BEMIDJI -- The Bemidji State volleyball team pulled off a four-set upset victory over No. 8 Wayne State in a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference match Saturday afternoon at the BSU Gymnasium. Haley Stolt posted a career-high 18 kills and hit a career-best .216 to lead the Beavers (6-15, 3-10 NSIC) to a 3-1 (25-18, 6-25, 26-24, 25-16) win over the Wildcats (18-4, 9-4 NSIC).
The victory was BSU’s first against WSC since 2003, snapping a 23-match losing streak against the Wildcats. The win was also Bemidji State’s first against a nationally ranked opponent under fourth-year head coach Kevin Ulmer.
“We’ve talked a lot this year about how everyone needs to have a good game,” Ulmer said in a press release. “When everyone has a good game it’s a lot easier. They did that today and I’m really proud of their effort. Very exciting for our group to finally have something to put on our resume.”
The Beavers led most of the first set to run out of the gate with a 25-18 win. Wayne State cruised to a one-sided 25-6 win in set two, including a 15-0 run, to even the match at 1-1.
BSU fell behind 6-3 early in the third set, but rallied to tie the score at 9-9. Fourteen ties and five lead changes later, the sides were level at 24-all. A Stolt kill and a Wildcat error handed a 26-24 win and 2-1 lead to the Beavers.
Bemidji State got off to a hot start in set four, pulling ahead to an 8-1 advantage. WSC narrowed the gap to 15-14, but BSU held onto the lead and notched a 25-16 win to complete the 3-1 upset victory.
“The girls went out there and put the pressure on Wayne today,” Ulmer said. “I really felt like they were confident in themselves and what they can do and it showed out there on the court.”
Wayne State held the edge in hitting percentage at .256 to the Beavers’ .242, though the home side recorded 55 kills to the visitors’ 47.
Becky Schroeder followed Stolt with 15 kills and a .257 hitting percentage. Julie Touchett posted nine kills and hit .227, while Randi Johnson earned eight kills and hit .500. Maddie Mackinac totaled 47 set assists.
Defensively, BSU recorded eight blocks with Touchett (1s-3a) and Johnson (2s-2a) leading the way. Emma Hallmann tallied a team-high 14 digs as she now sits just four digs away from fourth on the program’s career digs list with 1,348 to her name. The senior is only 38 digs away from moving into second all-time.
Bemidji State will look to keep rolling in its next match at Minnesota Crookston at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 31.