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Bemidji St. volleyball picks up first NSIC victory

Bemidji State's Jessi-Beth McCannell bumps a serve as Laura Carlson looks on during the third set Saturday afternoon at BSU Gymnasium. Pioneer Photo/Eric Stromgren

The Bemidji State University volleyball team snapped a seven-match losing streak and grabbed its first Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference win of the season Saturday afternoon.

The Beavers defeated the University of Minnesota-Crookston 3-0 at BSU Gymnasium. The set scores were 25-19, 25-13 and 25-22.

"It was a monkey off our back," Bemidji State head coach Laurie Bitter said. "We needed a three-set sweep and we got it today, plus I almost got everybody in. One conference win is a good start for us."

The Beavers improved to 4-8 overall with the win and are 1-1 in NSIC play.

In Set 1, the Beavers took an early 5-0 lead behind the serving of Nicole Solum and never looked back. UMC cut the BSU lead to 7-5, but that would be as close as they would come.

Set 2 started with UMC at the line, but the Golden Eagles fell out of rotation and the incorrect player served the first two points. On the third point, the game was stopped when the referees realized the mistake.

The Beavers were awarded a point and the serve and made the Golden Eagles pay with a 8-0 run to begin the set. Laura Carlson served the rally for BSU.

"The second game was our best game today," Bitter said. "In the second game we had consistency, we were able mix up our hitters and we hit the ball well."

The Golden Eagles tested the Beavers the most in the final set, but BSU broke away from an 18-18 tie on two straight points with Carlson at the line.

"I thought Carlson, Courtney Bitter, Bethany Thompson and Jessi-Beth McCannell played a heck of a game," Bitter said. "They really kept the whole team going."

Carlson had a team-high 15 digs in the match as junior Brie Groskreutz had the night off. Sophomore Courtney Bitter dished out 27 set assists in the match. Freshman Bethany Thompson had a team-high eight kills and two of the Beavers' nine aces.

Sophomore Jessi-Beth McCannell had a season-high six digs and added one assist in her second full match of the season

BSU begins conference road action Sept. 22 in Aberdeen, S.D. with a battle against Northern State.