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Bemidji St. notebook: BSU volleyball home this weekend, women's hockey begins season

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The Bemidji State volleyball team returns for homecoming weekend with a pair of NSIC matches at BSU Gymnasium.

The Beavers host Augustana Friday night at 7 p.m. and No. 22 Wayne State Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m.

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Bemidji State enters the weekend with a 5-10 overall record and are eighth in the NSIC standings with a 2-3 conference record.

Augustana is 8-9 overall (2-3 NSIC) and Wayne State is 16-3 overall (3-1 NSIC).

The Beavers have shown improvement this season and are two wins away from reaching last year's win total.

Bemidji State is coming off a lengthy three-game road trip that went through Winona State, Upper Iowa and Northern State.

BSU went 1-3 on that road trip with the victory against Winona State.

Leading Bemidji State's offense into the game is junior Nicole Olson and freshman Bethany Thompson. Olson leads the team with 139 kills on the year and Thompson is second with 111 kills.

Setting the offense is sophomore Courtney Bitter, who is one set shy from 500 set assists for the season.

Brie Groskreutz, Laura Carlson and Samantha Heratus are defensive specialists.

This weekend's games mark just BSU's third and fourth games at home this year.

The Bemidji State women's hockey team opens the 2009-10 season this weekend on the road with a tough test.

The Beavers will travel to Erie, Pa. to face No. 2 ranked Mercyhurst Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at 1 p.m.

Mercyhurst won College Hockey America last season and finished runner-up in the national championship to Wisconsin.

The Beavers return the top three scorers from last season in juniors Erin Cody, Erin Johnson and Annie Bauerfeld. The trio combined for 30 goals last season with Cody a team-high 12.

The Beavers also return experience and depth at the forward position with Franny Dorr, Nicole Rawlings, Kaylee Keys and Lauren Williams.

Senior Jackie Robertson is back to lead the defense and she will likely form the top pairing with Montana Vichorek, who had a breakout season last year as a freshman. Marlee Wheelhouse and Brittany DeBoer return after seeing significant playing time last season.

Sophomore goalie Zuzana Tomcikova will be Bemidji State's No. 1 goalie last season. She was named to the all-WCHA second team and all-WCHA rookie team last season after making 882 saves last season - the most in the WCHA.

She will leave BSU during the season to play for the Slovakia in the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver.

Steve Sertich is back for his fourth season coaching Bemidji State.

Jessica Christofferson, a 2009 Bemidji High School grad and standout on the recent Jacks girls hockey teams, is a freshman at Mercyhurst. It is uncertain if she will see playing time this weekend against BSU.

The Beavers will return home next weekend for a Saturday-Sunday series against Wisconsin. Bemidji State will play Saturday's game at Coleraine and will play in the John Glas Fieldhouse Sunday.

The Bemidji State soccer team is out on the road for two games this weekend.

The Beavers play at Upper Iowa Friday and at Winona State on Sunday.

Bemidji State enters the weekend 7-2 overall and 3-1 in the NSIC.

The Beavers are on a roll and playing well, winning the last three games and five of the last six. The only loss during that stretch game against No. 5 Mankato.

Ashlee Ellefsen is the team's leading scorer and she had her first career hat trick against Moorhead last weekend in a 5-3 win. She's now six points shy of owning the BSU career points record.

Goalie Abby Kjonaas is having a strong year in net for Bemidji State. She is leading the NSIC in goals against average (0.49) and is fifth in the conference in save percentage (.833).

Upper Iowa enters the weekend 5-5-1 (1-2 NSIC) and Winona State is 6-3 (3-0 NSIC).

The Beavers return home next weeekend for Parents weekend with games Saturday against St. Cloud State and Sunday against Concordia-St. Paul.

Ellefsen and Dustin Kroeplin were named Beaver Pride Athletes of the Week after outstanding athletic performances during the week of Sept. 21-27.

Ellefsen had a hat trick in BSU's 5-3 win over MSU, Moorhead last weekend.

Kroeplin, a freshman running back, rushed for 112 yards and two touchdowns in last week's 42-20 win over Northern State.

BSU sophomore Casey Hill was the medalist at the St. Olaf Fall Invitational last week at Summit Golf Club in Cannon Falls.

He finished with a two-round score of 1-over par (72-73) to claim the top honor by three strokes.

Chris Curb and Jesse Nelson also finished in the Invite's top 10. Curb tied for seventh place at 7-over par and Nelson finished ninth at 10-over par.

The trio led BSU to the team title - the Beavers third team victory in four events during the fall season.

The Beavers are in Hastings this weekend for the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Golf Championships at Emerald Greens Golf Course.

Bemidji State athletic director Rick Goeb will be inducted into the North Dakota State University Bison Athletic Hall of Fame Friday night.

"It is an honor and a privilege, first to be a part of North Dakota State history, and now to be honored by them," Goeb said. "To be honest, it was a bit of a shock. I believe I am the 25th wrestler to be inducted into the hall of fame and that is quite an honor when you look at the success of that program over the years. It is certainly something that is extremely humbling."

Goeb, a member of the Bison wrestling team from 1985-88, was the 1988 NCAA national champion at 126 pounds on NDSU's first Division II national championship team under the direction of Bucky Maughan.

He was a three-time all-American at NDSU.

Prior to his current position at BSU, Goeb was the head wrestling coach at St. Cloud State from 1991-94 and was the associate athletic director at Alaska-Fairbanks from 1995-2001.

estromgren@bemidjipioneer.com

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