ABERDEEN, S.D. -- The Bemidji State University volleyball team lost in straight sets to the Northern State University Wolves on Saturday evening at the Strode Center on the campus of Presentation College in Aberdeen, S.D. The Beavers had won three of their last four matches coming into Saturday but were unable to come away from Saturday’s meeting victorious. With the loss, BSU falls to 11-13 (5-11 NSIC). Northern State improves to 14-11 (6-10 NSIC).
"A great defensive effort for both teams tonight," said head coach Wayne Chadwick. "Unfortunately our offense couldn't match our defense's effort."
The Beavers came out in the first set and led the Wolves, 19-16 before losing nine of the next 11 points to allow Northern State to win the first set. NSU won the first set 25-21 and then went on to take the next two sets 25-20 and 25-21.
Nicole Olson (Sr., MB, Baudette, Minn.), who came into the match as the team’s kills leader, tallied a team-high 10 kills for BSU on Saturday. Olson hit .214 for the match. Bethany Thompson (So., OH/MB, Owatonna, Minn.) and Nicole Solum (Sr., RS, Spokane, Wash.) each added seven kills on the match. Setter Jessi-Beth McCannell (Jr., Brandon, Manitoba) finished with 30 assists on the night. BSU was held to .077 hitting percentage by the Northern State defense.
Defensively, Brie Groskreutz (Sr., Lib., Reedsburg, Wis.) dug up a team-high 21 Northern State attacks. Laura Carlson (So., DS/OH, Hutchinson, Minn.) tallied 17 digs for the match while Hannah Eilers (Jr., OH, Little Fork, Minn.) added 10 digs. Olson led the Beaver block with one solo and three block assists. BSU had eight team blocks on the match.
"Brie and Laura both had fantastic matches tonight," Chadwick said. "Brie had 21 digs in three matches. That is a phenomenal number. Laura had 17 digs in three matches and she only plays in three rotations for us. If you do the math that is also a phenomenal number in the whole scope of things. Unfortunately Northern State's offense was better than our offense tonight."
The Wolves were paced by Jordan Schaffer’s 13 kills and a .297 hitting percentage. Whitney Morsching contributed nine kills on the evening. Sami Nygaard and Megan Gilbraith each had 16 assists. Northern State ended the match with a .141 hitting percentage.
Defensively, Kaili Alono led the way with 18 digs. The Wolves had 78 team digs on the match. Alono led NSU in blocks with four block assists. The loss is the second of the season for the Beavers to Northern State.
BSU fell to the Wolves 3-1 earlier this season at the Dragon Classic in Moorhead, Minn.
BSU needs only one more win this season to eclipse its highest win total since 2003. The Beavers won 15 matches in 2003 but have won no more than 11 matches since the 2003 season.
Bemidji State will finish their home slate as they return to BSU Gymnasium next weekend to face Minnesota State University Moorhead and the University of Minnesota, Crookston. The matches will serve as the final home appearances for five BSU seniors. Included in the talented group for the Beavers is the school’s all-time digs leader, Groskreutz, as well as Olson, who ranks in the top 10 all-time in five different categories. Groskreutz also holds three of the top 10 season digs performances in BSU history. Joining Groskreutz and Olson as seniors are Solum, who has made an immediate impact in her two years at BSU after transferring from Spokane Falls Community College, Lindsey Weyer (Sr., OH/DS, Loyal, Wis.), a four-year contributor for the Beavers and Kelly Landsverk (Sr., S Fosston, Minn.), a former BSU women’s basketball player who joined the volleyball team for her senior season at BSU.