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Bemidji High School volleyball player Jasmin Yerbich digs a serve during the first match against Wadena-Deer Creek on Thursday evening. Pioneer Photo/Monte Draper

Bemidji volleyball team tops Wadena-Deer Creek in thriller

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Allie Heifort recorded a team-high 25 kills as the Bemidji volleyball team defeated the Class AA defending state champions Wadena-Deer Creek in five games Thursday at the Bemidji High School.

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The game scores were 26-24, 21-25, 25-22, 22-25 and 15-11.

"It is a really big boost, especially at this time of the year," Bemidji head coach Teresa Colligan said. "It was really nice that we played like this against such a strong team."

The Lumberjacks (15-7) and Wolverines found themselves tied at 24 in Game 1 after trading leads up to that point. Heifort and Kellie Morehouse delivered back-to-back kills to grab the first game.

Morehouse finished the night with 16 kills.

"We really like our line-up right now," Colligan said. "As far as rotation, this is our best line-up that we can have. We know the strengths and weaknesses of our opponents and prepare our girls for them."

After trailing 17-14 in Game 2, WDC scored the next five points with Caitlin Volkmann serving to grab the lead and it was able to hold on for the win.

Bemidji broke a 10-10 tie in Game 3 when Brianna Thorson rattled off five consecutive points while serving to make the score 15-10.

Thorson finished the night with 22 digs.

Morehouse finished Game 3 the same way she did Game 1. Her kill gave the Lumberjacks a 2-1 edge.

Morehouse had a team-leading five blocks on the night.

The Wolverines went on a 6-1 run in Game 4 to break a 14-14 tie and put them in position to even the score.

But Nicole McDonald and the Lumberjacks went on their own run to take the lead at 21-20.

McDonald recorded the only ace of the night for Bemidji during that stretch.

Thanks to kills from Brittney Noon, Avery Jackson and Emily Miron, WDC scored five of the next six points to force a fifth game.

Noon and Miron each finished with 15 kills.

"This group of girls do not get down on themselves," Colligan said. "They do not worry about their losses and always focus on what is next. They did a really nice job of that tonight."

The Lumberjacks jumped ahead to an early 7-2 lead in overtime, but Volkmann delivered four straight kills and the lead was trimmed to 9-8.

With the Wolverines serving and down 14-11 Heifort delivered her final kill of the night to seal the dramatic win.

"Both teams really played with a lot of heart," Colligan said. "Some of the time, some of our players will have better games than others, but tonight was truly a team effort."

Jessica Yost led Bemidji with 28 digs and added 22 kills.

Jenna Sagedahl had a team-high 49 assists and finished with 26 assists.

These two teams will have a rematch in a tournament in Alexandria on Saturday.

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