Late rallies lead BSU volleyball past Golden Eagles
Saturday, September 17, 2011
Late rallies lead BSU volleyball past Golden Eagles
BEMIDJI, Minn. -- The Bemidji State University volleyball team broke a six-match losing streak with a 3-0 (25-21 27-25, 26-24) victory over University of Minnesota, Crookston on Saturday afternoon at BSU Gymnasium. The Beavers and Golden Eagles played a highly-competitive three-game match but the Beavers came away with the win despite being down late in the second and third game. BSU improves to 4-7 (1-2 NSIC) with the win over their foes from just west of Bemidji on Highway 2. Minnesota, Crookston falls to 4-7 (0-3 NSIC).

In the second game Minnesota, Crookston led 23-22 after a Katie Miedtke kill off of Bethany Thompson’s (Jr., OH, Owatonna, Minn.) serve for BSU. The Beavers took the next two points with a kill from Hacker and a kill from freshman Kelly Niles (OH, Grand Rapids, Minn.) to take the lead 24-23. The Golden Eagles were able to tie the game back at 24-24 off of a Swann kill after Kimberly Hacker (Sr., MB/RS, Hutchinson, Minn.) had served for BSU. The Beavers took the lead once again off an attack error by the Golden Eagles before Amanda Swann tied it at 25-25 with a kill. BSU took the next two points with a Rachel Craig (Fr., MB, Wadena, Minn.) kill and a kill from Thompson to take the game 27-25 after being down 23-22.

The story was much the same in the third game. The Beavers went down 24-22 after a kill from Brittany Looker off a Jessi-Beth McCannell (Sr., S, Brandon, Manitoba) serve for BSU. Bemidji State tied the match 24-24 after two attack errors from Looker and then used two service aces from Thompson to take the game, 26-24, and the match 3-0. Thompson’s match-point serve fell at the feet of Swann to give BSU its first conference victory of the season.

The Beavers used strong defensive play to keep points alive throughout the match. A well-balanced back-line contributed to 70 digs on the night. The Beaver defense held the Golden Eagles to a .096 hitting percentage and helped fore 26 attack errors. Libero Laura Carlson (Jr., Hutchinson, Minn.) led the team with 16 digs. She was joined by three other Beavers with over 10 digs on the night. Freshman Courtney Volkmann (S, Wadena, Minn.) had 13 digs, while freshman Elissa Christensen (DS, Montevideo, Minn.) tallied 12 and Thompson added 10 digs.

Hacker led the offensive attack for the Beavers with 11 kills. She hit .346 for the match on 26 attempts. The Beavers hit .116 for the match. Thompson added 10 kills to go with four service aces. Craig chipped in seven kills and hit .412 for the match.

McCannell had 31 assists on the afternoon.

The Golden Eagles were led offensvely by Looker’s 14 kills. Looker hit .200 for the match on 40 attempts and had six errors. Setters Kelsey Matykowski and Paige Mitchell combined for 33 assists.

Defensively, libero Chelsea Wiesner led the way for Minnesota, Crookston with 22 digs. The Golden Eagles also had four players with over 10 digs as Swann, Danielle Rueter and Paige Mitchell all had over 10 digs to join Wiesner. Minnesota, Crookston tallied 76 digs for the match.

The Beavers improve to 20-9 all-time against the Golden Eagles. BSU will face a murderer’s row of opponents next week as they travel to three ranked opponents. BSU plays at No. 6 University of Minnesota Duluth on Tuesday before heading to No.  15 Minnesota State University, Mankato on Friday and No. 8 Southwest Minnesota State University on Saturday. The NSIC currently has five teams ranked in the Top 15 nationally including No. 1 Concordia University, St. Paul and No. 10 Wayne State College (Neb.).