WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Versatile Taylor Vold doing ‘whatever we ask’ for Bemidji State
Taylor Vold has turned into an important cog of the offensive wheel. She’s averaged 10.3 points per game in her last four, one of four Beavers averaging double-digits in that span.
BEMIDJI -- Just a few years ago, the Bemidji State women’s basketball team would be pleased with a weekend split on the road.
But it’s a different kind of culture around these parts now.
“Splits aren’t something we’re going for,” junior Taylor Vold said. “We’re going for sweeps every weekend.”
The Beavers have split their past two weekends, but the two losses have come against Minnesota State and Sioux Falls -- the top teams in the NSIC South Division. So head coach Chelsea DeVille is still keeping perspective.
“They weren’t going to be easy,” she said. “But when you go through it and the way we lost on each of those weekends -- when we didn’t play well and kind of beat ourselves -- is disappointing. … Not necessarily getting beat, but how we were.”
Even so, BSU still has to like where it's sitting. Bemidji State (10-7, 8-5 NSIC) is currently third in the NSIC North Division, and while the Beavers aren’t likely to catch St. Cloud State or Minnesota Duluth for a top-two spot, they’re focused on hanging onto their playoff position.
“If we can’t catch Duluth and St. Cloud, we want to stay third,” DeVille said. “Putting ourselves in the best position available in the standings -- but also making sure we’re hitting our stride come postseason -- (is important).”
Vold has turned into an important cog of the offensive wheel, as well. She’s averaged 10.3 points per game in her last four, one of four Beavers averaging double-digits in that span. She’s adapted well to a new role within the offense, which has allowed her production to flourish.
“I’ve been playing more inside on our offense rather than around the arc,” the 6-foot forward said. “I’m not necessarily doing anything different, more so just stepping into a different role somewhat. Before I was more of the screener, the passer, playing almost as if I was a guard.”
And since some of the best competition is one of her teammates, Vold has been properly prepared to play in the paint.
“Honestly, it was pretty easy,” Vold said of playing more inside. “I go up against Rachael (Heittola) -- one of the best posts in the NSIC -- every single day. Going up against her prepares me for anything when I get into the games.”
DeVille knows the value of players like Vold, someone “who does whatever we ask.” DeVille said that Vold’s talents are huge for a team that needs her versatility.
“She’s one of our best defenders where she can guard the best post inside, and then she can switch onto the quickest guards outside,” DeVille said. “She’s huge for us, and it doesn’t always show up (in the box score), but she definitely is.”
BSU will try to kick its trend of splits this weekend when Augustana and Wayne State come to town. Bemidji State faces the Vikings at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 28, and the Wildcats at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 29, both at the BSU Gymnasium.
Now more than ever, with just eight games to go, the playoff chase is heating up. And the Beavers can feel it.
“There’s been a lot more locker room talk on the playoffs, a lot more in-practice talk,” Vold said. “You get that excitement and that feel for playoff time to roll around. It’s always a fun time of the year, but it definitely came fast this year, that’s for sure.”