Beavers establish rally scoring era school record in first set
Saturday, October 17, 2009

BEMIDJI, Minn. -- The Bemidji State University volleyball team held the University of Mary to just seven points in the first set of a 3-0 sweep, setting a rally scoring era (since 2001) school record for lowest score by an opponent in a set. The Beavers won the sets 25-7, 25-21 and 25-18, making quick work of the Marauders to win its third consecutive Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference match. BSU hit .261 in the match, making it the second consecutive contest the Beavers hit over .260.

“We are doing a lot of firsts this year, which is exciting because it really shows where the program is heading,” said head coach Laurie Bitter. “I’m happy to get our first home weekend sweep this season. It was nice to get almost all the girls in the match and we could do that because we have depth, which is something that was missing from last season”

BSU (9-14, 6-6 NSIC) played 12 of its 13 players on the roster in the match and kept U-Mary (6-17, 0-12 NSIC) winless in conference play this season with a balanced and disciplined offensive attack and strong defense. BSU outhit the Marauders .261-.038, marking the second consecutive match the Beavers have limited their opponent to under .100. Bemidji State outdug U-Mary 45-37, outblocked the away team 9-0 and recorded eight service aces to UM’s one. Sophomore setter Courtney Bitter (Bemidji, Minn.) contributed to 31 of the 36 Beaver kills in the match.

In the first set, the Beavers cruised to the record, holding U-Mary to just seven services and a -.097 attacking percentage. The second set was closer as the two teams were tied eight times up to a 12-12 knot. BSU took the next two points and rolled to victory, holding at least a two point advantage through rest of the set. In the third set, BSU owned a 4-3 lead and never relinquished it, despite the Mauraders closing the gap to within one at 12-11. The Beavers responded with a 6-2 run, taking an 18-12 lead. U-Mary got to within five, but that would be as close they would get as the Beavers took the set and the match.

Junior Nicole Olson (MB, Baudette, Minn.) led the team in kills with 10 and added seven digs and three blocks. Sophomore Melissa McNeely (OH, Burnsville, Minn.) posted nine kills and freshman Laura Carlson (OH, Hutchinson, Minn.) had six with a .600 attacking percentage, while adding 10 digs and tying a career-high in service aces with three. Junior Brie Groskreutz (OH, Reedsburg, Minn.) posted a match-high 12 digs. Sophomore Laura Slinger (OH, Faribault, Minn.) had a career-high six blocks (all assists) and junior Nicole Solum (RS, Spokane, Wash.) also posted a career-high in blocks with four (all assists).

The Beavers complete their three-match NSIC homestand Oct. 24 against the University of Minnesota Duluth at 3 p.m.

NOTES: The nine wins is one short of coach Bitter’s career-high and the six NSIC wins ties her career-high...BSU now owns the all-time series against U-Mary, 7-6.

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