WINONA –The Bemidji State volleyball team fell to first-place Winona State University 3-0 (25-18, 25-20, 25-23) on the road on Friday night.
“Despite the disappointment of an 0-3 loss, there are several bright things to take a look at,” BSU head coachWayne Chadwick said.
“Winona State is basically ranked 28th in the country right now and we battled really hard. In each game, we scored a few more points.”
The Beavers now stand at 3-10 (1-5 NSIC) and have lost five straight conference matches. The Warriors improved to 6-0 in NSIC play and remained the only unbeaten team in conference action.
Winona State began the match with a 6-1 run in the first set to pull away from the Beavers. From that point on, BSU played almost even before the Warriors completed a 25-18 win, setting up a more contentious second set. In set No. 2, Bemidji State kept the score close out of the gate, falling behind 10-6 before rallying to tie the score at 11. The teams traded points until WSU turned a 19-18 lead into a 25-20 win.
In the third set, the Beavers fell behind but didn’t go down easily, fighting until the final point was scored. Like in Game 2, BSU prevented Winona State from going on a long run. WSU emerged with a 24-20 lead, but Bemidji State came back with aKayla DeJongace, anAlex Peterson kill, and a Warrior hitting error, forcing Winona State to take a timeout in a one-point game before finishing the match on the ensuing play.
Bethany Thompsonhad another outstanding match, leading the charge offensively with 17 kills and also notching a team-high eight digs.Kelly NilesandChelsea Frisonwere solid up front, as well. Niles finished the night hitting .417 for six kills and Frison notched three kills and came up with two blocks.Courtney Volkmannalso played well, racking up 32 assists in the match.
“I saw lots of positive signs and with a little more consistency, we can beat a team like Winona,” Chadwick said. “Despite the frustration of the loss, it wasn’t as bad as you might think.”
The Beavers get right back to action tonight when they travel to Upper Iowa for a 5 p.m. road game.