Beavers take first NSIC road trip at Winona State and No. 23 Upper Iowa
The Bemidji State University volleyball team travels for its first Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference road trip of 2019 this weekend as it prepares to face Winona State University and No. 23 Upper Iowa University. The Beavers (3-7, 0-2 NSIC) begin the weekend by first facing the Warriors (8-2, 0-2) Friday, September 27 at 6 p.m., followed by the Peacocks (8-2, 0-2 NSIC) Saturday at 2 p.m.
Winona State: Friday’s clash with the Warriors will be the 97th meeting between the two programs with Winona State holding the all-time series record at 52-44. The Warriors have been dominant as of late and have won 17 consecutive matches against the Beavers. In their last meeting, Winona State earned a 3-0 sweep over the Beavers in Winona on Oct. 20, 2018. BSU head coach Kevin Ulmer is 0-4 in his career coaching against the Warriors.
Upper Iowa: Saturday’s meeting between the Peacocks and Beavers will be just the 24th of the all-time series dating back to 2004. The Beavers hold the series record at 13-10 but have lost five consecutive matches against the Peacocks. Bemidji State and Upper Iowa last met a year ago with BSU falling 3-1 in Fayette. Beavers’ head coach Kevin Ulmer is 0-4 all-time coaching against the Peacocks.
Winona State: Winona State enters the weekend with a 8-2 overall record and are tied for 10th in NSIC standings with an 0-2 league record. The Warriors return to action after opening NSIC play at No. 19 St. Cloud State University and No. 4 University of Minnesota Duluth where they fell 1-3 and 0-3 to the Huskies and Bulldogs, respectively. The Warriors received 54 votes in the latest American Volleyball Coaches Association poll.
WSU is currently tied for eighth in the conference by hitting at a .251 efficiency and have held opponents to a .172 hitting percentage for eighth.
The Warriors run their attack through freshman Madison Larson who leads the team and is 14th in the conference with 100 kills this season. She averages 3.33 kills per set and is hitting at a .241 efficiency for fifth on the team. Junior Megan Flom follows closely with 78 kills this season and averages 2.89 kills per set while hitting at a .274 clip. Junior Bre Maloney runs the attack and paces the team with 344 assists and is 10th in the conference by averaging 9.56 assists per set.
On defense, Winona State is led by junior Becca Pagel who averages 3.95 digs per set and has totaled 150 digs for 10th in the league. At the net, sophomore Madison Rizner leads the team and if fourth in the conference with 48 total blocks (7s-41a) and averages 1.26 blocks per set.
Upper Iowa: The Peacocks enter the weekend’s action ranked 23rd in the latest AVCA poll and are tied for 10th in the league standings after opening conference play with two losses. Upper Iowa fell to No. 4 Minnesota Duluth in three sets to begin the weekend and then fell to No. 22 St. Cloud State in a close five-set match.
Upper Iowa ranks fifth in the league by hitting at a .276 efficiency as a team and are third on defense by holding opponents to just a .138 hitting percentage.
The Peacocks are led on offense by Anna Winter who is the NSIC’s kills leader with 163 and averages 4.66 kills per set. She also hits at a .346 clip that paces the team and is 10th in the conference. The next closest hitter is Kaitlin Niedert who has totaled 86 kills and average 2.69 per set while hitting at a .238 clip. Setter Carlee Ketchum coordinates the attack and has totaled 358 assists and is seventh in the league by averaging 10.23 per set.
On defense, Haley Weepie leads the Peacocks with 157 digs and averages 4.49 per set for sixth in the NSIC. Sarah Johnson protects the net and paces the team with 45 blocks (5s-40a) for a 1.29 per set average, the third-best average in the league.
Bemidji State: The Beavers travel for their first NSIC road trip of the season after hosting Minnesota State University, Mankato and No. 6 Concordia University-St. Paul for their home opener. Bemidji State fought hard against the Mavericks and Golden Bears and took their first set in four years against MSU and followed by taking two sets against the No. 6 Golden Bears for the first time since 2003 before ultimately falling 3-1 and 3-2, respectively.
The Beavers rank 12th in the conference by attacking at a .192 efficiency and are 13th on defense by allowing opponents to hit at a .232 clip.
Bemidji State is led on offense by junior Becky Schroeder who has totaled 129 kills to rank 11th in the NSIC and is 17th in the conference by hitting .312. She is followed by sophomore Haley Stolt who has totaled 103 kills but is only hitting at .090 efficiency. Redshirt freshman Maddie Mackinac coordinates the attack and is eighth in the league with 395 assists for a 9.88 assists per set average.
On defense, senior Emma Hallmann leads the team and is 11th in the NSIC with 157 digs and a 3.92 digs per set average while junior Randi Johnson and senior Julie Touchett lead the team with 29 and 26 blocks, respectively.