The Beavers were their own worst enemy in the match committing 46 unforced errors virtually handing MSUM a game and a half. In addition MSUM was on their game finding open holes in the BSU defense and standing strong at the net.
The Dragons totaled 44 kills on 124 attempts while committing 17 errors for team hitting percentage of .218 while BSU collected 26 kills on 131 attempts with 31 errors for a-.038 hitting percentage. MSUM also dominated the net collecting 10 total blocks with Meagan Brandon leading the charge posting six block assists on the night.
Brittney Burns (Jr., OH, LeSueur, Minn.) accounted for nearly half of the BSU attack collecting 10 of the 26 kills on the night. Freshman Brie Groskreutz (OH, Reedsburg, Wis.) added seven kills before exiting the game early due to injury.
Defensively the team was led by defensive specialist Allison Hyatt (Jr., MineCentre, Ont.) who posted a match-best 17 digs while Alicia Beaman (Jr., S, St. Paul Park, Minn.) recorded 14 digs and a team-high four total blocks--equaling a career-best blocking effort. The setter also added 20 assists for her ninth double-double of the season.
The Dragons were paced by Brandon who led all players with 14 kills while hitting an efficient .433 (14-1-30). She added a team-high 16 digs to record MSUM's only double-double off the night.
The match began with a battle for the first game. The stanza score was tied on eight occasions while the lead changed hands five times before MSUM took the game 1-0.
BSU struck first but saw its 1-0 lead disintegrate as the Dragons collected the next two points to go up 2-1.
Down 6-3, the Beavers battled back, taking seven of the next eight points to go up 10-7. But MSUM would quickly bounce back into the lead rattling off the next five points (12-10).
The teams would trade points and the lead for a large portion of the remainder of the match, but the Beavers looked to have the game in hand after a five-point string on the serve of Burns to take a 20-18 lead. Bemidji State would increase its advantage to 27-24 before MSUM took six of the final seven points to steal the game 30-28.
Letting game one slip through its fingers was a devastating blow for BSU and the Beavers never really seemed to be back in the match. They trailed for every point of the remaining two games dropping the second 30-11--their worst individual game loss of 2006--and game three 30-14.
The loss pushes BSU back further in the all-time series as MSUM extends it lead to 58-55-1 over the Beavers since the series began in the fall of 1969. MSUM has now defeated BSU in each of the last six matches dating back to Nov. 4, 2003.
Bemidji State (6-12; 2-7 NSIC) will attempt to put an end
to its current eight-match losing skid tomorrow when it travels
west on Highway 2 to battle the University of North Dakota
in a 7 p.m. tilt at the Betty Engelstad Sports Center.