MARSHALL, Minn. -- The Bemidji State University volleyball team rallied down 2-0 to pick up a third set victory over No. 7 Southwest Minnesota State University but was unable to stop the Mustangs in the fourth set losing 3-1 on Saturday afternoon in Marshall, Minn. The Beavers fall to 4-10 (1-5 NSIC). SMSU improves to 10-3 (4-1 NSIC) with their only conference loss coming last night to No. 5 University of Minnesota Duluth.
"I feel pretty good about the team coming out of the weekend after three-straight matches against top 15 opponents," said head coach Wayne Chadwick. "Today was a really bizarre match. We came out and we suffered one of the worst losses I have faced since I have been a collegiate coach in the first game. But I give my team credit, they bounced back and came out in the second game and played better. Then in game three we came out of the break and really showed what we are capable of as a team. We had all of our components going and were able to get the win in game three. I was really very pleased with how we played the second half of today's match."
After losing the first game 25-4 and the second game 25-15, the Beavers came out strong in the third game winning 25-15 led by five kills from Bethany Thompson (Jr., OH, Owatonna, Minn.). Ultimately the Mustangs were too much for BSU as they fell 25-19 in the fourth and final game.
Kimberly Hacker (Sr., MB/RS, Hutchinson, Minn.) led the Beavers with eight kills and a .375 hitting percentage. BSU struggled overall on the attack only hitting .038 for the afternoon. Thompson chipped in nine kills and hit .118. Kelsi Crawford (Fr., OH/DS, Wadena, Minn.) added six kills.
Setter Jessi-Beth McCannell (Sr., Brandon, Manitoba) had 29 assists on the night.
Defensively, libero Laura Carlson (Jr., Hutchinson, Minn.) paced BSU with 15 digs. Thompson added nine digs on the afternoon. Hacker guided the Beavers on the block with two block assists.
Southwest Minnesota State was led by a pair of All-Americans in middle blocker Mary Groth and outside hitter Brooke Burmeister. Groth tallied 17 kills and hit .536 for the match while Burmeister added 16 kills with a .282 hitting percentage. The Mustangs hit .336 for the match.
Setter Cara Carson helped guide the SMSU offense with 47 assists on 57 Mustang kills.
On defense Brittany Wenzel was key in helping to shutdown the BSU offense with 19 digs on the afternoon.
Saturday’s third-set victory marks the second-straight match Bemidji State has picked up a game from a ranked opponent after defeating No. 14 Minnesota State University in the second game on Friday. The Beavers have now won five games over ranked opponents during the two-year stint of head coach Chadwick.
BSU falls to 55-31 all-time against Southwest Minnesota State. The Beavers will return home next weekend for matches against Augustana College on Friday and Wayne State College on Saturday.
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