) and Minnesota Duluth (17) were listed in the Top 25 while South Dakota received three points.

#1 Kristine Engman - Sr., OH, Virginia, Minn.
Season Season (2004): Moves to the Outside Hitter position after holding down the Libero/Defensive Specialist spot the past three seasons...Looks to become the fourth player since 1987 to exceed 300 digs in three straight seasons.
Junior Season (2003): Recorded the 10th-best mark in school history with 370 season digs...First on the team with 3.43 digs per game...Led or tied for team-high honors on 15 occasions in digs...Recorded 19 matches of 10 or more digs, including a stretch of nine straight...Went for 20-plus digs three times, tying a career-high 23 against Northern State (10/21)...Stood 12th in the league in digs per game.

#2 Kelly Piper - Sr., Opp. Eagan, Minn.
Senior Season (2004): Stands 265 digs away from the BSU Career Top 10 List...Averaged 196 kills in each of the last two seasons.
Junior Season (2003): Appeared in 91 of the 111 possible games due to an injured knee that kept her out of five straight matches early in the year...Third on the team in digs per game (2.81)..Notched her seventh career double-double with an 11-kill, 14-dig effort against Concordia-St. Paul (10/24)...Recorded four double-doubles on the year, including three in a four-match stretch...Went over 10 digs in 11 affairs with a season-best 17 against Northern State (10/21).

#3 Christa Anderson - Jr., OH, Siren, Wis.
Junior Season (2004): Sported #13 in her first two years at Bemidji State.
Sophomore Season (2003): The lone sophomore on the roster averaged 0.63 kills per game and 0.93 blocks per game; the blocks average was good for third on the club...Had at least two blocks in 14 of her appearances including personal-best eight against Winona State (9/19)...Had a stretch of 11 straight matches in which she recorded two-plus blocks and seven of those matches were 3 or more.

#4 Brittney Burns - Fr., OH, Henderson, Minn.
Prep Career: Finished her 2003 season second at LeSuer-Henderson High with 172 digs, third with 35 service aces and fourth with 155 kills...Four-year volleyball letterwinner and one year in track...Teammates with newcomer Brittney Carlson on the Kaepa Northern Lights 18-2 Team based in Burnsville, Minn...Was the prep 2000 Rookie of the Year and 2001 Most Improved Player...Helped engineer her team to a 28-3-1 overall record and sub-section champions as a senior...Team captain...National Honor Society member and A-Honor Roll student.

#7 Kathryn McCannell - So., S, Brandon, Man.
Freshman Season (2003): Battled a knee injury in 2003 that kept her out of 10 total matches including nine of 10 at one stretch...Appeared in 53 games, tops among the first-year players...Posted a career-best 11 digs vs. Mary (9/6) and was the starting setter for five matches prior to her knee injury against St. Scholastica (9/23)...During that five-match stretch, averaged 37.3 assist per game including a personal-high 48 assists against Winona State (9/19)...Amassed 30 or more assists in four matches, including 31 in the season-ending contest against Wayne State (11/15).

#9 Heather Haugen - Sr., MB, Lanesboro, Minn.
Senior Season (2004): 2004 Preseason NSIC Player to Watch...Is the first repeat all-conference selection since Michelle Dinius and Peggy Hammel-Moran accommplished the feat from 1997-99...Looks to become the seventh player in school history to record 800 career kills and 200 career blocks - she stands with 799 kills and 215 blocks...BSU is 8-2 when Haugen posts a double-double.
Junior Season (2003): Played in the most games of any Beaver (111)...Ended the year 15th on the school season charts in total attempts (889) and ninth in kills (354)...Was first on the team in hitting percentage (.251) and total blocks (104); second in kills per game (3.19) and blocks per game (0.94)...Hit for season-high 19 kills on two occasions...Notched 10th career double-double and first of the season with 12 kills and 10 blocks against No. 13 Concordia-St. Paul (10/24); the blocks total was a BSU single-match high and personal-best for Haugen.

#10 Heather Sjolie - Fr., Opp., Fergus Falls, Minn.
Prep Career: Was voted as captain, two-time Best Blocker and 2003 Best Hitter for Fergus Falls High...Lettered twice in volleyball and four times in track...Tallied 196 kills and 51 blocks in her final season...Holds the school record in the 1600M Relay and leaped 5’2” in the high jump...Member of National Honor Society, Phi Theta Kappa and A-Honor Roll.

#11 Lindsey Bromenshenkel - So., OH, Sauk Centre, Minn.
Sophomore Season (2004): Moves up to the Outside Hitter position after she spent time at defensive specialist to begin the 2003 season.
Freshman Season (2003): Saw action in 50 games, second amongst the newcomers and appeared in 26 of the team’s 32 matches...Averaged 0.98 kills per game and 1.34 digs per game on the year...Had personal best seven kills and 10 digs against Wayne State (11/15) in the teams final match...Averaged 3.7 kills during a nine-match stretch (Sept. 6-30) which was up from her 0.98 season average.

#12 Kristin Smith - Sr., S, Caledonia, Ill.
Senior Season (2004): Leads all active players with 23 career double-doubles...BSU is 8-1 when Smith has 55 assists or more...Looks to join Mary Gergen (1987-89) as the only players in history to notch three-1,000 season assists.
Junior Season (2003): Finished the season with the ninth-best assists mark (1,011) in school history...Became first player since the 1988-89 seasons to have back-to-back 1,000 assist seasons...Stands fifth on the BSU career assists charts with 2,248...First on team in assists per game (10.53) and fourth on the team with a 2.43 digs per game...Picked up her 13th career and sixth season 50-plus assist effort with 55 against No. 13 Concordia-St. Paul (10/24)...Led the team 25 times in assists, including the first 10 matches...Ranked sixth in the league with 10.41 assists per game, in league games only.

#13 Brittney Carlson - Fr., MB, New Prague, Minn.
Prep Career: Member of the Kaepa Northern Lights club team based in Burnsville, Minn. where she averaged 1.5 blocks per game and totaled 153 kills...Been part of the Ultimate High Junior Youth-17 Team for two seasons...Helped her volleyball squad to a second-place finish in the Missota Conference and a 10-17 overall mark for the 2003 season...Volleyball captain and Honorable Mention All-Conference selection at New Prague HS...Ranks in the top 40 in the senior class of approximately 240...National Honor Society participant.

#14 Chelsea Utzerath - Fr., MB/OH, Beaver Dam, Wis.
Prep Career: Led her volleyball club to a regional appearance in 2003 and was the only junior starter in 2002...Her totals of 45 block assists and 25 solo blocks were a team high as a junior...Member of the National Honor Society, Honor Roll, basketball and softball teams...Received the Most Athletic Female Senior Athlete award.

#15 Alicia Beaman - Fr., DS/S, St. Paul Park, Minn.
Prep Career: Was a 2002 First Team All-Suburban East Conference selection while a member of Park High School in Cottage Grove, Minn....In 2003, was a Lions Club Athlete of the Year Nominee and posted 607 assists...Finished her senior year with 98 digs and had a 81 serving percentage...Member of the 2001 volleyball conference championship team.