MARSHALL, Minn. -- The Bemidji State University volleyball team saw their season come to an end on Saturday evening with a 3-0 loss (7-25, 18-25, 15-25) to No. 4 Southwest Minnesota State University at the PE Gymnasium in Marshall, Minn. The Beavers conclude the 2010 campaign with a 12-16 (6-14 NSIC mark). The 12 wins is one more than they accumulated last season. Southwest Minnesota State ends the regular season with a 26-3 (18-2 NSIC) mark. The Mustangs end the season in second place in the NSIC standings behind Concordia University, St. Paul. They are currently rated third in the NCAA Central Region rankings.
SMSU held the Beaver offense to a .024 hitting percentage on Saturday evening. Nicole Olson (Sr., MB, Baudette, Minn.) tallied the most kills of any BSU player with eight but had 11 errors and hit -.088 for the match. Bethany Thompson (So., OH/MB, Owatonna, Minn.) notched seven kills and hit .160 for the match. Setter Jessi-Beth McCannell (Jr., Brandon, Manitoba) had 21 assists for the Beavers.
Olson, one of six seniors playing her final match for the green and white, wraps up her career ranked in the top 10 in five career categories and in the top five in four of those categories. Olson concludes a career that saw her earn All-NSIC Honorable Selection honors as a junior and senior with 1,197 kills (fourth all-time), 3,305 total attempts (fifth all-time), 267 block assists (fourth all-time), 344 total blocks (fifth all-time) and 77 solo blocks (eighth all-time).
"Nicole Olson, even given my time at the Division I level at Tulsa, is one of the best players I have had the opportunity to coach," Chadwick said. "She has the build and the technique you want and need at her position and is as consistent of a player as you are going to find."
Brie Groskreutz (Sr., Lib., Reedsburg, Wis.) paced BSU’s defense on Saturday with 19 digs. Groskreutz, who became the all-time career digs leader at BSU following the first game of the 2010 season, ends her run at BSU with 1,890 digs, 505 digs more than Mary Gergen who Groskreutz surpassed as the all-time leader. Groskreutz tallied over 500 digs twice in a season with 534 in 2009 and 513 this season. She also finishes ranked in the top 10 in games played as her three games played on Saturday sent her past Heather Haugen for 10th all-time.
"Brie, like Nicole (Olson), is another player who could probably be playing Division I," Chadwick said. "Her defensive skills and ball control skills are as good as I have seen from any player I have coached."
Southwest Minnesota State was guided offensively by Brooke Burmeister’s 13 kills. and hit .480 for the match. NSIC Offensive Player of the Year Devin Diedrich had eight kills. Setter Cara Carson picked up 40 assists for an SMSU offense that tallied 43 kills and hit .298 for the match.
The Mustang defense was led by Rachel Westby’s 17 digs. Carson and Kenzie Niesche each added 13 digs. Mary Groth had four blocks for SMSU.
Saturday’s loss marked BSU’s ninth of the season to a ranked opponent and their second to SMSU. The Beavers fell to SMSU 3-0 Sept. 25.
Chadwick ends his first season at the helm of the program with 12 wins the best mark for a first-year head coach since Kim Falkenhagen had 15 in 2003.
"I'm thrilled with how the season went,” Chadwick said. “Our work ethic, energy and desire to get better all season long was great.. Brie (Groskreutz) busted out rocks painted with the words “building a foundation” on them during our first road trip this season and gave them to everyone on the team and that is just what we did in the first season. We finished with more wins than we had last year and we have a lot of good things to point to for future. We will have a lot of crucial seniors to replace but we have some good talent returning to build around for the future.”
Saturday was also the final match in the careers for Hannah Eilers (Jr., OH, Little Fork, Minn.), Kelly Landsverk (Sr., S, Fosston, Minn.), Nicole Solum (Sr., RS, Spokane, Wash.) and Lindsey Weyer (Sr., OH/DS, Loyal, Wis.).
"All six of our seniors were huge for us in my first year here as head coach," Chadwick said. "Kelly is a kid that has flown under the radar but here is a kid that hasnt touched volleyball in four years. She came into practice every day and worked hard and was a great kid to have around the program. You can never have too many of those kids. Hannah’s playing time went up and down this season but she is another kid that was always working hard and always ready to play. You can say the same thing about Lindsey. Lindsey and Hannah kind of flipped in and out at the same position. Lindsey came out of the gate and had 25 kills in the first match of the season. She has a great positive attitude and is ready and willing to do anything i ask of her. Nicole (Solum) is a steady consistent kid. She improved as a player as the season went along. She always seemed to come up with the big play for us."