BISMARCK, N.D. - Nicole Olson’s (Sr., MB, Baudette, Minn.) 14 kills led the Bemidji State University volleyball team over the University of Mary 3-1 (25-20, 25-19, 22-25, 25-20) on Friday at the McDowell Activity Center in Bismarck, N.D. With the victory the Beavers improve to 11-12 (5-10 NSIC). U-Mary falls to 5-19 (1-14 NSIC) on the season. BSU has won its last two matches after picking up an upset victory over St. Cloud State University, the 10th ranked team in the NCAA Central Region, last Saturday.
“I’m happy with the win,” said head coach Wayne Chadwick. “I think we can play better as a team but we kept our heads and found away to win. The mark of any good team is to find away to win when things aren’t going the best for you. Mary is a much improved team over what we saw earlier this season. They really stepped up their game in almost all facets. They deserve a lot of credit for what they were able to do tonight.”
Olson hit .353 for match to help guide the Beavers to a .267 hitting percentage as a team. Hannah Eilers (Jr., OH, Little Fork, Minn.) put together another strong performance with nine kills and a .350 hitting percentage. Eilers is coming off a career high 17 kills against St. Cloud State in her last match. Reigning Beaver Pride Athlete of the Week Kimberly Hacker (Jr., MB/RS, Hutchinson, Minn.) had seven kills and hit .429 on the match. Setter Jessi-Beth McCannell (Jr., S, Brandon, Manitoba) tallied 47 assists on the night.
Defensively, BSU tallied 59 digs and held U-Mary to a .231 hitting percentage. Brie Groskreutz (Sr., Lib., Reedsburg, Wis.) paced the Bemidji State defense with 18 digs. Sophomore Laura Carlson (DS/OH, Hutchinson, Minn.) chipped in 10 digs on the night. The Beavers tallied 10 team blocks on the night. Hacker had three solo blocks and two block assists while Olson had two solos and two block assists.
The Marauders were led by Laci Murtha’s 20 kills and .500 hitting percentage. Amanda Hennessy tallied 14 kills in Friday’s match. Setter Emily Turkowski notched 47 assists for U-Mary.
Defensively, Hennessy tallied 13 digs for the match. Kendra Hobbs chipped in 12 digs. Friday’s victory is the 11th win of the season for Bemidji State matching their win total from a season ago when the Beavers finished 11-20.
The win also signifies the eighth victory for BSU away from BSU Gymnasium this season matching their most away or neutral site victories since the 2003 season.
BSU will return to action on Saturday when they face Northern State University at 4 p.m. at the Strode Center on the campus of Presentation College. The Beavers and Wolves played earlier this season in a nonconference match at the Dragon Classic in Moorhead, Minn., with NSU defeating BSU, 3-1.