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Bemidji State women's hockey and volleyball take home spotlight this weekend

The Bemidji State women's hockey team and volleyball team are home this weekend for games Friday and Saturday night.

The BSU women's hockey team hosts Ohio State Friday at 7:07 p.m. and Saturday at 2:07 p.m. at John Glas Fieldhouse.

The BSU volleyball team hosts Northern State on Friday at 7 p.m. and Mary on Saturday at 3 p.m. at BSU Gymnasium.

Also, the basketball season is starting with the Beavers taking the court for their first practices.

Bemidji State sprung to life last weekend with a split against No. 4 Wisconsin. The Beavers defeated the Badgers 1-0 in Coleraine on Saturday night and lost 3-1 on Sunday in the home opener at John Glas Fieldhouse.

Saturday's victory was only the second win over the Badgers in school history.

BSU goalie Zuzana Tomcikova had 73 saves in the weekend. She was named the WCHA Defensive Player of the Week.

The Beavers (1-3 overall, 1-1 WCHA) are out to prove against Ohio State (0-2-3 overall, 0-2 WCHA) that last weekend's split against the Badgers was not a fluke.

Last year's leading scorers Erin Cody, Erin Johnson and Annie Bauerfeld are off to a strong start again this season for the Beavers and are accounting for most of the scoring production through the first four games of the season.

Johnson has two goals and Cody has two assists. Bauerfeld has a goal and two assists.

The Bemidji State volleyball team is returning home after a challenging four-game road trip that ended 1-3.

The Beavers lost to Division I North Dakota 3-0 in its last match on Tuesday.

Bemidji State (7-14 overall, 4-6 NSIC) has showed promise at times this season, challenging nationally ranked opponents and playing matches into four and five sets.

Bemidji State's last win came on the road last Saturday in a 3-0 sweep of St. Cloud State.

The Beavers are now home for three straight games and will play six of the next 10 games at home to close out the season.

Bemidji State already has one more conference win than last season and has already match last year's win total.

Northern State comes into the weekend 8-10 overall (3-7 NSIC) and Mary is 6-15 overall (0-10 NSIC).

Nicole Olson is having an all-conference season for BSU and leads the team in kills (232) and blocks (73) this season.

Courtney Bitter is the team's setter and is averaging almost 30 set assists per match.

Brie Grozkreutz is the team's defensive specialist and leads the Beavers with 328 digs.

The Bemidji State women's soccer team is on the road this weekend.

The Beavers (9-4-0 overall, 5-3-0 NSIC) take on the University of Mary Saturday at 11 a.m. and wrap up the weekend Sunday at Northern State at 1 p.m.

Bemidji State stands alone in fifth in the NSIC standings, just two games behind conference-leading Minnesota-Duluth.

This weekend provides an opportunity to keep pace with the leaders as Mary stands in fourth with a 5-1-1 conference record.

Northern State is 3-1-3 in the conference and in eighth place.

Ashlee Ellefsen leads the team with eight goals and 23 points. Brianna Duff is second with seven goals and five points.

Yesenia Garcia and Kirsten Erickson are tied for third in team points (10) with three goals each.

Keeper Samantha Ross enters the weekend with a goals against average of 0.94 and a save percentage of .855.

Bemidji State's next home game is Oct. 23 against Minnesota-Duluth.

Athletes of the week

Tomcikova and men's hockey forward Matt Read have been named Beaver Pride Athletes of the Week after outstanding athletic performances during the week of Oct. 5-11.

Tomcikova had 73 saves against the Badgers in last weekend's split with Wisconsin and picked up her first win of the season.

Matt Read had five points (2 goals, 3 assists) in last week's sweep of Air Force in the opening series of the season.

The Bemidji State men's hockey team is idle this week and returns to the ice next week at Northern Michigan.

Men's basketball

The Bemidji State men's basketball team took to the court Thursday for its first practice of the season.

"The opening day of practice is something players and coaches look forward to with great anticipation and excitement each season," head coach Matt Bowen said. "Our players have had a great off season improving their fitness and skill level. With the majority of our team returning, I am as excited as ever to get going on the 2009-2010 season."

The Beavers were picked to finish ninth out of 14 teams in the NSIC Coaches Poll that was also released Thursday.

Guard Seth Haake was named BSU's player to watch.

The Beavers open the season Nov. 4 with an exhibition game in Madison against the University of Wisconsin.

The home opener is Nov. 24 against Jamestown College.

Also in men's basketball news, the Beavers have received a verbal commitment wit Kaukauna (Wis.) High School senior Jake Schalow.

He selected BSU over Air Force, Carroll, Centram Michigan, Merryville and Minnesota-Crookston according to the Web site

The 6-foot-4, 190 pound wing guard averaged 11 points per game and 2 rebounds per game as a junior last season on a team that finished the season 14-8.

Women's basketball

The Bemidji State women's basketball team also took to the court Thursday for its first practice of the season.

"We are excited about how the players got after it in pre-season conditioning and skill workouts," head coach Mike Curfman Said. "We have added some additional quickness and height to this year's team and with a lot of returners that got significant minutes last year, we are looking forward to getting this season underway."

The NSIC Coaches Poll has yet to be released.

The Beavers open the season Nov. 16 at Mayville State and the home opener is Dec. 4 against MSU, Moorhead.

Cross Country

The Bemidji State women's cross country team finished fourth at the Minnesota-Duluth Pine Hill Invitational on Oct. 10 in Carlton.

Kristi Buerkle finished 35th overall in the individual race with a time of 25:40.