BSU to host Northern State in home opener
Monday, September 22, 2008

BEMIDJI, Minn. (BSU Gymnasium) - Bemidji State University sophomore outside hitter Nicole Olson (Baudette, Minn.) posted her second consecutive double-double with 15 kills and 10 digs en route to leading the Beavers to their first conference win of the season over the Northern State University Wolves, 3-1 (23-25, 25-21, 26-24, 25-21), at the BSU Gymnasium. The win was the fifth of the season for BSU, snapping a seven-match losing skid to the Wolves.

Jennifer Janckila (Sr., MB, Appleton, Wis.) joined Olson in double figures on the attack with a season-high 11 while newcomer Melissa McNeely (Fr., OH, Burnsville, Minn.) tallied a career-high with nine kills. Floor general Courtney Bitter (Fr., S, Bemidji, Minn.) pitched in her third double-double effort of the season with 45 assists and a career-high 16 digs as the Beavers posted their most efficient offensive match since Sept. 6 versus Lake Superior State hitting .277 (41k-13e-101at).

Defensively, Jessi-Beth McCannell (Fr., LB, Brandon, Manitoba) netted her eleventh double-digit dig total of the season with 13, while Laura Slinger (Fr., OH, Faribault, Minn.) set a new career-high with 13-digs doubling her previous high of five set on Sept. 6 versus MSU Moorhead. Kimberly Hacker (Fr., MB, Hutchinson, Minn.), Janckila, and Slinger paced BSU at the net as the each notched two block assists.

Kayla Ysteboe led NSU with a match-high 17 kills while Megan Gilbraith hit for a team-high .600 (3-0-5). Stephanie Nygaard led all defensive players with 23 defensive saves in the loss.

Although the Beavers had less blocks (8-4) and aces (10-6) BSU was the beneficiary of 28 points off of NSU attack errors and five blocking errors to swing the match in BSU’s favor.

The score would be tied on 27 occasions in the match and the lead changed hands nine times as each team would struggle to create separation from the other.

With the score knotted at 10 apiece, would take control scoring four of the next five points to take a 14-11 lead. BSU came with-in one point five times but was unable to regain the lead and a kill by Megan Gilbraith gave the Wolves a 25-23 set one win and a 1-0 lead in the match.

Game two was all BSU as the Beavers its first lead of the set at 6-5 off a kill by Olson. Northern State tied the score at 6-6 and 13-13 but the Beavers pushed their lead to as large as four points holding on to a 25-21 win to tie the match at 1-1 heading into the intermission.

The Beavers continued their solid play to start the third stanza as they jumped out to a quick 7-3 lead off of five attack errors by NSU. The Beavers pushed their lead to as large as 12-6 off a kill by Janckila but NSU would come back to net 11 of the next 14 points--including a string of four straight, twice--to tie the match at 15-15.

NSU would rattle off eight of 13 points to take a 23-20 lead and on the verge of going up 2-1 in the match. Behind the serving of McCannell the Beavers netted the last four points of the set to take a amazing 26-24 come-from-behind win and go up 2-1 in the match.

In set four the Beavers jumped out to an early lead once again scoring the first three points of the set. Jill Rasmussen put the Wolves in the lead for the first time of the set at 11-10 off one of her eleven kills on the night. The Wolves pushed their lead to 16-12 before the Beavers would go on a 13-to-5 run to close out the match earning a 25-21 set four win.

The Beavers are now 32-24 all-time versus Northern State snapping a seven-match losing skid to the Wolves dating back to Oct. 30, 2004. BSU has posted a 1-1 mark versus the Wolves this season and a 1-0 versus NSU in NSIC play.

With the win the Beavers improve to 22-12 in home openers since 1975 snapping a two year slide in home opening matches. BSU improves to 3-0 all-time when hosting Northern State for its home opener.

Bemidji State (5-10; 1-2 NSIC) will attempt to extend its win streak to two matches as the Beavers will host Winona State on Friday, Sept. 26 at 7 p.m. from the BSU Gymnasium.

Bemidji State University, located in Bemidji, Minn., is an NCAA Division II institution and a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).