Minnesota Crookston improved to 4-16 (2-10 NSIC) with Tuesday's win.

    The University of Minnesota Crookston volleyball team put their foot on the gas early and didn’t let up as they throttled Bemidji State 3-0 (25-20, 25-16, 25-19) Tues., Oct. 9 at Lysaker Gymnasium.

    The Golden Eagles played one of their strongest matches of the season as they hit .176 for the match with 30 kills and just 12 errors. Minnesota Crookston had a well-rounded team effort as they tallied 49 digs for 16.3 digs per set. In addition, the Golden Eagles were crucial on their service as they had eight service aces on the game. The Beavers attempted to counter in key spots of the match, but every time Minnesota Crookston had an answer as they kept the energy up for the entirety of Tuesday’s match.

    Minnesota Crookston improved to 4-16 (2-10 NSIC) with Tuesday’s win. Bemidji State falls to 5-15 (2-10 NSIC) with the loss. The Golden Eagles thwarted Bemidji State’s attempt at a season sweep as they go 1-2 on the season against their rival from just 88 miles down U.S. Highway 2.

    Bemidji State struggled to get much going on the night as they hit just .045 with 30 kills and 25 errors. The Beavers also ran into trouble on their serve as they had just one service ace to six errors on the match.

Key Players

Minnesota Crookston
Deaira Gresham, 11 kills, .207 hitting pct., 9 digs
Kaitlin Sikkink, 6 kills, .462 hitting pct., 2 block assists, 1 solo block
Sydney Kruisselbrink, 23 assists
Katie Lienemann, 14 digs
Callie Schapekahm, 2 block assists
Lauren Wallace, 2 block assists

Set One

    The Beavers remained within striking distance early in the first set as the frame as the set was knotted up 5-5 after a Haley Stolt service ace. However, Minnesota Crookston responded with a 4-1 run to leap ahead 9-6 following a bad set by Mary Campbell. Bemidji State came back and tied the match up again 9-9. The Golden Eagles countered again, this time with a 3-0 run to take the 12-9 advantage following a Sikkink (R-Jr., MH, St. Charles, Minn.) kill. The Beavers would continue to come up a response and would be within 19-18 late in the match. This time Minnesota Crookston countered with a 6-2 run and didn’t look back as they closed out a 25-20 set one victory propelled by a Lauren Ulibarri (Jr., DS, Flagstaff, Ariz.) service ace and a Sikkink kill.

Set Two

    The Golden Eagles used their momentum from the first set going into the second frame. Minnesota Crookston would take the early 9-5 lead in the set following a Callie Schapekahm (Sr., MH, Eagan, Minn.) service ace. Bemidji State would respond as they tied the set up 10-10 led by a series of attack errors by the Golden Eagles. Minnesota Crookston countered with a 7-1 run lifted by the service of Katie Lienemann (So., Lib., Rosemount, Minn.), who held serve for four points. The Golden Eagles built off the 7-1 run as they closed out the set with a 25-16 victory to take the 2-0 advantage in the match.

Set Three

    Minnesota Crookston continued to use the momentum to their advantage as they started the final frame on an 8-1 run guided by two kills from Gresham. The Beavers made a run mid-way through the set as they closed to within 11-9. However, Minnesota Crookston had the counter to answer as they widened their lead out to 15-9 on a Porsha Porath (Fr., OH, Windom, Minn.) kill. The Beavers pulled to within 15-12 with a Becka Cronin kill, but the Golden Eagles again had the answer as they pushed out to a 21-13 advantage following Gresham’s kill. Bemidji State had a final response as they cut the deficit down to 23-19 late. However, Minnesota Crookston won the final two points of the match, with the stamp put on as Kruisselbrink dug out a ball on the right side and put it over to the right side of the Bemidji State defense where the ball landed just within the line to give Minnesota Crookston the 25-19 set three win and 3-0 sweep.

    The Golden Eagles will look to ride the momentum into the weekend as they host Minnesota State University Fri., Oct. 12 at 6 p.m. at Lysaker Gymnasium.