ST. PAUL, Minn. (Gangelhoff Center) [box] - The Bemidji State University volleyball season came to an end Tuesday evening as the eighth-seeded Beavers fell to 2007 regular season champion and top-seeded Concordia-St. Paul, 3-0 (30-15, 30-28, 30-22), in the quarterfinal round of the 2007 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Tournament at the Gangelhoff Center in St. Paul, Minn.
For the third time in three season the Beavers were bounced from the NSIC Tournament by the Concordia-St. Paul Golden Bears. The Golden Bears hit nearly .100 points better than the Beavers in the match to help secure a 3-0 sweep of BSU. CSP hit at a clip of .290 (57k-21e-124at) while the Beavers hit .193 (37k-16e-109at).
Brittney Burns (Sr., OH, LeSueur, Minn.) ended her career as one would expect, leading the Beavers hitting attack. Burns finished the night as the lone BSU player with double-digit kills with 10 while hitting at a pace of .241 (10k-3e-29at) her best hitting performance ever versus the Concordia-St. Paul Golden Bears. With the 10 kills Burns ends her career with 1,279 kills good for second on BSU’s all-time kill list only behind Peggy Hammel-Moran who accumulated 1,300 kills during her career.
Nicole Olson (Fr., MB, Baudette, Minn.) and Heather Sampson (Fr., OH, Brooklyn Park, Minn.) were next in kills as Olson notched nine kills and Sampson had eight kills respectively.
Defensively, the Beavers were led by Brie Groskreutz (So., OH, Reedsburg, Wis.), Alicia Beaman (Sr., S, St. Paul Park, Minn.) and Burns. Groskreutz led the Beavers with 8 digs while Burns and Beaman each chipped in with 7 digs in the match. With the 8 dig performance Groskreutz notched 455 digs this season which places her in the sixth position, ahead of Mary Gergan (433) for digs in a season. Burns and Olson both had three blocks in the match for the Beavers.
Beaman led the Beavers offense with 17 assists in the match. With the 17 assists she became just the fifth BSU player to reach 2,500 assists in a career at BSU. Beaman wrapped up her career with 2,503 assists. Allison Kunde (So., S, Burnsville, Minn.) notched 11 assists in the match for the Beavers.
CSP was led by reigning NSIC Freshman of the Year Emily Palkert who netted 17 kills while hitting an efficient .429 (17k-5e-28at). Reigning NSIC Defensive Player of the Year Mary Slinger led all players with 15 digs in the match while the nations top setter Maggie McNamara controlled the Golden Bears offense as she had 46 assists.
The Beavers started out strong as they used three kills to just one for CSP to jump out to an early 3-1 lead. The Golden Bears went on a 3-0 run to take its first lead of the game. CSP and BSU traded points for awhile and a kill by Brittney Burns knotted the score at 10-10. The Golden Bears netted 20 of the next 25 points to take the first game of the match 30-15.
Bemidji State seemed to be on the verge of winning its first game over the Golden Bears in over 30 games when the Beavers held a lead as large a four points in the second game. After a attack error by the Golden Bears Emily Palkert the Beavers seemed to have the game in hand at 26-20. The No. 3 Golden Bears did not fold under the pressure of the Beavers as CSP rallied off 10 of the next 12 points to take game 2 30-28.
Despite a heart breaking game two loss the Beavers continued to battle. Bemidji State was within one point of the Golden Bears at 9-8 and 10-9 but the experience and fire power of CSP proved to be to much for the Beavers as CSP closed out the game and the match with a 30-22 win to complete a 3-0 sweep.
The CSP win extends its handle on the all-time series to 17-9-1 while it has taken each of the last 15 matches including three straight in NSIC Tournament play.
Bemidji State wraps up its season with an overall record of 10-17 while going 6-12 in NSIC play. Under first year head coach Laurie Bitter the Beavers added three wins to its record while doubling its conference wins from the 2006 season which it went 7-25; 3-15. The Beavers say good-bye to seniors Brittney Burns and Alicia Beaman, but should return a lot of experience and talent to the 2008 squad.