BEMIDJI, Minn. -- The Bemidji State University Volleyball team came out and took the first set from the No. 2 University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs but were unable to overcome their Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference foe as they fell 3-1 on Tuesday night at the BSU Gymnasium in Bemidji, Minn. The set victory for the Beavers serves as only the fifth set loss of the season for UMD. With the loss, BSU falls to 8-4 (2-2 NSIC). The Bulldogs improve their record to an unblemished 12-0 (4-0 NSIC).
BSU came out in the first set hitting .290 for the game and holding their foes to a .167 attack percentage. The Beavers won the set, 25-19. Nicole Olson (Sr., MB, Baudette, Minn.) led the way in the first set with six kills and a .300 hitting percentage. Setter Jessi-Beth McCannell (Jr., Brandon, Manitoba) had 11 assists in the set.
Defenseively, Brie Groskreutz (Sr., Lib., Reedsburg, Wis.) had four digs.
Olson finished the game with 12 kills to lead all BSU attackers. She hit .364 for the match. The Beavers finished Tuesday with a .189 hitting percentage. Lindsey Weyer (Sr., OH/DS, Loyal, Wis.), Bethany Thompson (Sr., OH/MB, Owatonna, Minn.) and Nicole Solum (Sr., RS, Spokane, Wash.) each chipped in nine kills on the match. McCannell finished the night with 39 assists.
Defensively, last week’s NSIC Defensive Player of the Week, Groskreutz, tallied 19 digs. Laura Carlson (Jr., DS/OH, Hutchinson, Minn.) chipped in seven digs.
UMD was led offensively by Kate Lange’s 18 kills and only one error. The Bulldog player hit .567 for the match. Katie Kuffel added 12 kills for the Bulldogs and April Hansen had 11 for the night. Coach Jim Boos’ squad finished the match with a .367 attack percentage. Setter Eleena Iisakka had 47 assists on the night.
Defensively, Minnesota Duluth was very balanced as libero Allison Fanta had nine digs and three players (Lange, Iisakka and Hansen) each had six digs.
Tuesday marks the second-consecutive year the Beavers have been able to take the first set from a ranked Bulldog team in their first meeting of the season. Last year BSU won the first set, 25-21, before falling in five in Duluth.
Olson’s 12 kills on Tuesday put her just seven shy of the 1,000 kills club at Bemidji State University. When she reaches the 1,000-kill plateau, Olson will become just the eighth member of an elite group. Brittney Burns (2004-08) was the last Beaver player to reach 1,000 kills. Peggy Hamel-Moran (1996-99) is the all-time kills leader at BSU with 1,300.
BSU will return to action on Friday when they face No. 12 Minnesota State at 7 p.m., at BSU Gymnasium. The Beavers will continue a tough weekend when they face No. 4 Southwest Minnesota State at 4 p.m., on Saturday.