Beavers Suffer Season-Ending Loss to SW Minnesota State
Thursday, November 11, 2004
ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Bemidji State University volleyball team suffered a season-ending 3-1 loss (30-25, 30-27, 28-30, 30-23) to Southwest Minnesota State University Thursday afternoon at the Gangelhoff Center on the campus of No. 1 seed Concordia University-St. Paul. The loss eliminated BSU from the 2004 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Tournament and ended its 2004 season.

The Beavers played the Mustangs tough in the first two games of the match despite falling into a 0-2 hole after 30-25 and 30-27 losses.

The team battled back to gain a 30-28 victory in the third game before losing game four and the match to Southwest Minnesota State 30-23.

Statistically speaking, BSU out-hit the Mustangs in each of the first three games while collecting a more efficient match hitting percentage at .158 to SMSU's .129. But it was Bemidji State's miscues that spelled defeat for the Beavers. BSU committed 12 receiving errors, nine service errors, six blocking errors and six general ball-handling errors.

Senior Heather Haugen (Lanesboro, Minn.) led Bemijdi State in the match collecting one of BSU's three double-doubles. Her 14 kills and 12 digs were good for her ninth double-double of the season while her kill total paced the team. Freshman Brittney Burns (Henderson, Minn.) collected a career-high 13 digs which combined with her 13 kills accounted for her first double-double. Kristin Smith added BSU's third double-double with a team-best 43 kill assists and 15 digs.

Other standouts for BSU in the match were senior Kristine Engman (Virginia, Minn.), junior Christa Anderson (Siren, Wis.) and freshman Brittney Carlson (New Prague, Minn.). Engman posted 23 digs in the match to lead the team. Anderson tied SMSU's Megan Wendorff with a match-high six blocks while Carlson recorded a match-best .379 hitting percentage (12k-1e-29att).

SMSU was led by a match-high 19-kill performance from Wendorff. Krystie Kaukola led the team with 49 assists while Erin Contons collected a career-best 27 digs in the match.

The loss drops BSU to 10-21 in the season while the team posted a 3-11 record in NSIC play. It also marks the end of four collegiate volleyball careers as BSU seniors Engman, Haugen, Kelly Piper (Eagan, Minn.) and Smith have completed their eligibility.

The Beavers say good-bye to a senior class that has arguably had one of the biggest impacts on the BSU volleyball program. Heather Haugen became just the sixth player in BSU volleyball history to record 1,000 or more kills in a career while finishing in the top-10 in five statistical categories including games played, kills, kill attempts, solo blocks and block assists. Kristine Engman became just the third player at BSU to dig 300 or more balls in three consecutive seasons while ranking sixth on the all-time digs list at BSU. And Kristin Smith climbed into fourth place on the all-time assists list at BSU eclipsing the 3,000 career assists plateau leading the team win assists in each of the last three seasons.