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Bemidji HS Thursday roundup: Lumberjacks volleyball outlasts Grand Rapids in five-game match

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Bemidji HS Thursday roundup: Lumberjacks volleyball outlasts Grand Rapids in five-game match
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

The Bemidji volleyball team played its best match of the season Thursday and edged Grand Rapids 25-27, 25-17, 23-25, 25-19, 15-9 in Bemidji.


"Grand Rapids was a very good team but we rose to the occasion," said BHS coach Teresa Colligan. "In terms of hitting, passing and our overall play, this was our best match of the year."

Jess Yost and Allie Heifort spearheaded the offensive effort as Yost had 23 kills and Heifort 21. Jenna Sagedahl also was a key component as she contributed 55 set assists.

Defensively Heifort had six blocks and Meghan Wannebo 34 digs. Yost added 31 digs and Liz Hirt 26 digs.

The visitors outlasted Bemidji 27-25 in the first game which featured eight ties and five lead changes.

The game was close from start to finish and Bemidji's 15-10 lead was the largest by either team.

Allie Heifort's spike tied the game for the final time at 25-25 but the Thunderhawks put the finishing touches on the first-set victory with spikes by Jessa Sondergaard and Kelly Niles.

Bemidji dominated the second game and settled the issue with runs of five points four points.

Meghan Wannebo was at the line for the first flurry which saw BHS expand a 12-10 lead to 17-10. Wannebo contributed to the spurt with a pair of aces.

Liz Hirt had the serving honors when the Jacks all but iced the victory with a 4-0 run that enabled Bemidji to increase an 18-11 lead to 22-11. Heifort contributed a spike and a tip during the run while Kellie Morehouse added a spike and Hirt ripped an ace.

Thursday's win vaulted Bemidji over the .500 mark at 8-7. Saturday they head to Willmar for an eight-team invitational.

The Bemidji cross country teams battled the majority of their section peers Thursday in Fergus Falls and both the boys and the girls placed fifth in the invitational.

"The boys were fifth of 20 teams and fourth among the section teams," said BHS coach Ryan Aylesworth. "We were only seven points out of fourth and 11 out of third so we know we will be able to move up when we compete in the section meet."

Moorhead won Thursday's invitational with 48 points and Perham, which is not a section team, was second with 86. Completing the top five were Alexandria with 107, Monticello with 111 and Bemidji with 118.

Lucas Gemar of Moorhead was the individual winner with a time of 15:51. Lumberjack Andy Berube was third as he complete the race in 16:39.

Completing Bemidji's results were John Buckanaga in 14th (17:00), Alex Schoneberger in 22nd (17:17), Dan Clemenson in 35th (17:38), Sam Carlson in 44th (17:50), Jake Urban in 54th (18:02) and Ryan Erickson in 58th (18:09.

The boys varsity race included 147 runners.

The Jacks also were fifth in the girls varsity with 187 points. Monticello won the event with 46, Brainerd had 105, Moorhead 121 and Little Falls 178.

Jamie Pietenburg of Alexandria won in 14:14. Bailey Drewes of Bemidji was sixth in 15:19. Jenna Truedson was ninth in 15:25, Kim Truedson 16th in 15:45, Dani Gronhovd 77th in 17:17, Laura Edwards 79th in 17:21, Emma Brokl 85th in 17:31 and Mikayla Connel 91st in 17:43.

Bemidji also placed fourth in the JV girls race and fifth in the JV boys event.

The Jacks return to action Monday at Thief River Falls.

The boys soccer team fired 27 shots but managed only one goal in Thursday's 1-0 win at Crookston.

Max Hazelton scored six minutes into the game as he converted a feed from Kyle Fodness.

"We moved the ball around very well but our decision making in the offensive third of the field was not very good," said BHS coach Rick Toward whose team improved to 11-3-1. "We had our open looks at the goal but either we couldn't get the shot on net or we hit the keeper.

"But we'll take the win," Toward added.

Bemidji goalie Carl Graefe needed only three saves to toss the shutout.

The 11 victories ties the school record for wins during the regular season. The Lumberjacks will try to break the record Monday when they head to East Grand Forks.

The junior varsity had an easier time Thursday as it belted Crookston 12-1.

Bemidji battled the heavily-favored Green Wave on even terms for 65 minutes but East Grand Forks controlled the final quarter of the game and defeated BHS 3-0 Thursday in East Grand Forks.

"They wore us down," said Lumberjacks coach Kelly Schoonover. "We had our scoring opportunities and made their keeper work hard but we couldn't connect. We played hard but in the end East Grand Forks just broke us down. We withstood a lot of defensive pressure at the end and you can only play that way for so long."

Casey Palmer made 14 saves for Bemidji while her offense tested the Green Wave netminder six times.

The Jacks, 5-9, will be at Hillcrest Lutheran Academy today. Monday they will host Crookston in the final home appearance.

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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