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VOLLEYBALL: Bemidji State senior hitter Thompson named all-NSIC

BURNSVILLE – Bethany Thompson was, more often than not, one of the best players on the floor whenever the Bemidji State volleyball team played this year.

So it’s fitting that the senior from Owatonna was named to the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference All-Conference second team, as announced by the league office on Wednesday. The selection is the first for the accomplished outside hitter.

Thompson was one of 34 players selected to either take home first- or second-team honors.

With two matches remaining on the schedule this season, Thompson has posted a career-best 332 kills. Her 4.05 kills per set and 4.43 points per set both rank her second in the league, and she has accomplished the feat despite other teams being able to game plan for her — her 12.44 attacks per game are 0.53 more than any player in the league, and her 1,020 total attacks are 586 more than any other player on Bemidji State.

Thompson’s 201 digs are second for BSU and her 27 total blocks and 14 service aces rank her third on the squad.

If she can muster 22 kills this weekend against Northern State and Minnesota State-Moorhead, she will become the ninth player in program history to reach 1,000 career kills. Thompson is 24 kills away from making the top-10 list for most in a single season at BSU.

The all-conference selection for Thompson adds to her 2011 Fall Academic All-NSIC Team honor.

Kate Lange of Minnesota Duluth, who leads the NSIC in kills, was named the league’s Player of the Year while NCAA Division II digs leader Katy Ness was given the honor of the conference’s top libero.

The NSIC Freshman of the Year award was given to Emilee Gutzmer of top-ranked Southwest Minnesota State. Gutzmer’s coach, Terry Culhane, received the distinction of the NSIC’s Coach of the Year in his ninth season.