No. 3 SMSU Downs Bemidji State 3-1
BEMIDJI, MINN. - Maggie Geske had a match-high 16 kills and Sara Graf recorded a match-high 49 assists to lead No. 3 Southwest Minnesota State to a 3-1 (22-25, 25-15-25-14, 25-13) conference victory over Bemidji State Saturday afternoon in Bemidji, Minn.
SMSU improves to 24-4 (13-3, NSIC), while BSU drops to 6-21 (2-13, NSIC).
Geske was part one of a threefold attack from the Mustangs as Devin Diedrich and Laura Hegerle finished the match with 15 and 14 kills, respectively.
Sarah Quiram and Lauren Swain keyed SMSU's defensive effort. The duo combined for 33 digs, with Quiram leading all defenders with 23 on the afternoon.
The Mustangs opened the match on a 3-0 run, but the Beavers answered with a 10-2 run of their own. SMSU was unable to regain the lead, and the host team found itself on the leading end of a 1-0 match.
SMSU, however, rallied, taking a second set lead at 4-3 and never looking back. The Mustangs built a nine point lead midway through the set and stretched that advantage to ten on the set point.
Another double-digit lead quickly emerged for SMSU in the third set. A Graf service ace at 24-14 decided the set. SMSU held the Beavers to a minimal .031 hitting percentage in the set.
Hoping to keep head coach Terry Culhane's record against BSU perfect, the Mustangs put together another double-digit lead that the Beavers failed to dam up. SMSU capitalized on another poor hitting performance from BSU and moved Culhane's record to 9-0 against the Beavers.
Nicole Olson and Melissa McNeely each finished with 10 kills for the Beavers, while Courtney Bitter had 27 assists.
SMSU plays just one match next week, meeting up with Minnesota State, Mankato on Saturday in Mankato. The NSIC match is set for 4 p.m.
Article courtesy of Southwest Minnesota State athletics.