Beavers push No. 14 Minnesota State but fall 0-3
Friday, October 30, 2009

MANKATO, Minn. -- The Bemidji State University volleyball team pushed the No. 14 Minnesota State University, Mankato to two extra-point sets, but fell to the Mavericks 0-3 (28-30, 25-27, 20-25) in a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference match.

The Beavers (9-16, 6-8 NSIC) are now 0-9 against nationally ranked opponents in 2009. They have been swept by a top-25 team four times and have brought a match to five sets against a ranked opponent four times.

In the first set, the Beavers and Mavericks were tied 19 times and neither team held more than a two point lead. BSU was down 23-21, but rebounded to tie the match 24-24. The Beavers had to tie the match four times in the extra points session to stay alive, but the Maverick hitting power came alive and proved to be too much for BSU and MSU won the set 30-28. The Beavers outhit the Mavericks in the set .243 to .167. The second set was another back-and-forth battle with MSU holding an early lead at 5-3, but BSU tied the set at 5-5. The two teams traded points to a 9-9 score and then the Beavers started to roll and grabbed a 15-10 advantage. The Mavericks then used a run of their own to tie the match 16-16 and eventually take a 19-17 lead. BSU tied the match 20-20, but MSU would score the next two points and force Beavers head coach Laurie Bitter to take a timeout. BSU used the regrouping session and tied the match 22-22. The two teams traded points and for the second consecutive set, BSU had to keep tying the match to stay alive. A Beaver attacking error proved to be the demise for BSU in the set and the Mavericks took a 2-0 lead with a set win of 27-25. The Beavers jumped on MSU to start the third set, owning a 4-2 lead, but the home team started charging and the Beavers couldn’t avoid with the stampede, as the Mavericks gained a 10-5 advantage and never looked back, taking the final frame by the score of 25-20.

Sophomore Kimberly Hacker (RS/MB, Hutchinson, Minn.) posted a team-high12 kills in the match, establishing a career-high in kills and attempts (29). Sophomore setter Courtney Bitter (Bemidji, Minn.) had 32 of BSU’s 33 set assists and junior Brie Groskreutz (OH, Reedsburg, Minn.) led the team in digs with 12.

The Beavers travel to Marshall, Minn. tomorrow to battle No. 16 Southwest Minnesota State University.

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