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BSU volleyball leaves Sioux Falls with three victories

The Bemidji State volleyball team finished the Active Ankle Invitational with a 3-1 record after picking up victories over Black Hills State and the University of Sioux Falls Saturday in Sioux Falls.

The Beavers defeated Black Hills State 3-1 by game scores of 20-25, 25-14, 25-13 and 25-21. The 3-1 victory over Sioux Falls was won by game scores of 25-12, 25-21, 18-25, 28-26.

"I am very pleased with our performance this weekend," said head coach Wayne Chadwick. "We have a lot of new players this season and they were able to see what it is like to play against this level of competition. This was a good weekend for us to build off of as we move forward in the season."

The Beavers were led by freshman Rachel Craig in the first match of the day against Black Hills State. Craig led BSU with 12 kills and a .474 attack percentage. She added three blocks in the match.

The BSU offensive attack was aided by Bethany Thompson and Kimberly Hacker.

Both players tallied 11 kills in the match.

Jessi-Beth McCannell (Sr., S, Brandon, Manitoba) led Bemidji State with 31 assists. Defensively, Thompson led BSU with eight digs.

"We had a horrendous first game against Black Hills State," Chadwick said. "We rebounded nicely in the next three games and were able to come away with the victory."

In the second match of the day, Bemidji State was paced by double-doubles from Thompson and freshman Kelsi Crawford, who notched a team-high 17 kills and added 10 digs.

Thompson netted 13 kills and had 13 digs. Craig hit .412 for the match and had eight kills.

McCannell paced BSU with 32 assists. Thompson's 13 digs led the Beaver defense. Libero Laura Carlson had 10 digs in the match.

"We came out and played two great games to open the match against Sioux Falls," Chadwick said. "Unfortunately in the third game we were waiting for them to lose rather than go out and win the game. We showed a lot of character in the fourth game as we were able to rally on three game points from USF and take the game and the match."

Thompson led Bemidji State on the weekend with 52 kills and 36 digs in four matches.

Thompson hit .304 for the tournament. Crawford, one of the three players to join the BSU squad from state champion Wadena-Deer Creek High School, chipped in 42 kills and 23 digs in her first weekend of collegiate action. Her high school teammate, Craig, hit .439 in four matches with 31 kills and 11 blocks.

Bemidji State will head to the Minnesota-Duluth tournament next weekend next weekend for matches against 2010 NCAA Tournament participants Rollins College and California University (Pa.), as well as NSIC foes Upper Iowa University and Winona State University.