Beavers dropped by No. 8 Southwest Minnesota State, 3-0
Friday, October 5, 2007
BEMIDJI, Minn. (BSU Gymnasium) [box] - The No. 8 team in the nation, the Southwest Minnesota State Mustangs were to much for the Beavers to handle tonight at the BSU Gymnasium as the Mustangs upended the Beavers, 3-0. The Mustangs competed the sweep by scores of 30-23, 31-29 and 30-17.

The Mustang offensive attack was to much for the Beaver defense to handle as the Mustangs hit at a pace of .324 (59k-15e-136at) for the match as the Beavers hit just .175 (42k-20e-126at). SMSU recorded 17 more kills than the Beavers along with 19 set assists.

The Beaver offense was very balanced as one player had eight kills and four players had seven kills in the match. Jennifer Janckila (Jr., MB, Appleton, Wis.) had one of her better performances of the season as she led the Beavers with eight kills, her highest output of the season. Heather Sampson (Fr., OH, Brooklyn Park, Minn.), Brittney Burns (Sr., OH, LeSueur, Minn.), Nicole Olson (Fr., OH, Baudette, Minn.) and Anna Leafblad (So., MB, Blaine, Minn.) all recorded seven kills on the evening. Leafblad matched her best output of the season with the seven kills and she recorded a new career-high in hitting percentage, hitting .538 (7k-0e-13at) to lead the Beavers.

Brie Groskreutz (So., OH, Reedsburg, Wis.) and Leafblad led the Beaver defense. Groskreutz was the lone Beaver to reach double-digit digs with 16. Leafblad controlled the net for the Beavers turning back five Mustangs attacks garnering two solo blocks and three block assists.

Alicia Beaman (Sr., S, St. Paul Park, MInn.) led the Beaver offensive charge with 21 assists along with five kills. The five kills is the most Beaman has garnered in a match this season. Allison Kunde (So., S, Burnsville, Minn.) added 13 assists and five digs.

With the loss to the No. 8 Mustangs tonight, the Beavers fall to 0-2 this season when playing a ranked opponent. The Beavers fell to Concordia-St. Paul, 3-0 when the Golden Bears were ranked No. 3 in the nation on September 14 at the BSU Gymnasium.

The Mustangs proved why they are the No. 8 team in the nation as they bent a little bit tonight but the would not break. In game one the Mustangs held the lead through the whole game. The Beavers tied the game up at 1-1 and 3-3 but that was all the closer they would get to taking the lead. The Mustangs pushed their lead to as large as eight in the game and eventually won the first game 30-23.

Game two saw the mustangs jump out to a 5-0 lead behind the serving of Sara Graf. The Beavers kept their poise and kept battling and eventually tied the game at 22-22 on a kill by Anna Leafblad. The Beavers then pushed its lead to as large as two points at 27-25 that forced the Mustangs to take a timeout. After the timeout the Mustangs came out and showed why they are No. 8 as they pushed forward to take a 31-29 game two win and a 2-0 lead going into the break.

Game three was never in doubt as the Beavers held just one lead at 1-0. The Mustangs pushed the lead to as big as nine points at 20-11. The Beavers kept fighting but the Mustangs were to much and would take the game and the match with a 30-17 game three win.

With the win the Mustangs improve its record to 48-31 over the Beavers and extend its winning streak to nine matches over BSU. The last time the Beavers beat the Mustangs was on Nov. 14, 2003 when the Beavers beat Southwest Minnesota State in three games. The Mustangs are now 14-10 all-time at the BSU Gymnasium.

The NSIC preseason player of the year, Erin Contons and teammate Leah Ashburn led the Mustangs offense as Contons garnered 18 kills hitting .300 (18k-3e-50at) and Ashburn spiked down 12 kills hitting at a remarkable pace of .478 (12k-1e-23at) for the match. Contons was the lone Mustang to post a double-double as she added 13 digs to her 18 kills. Sara Graf recorded 52 set assists while Leah Ashburn controlled the net with five blocks (1bs-4ba).

Bemidji State (6-8; 3-6 NSIC) will be looking to stop a two game losing skid tomorrow afternoon as the Beavers host the Wayne State College Wildcats (12-9; 5-4 NSIC) tomorrow afternoon from the BSU Gymnasium. First serve is set for 3:00 p.m.