BEMIDJI – From her position in the back row, Jasmin Yerbich has the perfect vantage point to watch Bemidji’s front row troops rip their winning spikes. And the senior can take credit for most of them, because much of the front row success can be traced to digs and passes from the back court.
Thursday the Lumberjacks improved to 2-0 by sweeping Detroit Lakes 25-20, 25-12, 25-19 in Bemidji’s home opener. And Yerbich was a key factor in the victory with a team-high 22 digs.
Those digs translated into 34 Bemidji kills, including 14 by Allie Heifort, 10 by Jess Yost and seven courtesy of Timi Severson. Setting up many of those spikes was sophomore setter Alexa Greendahl, who dished 31 assists.
“I really enjoy watching them kill a ball and knowing that I’m a part of it,” Yerbich said. “My job is to make sure our setter gets a good pass to set to the killers. And for me, passing the ball to the setter is a fun part of the game.”
Early in Thursday’s match the Lumberjacks were not at their peak. Detroit Lakes was able to stay with the host in the first game with the help of seven Bemidji errors.
The Lumberjacks made the necessary adjustments in the second game, however, and coasted to the 25-12 win.
Myria Colley served BHS to a 7-0 advantage with six consecutive points. The run included a pair of Heifort spikes and a pair of Colley aces.
Another 5-0 spurt upped Bemidji’s cushion to 18-6 and ended any hopes of a Detroit Lakes rally.
Yost served four of the points and capped a play with a winning spike. Heifort also delivered a winner, while Blake Bardwell and Claire Laakso teamed for a scoring stuff.
The Lakers stuck with Bemidji through much of the third game and were within 13-12 before the Jacks ended the match with a 12-7 run.
A pair of winning spikes by Heifort set the table for the game-winning blast by Severson.
“We had a few jitters at the start,” BHS coach Teresa Colligan said. “There were times when we had some great hustle and some great digs but at other times I thought we needed to get things going.”
Yerbich believes that the great hustle, great digs and productive play at the net will be the norm rather than the exception. She also believes that this year’s team has what it takes to make another run at a state tournament appearance.
“Our goals are to get far into the postseason and have fun. We play our best when we have fun,” Yerbich said. “Everybody on the team is part of a fun group. We know that getting to state is going to take hard work and lots of sweat. But we definitely pushed ourselves hard during the offseason to prepare for this year.
“And we have high expectations this year,” she added.