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MONTE DRAPER | BEMIDJI PIONEER Bemidji's Karlie Leif, left and Talia Lucken combine to make a dig on Monday night during Bemidji's sweep of Brainerd.

Volleyball: Bemidji batters Brainerd 3-0

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BEMIDJI — The top goal of the Bemidji High School volleyball team is to improve each time the players hit the court and, based on Monday's home appearance against Brainerd, the Lumberjacks have succeeded with that mission.

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After opening the fall with three losses BHS found the victory column last week at Moorhead, downing the Spuds 3-0. The Jacks carried the momentum earned in that win into Monday's contest and the result was a 25-6, 25-22, 25-23 triumph.

"We're starting to put things together," said Bemidji assistant coach Netti Homer. "We have made some adjustments with our lineup and they are helping us defensively.

"The game starts with the serve receive and the pass and you need both of those weapons to get anything going offensively. And we did those things very well Monday."

In the first game Bemidji's attack was flawless. Every dig, every pass, every set and every kill was on target and the result was a victory that took only 11 minutes to achieve.

The Warriors were not as easily defeated in the other two games but the bottom line is that the Jacks found a way to win.

"In the first game we came out on fire," said BHS head coach Teresa Colligan. "In the other two games we were challenged and when we are challenged we must find a way to fire back.

"And on Monday we fired back in the second and third games."

In the opener Bemidji was firing all of the bullets and Brainerd was an easy target.

Emily Falldorf served four straight points to give the Lumberjacks a 6-1 cushion and two of the points were courtesy of Claire Laakso who scored on a push and a tip.

Alexa Greendahl followed with six consecutive service points to up the advantage to 13-2. And three points courtesy of Talia Lucken increased the cushion to 18-4.

Karlie Leif had the honor of ending the game as she closed the 25-6 win with six service points.

"In the first game we were error free," Homer said. "We knew we are capable of playing at that level and we showed just how well we can play."

The second game followed a different path, however, as the visitors took advance of three BHS errors to open a 6-1 lead. Falldorf answered with four points, the final one on another Laakso tip, to tie the game at 6-6 and no more than three points separated the teams the rest of the way.

Leading 23-22 the Jacks were able to close the deal with Brylee Colligan's spike and a Falldorf stuff.

The third game was knotted at 17-17 and again at 23-23 before Falldorf and Colligan ripped winning kills to end the match.

"We were able to get our sets to the middles (Laakso and Falldorf) and they were able to put the ball down," Colligan said.

"Claire and Emily are going to keep improving because neither has very much varsity experience," Homer added.

Myria Colley paced the hitters with 10 kills while Laakso ripped nine, Falldorf seven and Colligan four.

Greendahl dished 26 set assists while Falldorf, Laakso and Colligan each collected four blocks.

Defensively Colley and Leif contributed 10 digs and Lucken eight.

Bemidji (3-2) returns to action Thursday when it hosts Nevis.

Notes: The Bemidji volleyball team is hosting its annual youth clinic Friday at the high school gym. Registration begins at 4:30 p.m. and all youngsters from kindergarten through fifth grade are welcome.

The clinic will run from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and registration fee is $20. For more details contact BHS head coach Teresa Colligan at 556-4675.

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Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

(218) 333-9200
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