Bemidji State Rallys to 3-1 Victory Over Upper Iowa
Wednesday, October 20, 2004
BEMIDJI, Minn. - The Bemidji State University volleyball team scored eight of the final 10 points of game four, capped off by a pair of service aces by senior defensive specialist Kristine Engman (Virginia, Minn.), to take the game (31-29) and the match (30-25, 28-30, 30-22, 31-29) over Upper Iowa University Wednesday night at the Bemidji High School Gymnasium. Senior outside hitter Heather Haugen (Lanesboro, Minn.) led the Beavers with 24 kills on the night while hitting at a .241 clip.

Haugen continues to prove that she is one of the best volleyball players ever to wear the Green and White. Before Wednesday's match she was honored for recording her 1,000th career kill--a feat equaled by only five other BSU players. Wednesday she led the team in kills and hitting percentage while collecting her fourth double-double of the season by collecting a season-high 15 digs.

Also putting up double-double numbers were fellow seniors Kelly Piper (Eagan, Minn.) and Kristin Smith (Rockford, Ill.). Smith collected her 28th career double-double with 44 assists and a season-high 19 digs while Piper posted her team-leading seventh of 2004 with a steady 11 kills and 11 digs.

The defensive floor play of the Beavers was as good as it has been all season. Led by Engman, who garnered a career-high 28 digs, BSU posted its largest dig total of the season with 90.

The Beavers were also solid on the front line, collecting 7.0 blocks. Freshman Brittney Carlson paced the team with three (2 solo, 1 assist).

Bemidji State scored five points before the Peacocks lit their side of the scoreboard to begin the match. But after UIU scored seven of the next nine points to take the lead (8-7), BSU knew it was in for a battle. The teams would trade points until the score was knotted at 25-25 at which point BSU would close the books on game one by scoring the final five points of the game(30-25) to take and early 1-0 lead.

Game two belonged to Upper Iowa. After an early BSU advantage (19-11), the Peacocks came on strong down the stretch scoring 14 of the final 19 points of the game to tie the match 1-1 with the 30-28 win.

The Beavers used runs of four and later five consecutive points while hitting match-high .250 to win the third game (30-22). Haugen collected three of her game-high four services aces in the stanza while adding six kills to spur the Beavers toward the win.

The Peacocks looked to have a fifth game in their sights holding a 29-25 lead over the Beavers in game four of the match. But when Haugen followed a Carlson block with a kill, Upper Iowa called a timeout. BSU forced the Peacocks to use another timeout minutes later as junior Christa Anderson (Siren, Wis.) collected two consecutive kills to tie the game, 29-29. Engman would end all possibility of a fifth game when she put two consecutive serves on the UIU side of the floor for aces to give the Beavers the 31-29 game-four win and the 3-1 Match victory.

UIU was led by Michelle Truszkowski who hit a match-high .292 (20k-6e-48att) while collecting 20 kills. Defensively the Peacocks out-dug BSU 99 to 90. Five UIU players recorded at least 10 digs with Stephanie Horstman leading the way with 27.

The BSU victory brings its overall record to 8-15 while team is 2-6 in NSIC play. The Beavers will be back in action this weekend when they wrap up the home portion of their 2004 season with conference matches versus Wayne State College on Friday at 7:00 p.m. and Southwest Minnesota State University on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. Saturday's match-up is Parent's/Senior Day at BSU as four Bemidji State players will play their last home match. Both matches are scheduled to be played at the Bemidji High School Gymnasium.