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VOLLEYBALL: No. 1 Minnesota Duluth too much for BSU to handle

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BEMIDJI — The Bemidji State volleyball team showed flashes of consistency against the top team in the country, but in the end Minnesota-Duluth was just too much for BSU to handle.

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The Bulldogs swept the Beavers in three sets (25-11, 25-16, 25-14) in BSU’s home opener at the BSU Gymnasium.

The Bulldogs (11-0, 2-0 NSIC) dominated the first set with efficient play that never allowed the Beavers (4-6, 0-2 NSIC) to establish any rhythm.

The Bulldogs turned a 4-4 first-set tie into a 13-4 lead thanks to kills by Kate Lange and Mariah Sharf and three straight service aces by Sheenagh Caroline.

BSU managed to rally with two kills and a forced error from freshman Jess Yost and make it 13-7 but UMD pulled away with more firepower from Scharf and Lange; Lange closed the set down with four straight kills, including setpoint.

In the second set BSU stayed in for much longer, trailing only 7-5 early thanks to four kills from Yost.

The Bulldogs pulled away in that set, getting kills from nearly everyone on the front line and benefitting from unforced errors on BSU.

At one point the Beavers pulled to within five, 21-16, but the Bulldogs scored four answered with kills from Lange, Sydnie Mauch and Julie Rainey to put BSU away.

In set No. 3 it was all UMD, as the Bulldogs scored the first eight points before committing an attack error to give the Beavers their first, but BSU never recovered from the poor start and lost 25-11.

Yost led the way for BSU with 12 kills, while UMD’s Lange notched 18 kills.

Kayla DeJong had 12 digs for BSU and Courtney Volkmann had four kills and 13 set assists.

The Beavers return to the court Tuesday against Minnesota Crookston. Both teams will be looking for their first conference wins.

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Jack Hittinger
Jack Hittinger is a sports reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer, focusing on Bemidji State but also covering area high schools. He hails from the Great State of Michigan. Read his Bemidji State blog at http://thebeaverblog.areavoices.com/ and follow him on Twitter at @Jackhitts.
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