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VOLLEYBALL: Bemidji's struggles continue against TRF

Bemidji’s Hannah Olson absorbs a Thief River Falls spike and sets it for the front line Tuesday evening. MONTE DRAPER | BEMIDJI PIONEER1 / 2
Bemidji’s Alexa Greendahl (9) sets to Maura Chadwick (2) during the Lumberjacks’ first game against Thief River Falls Tuesday night. The Lumberjacks were swept by the Prowlers in three straight. MONTE DRAPER | BEMIDJI PIONEER2 / 2

BEMIDJI -- It will take time for the Bemidji High School volleyball team to hit full stride as the lineup is filled with younger players and a few veterans who are trying to adapt to their new teammates.

The latest step in that transformation came Tuesday when the Lumberjacks dropped a straight-set home match to Thief River Falls. The Prowlers captured the opener 25-19 and claimed the middle game 25-20. In the third set Bemidji held a 7-6 advantage but the visitors took control with nine straight points and capped their win with a 25-15 triumph.

Tuesday's loss dropped BHS to 0-3 but the coaching staff was able to see some bright spots despite the defeat.

"I think we've gotten better in each game this season," Bemidji head coach Teresa Colligan said. "Thief River Falls is the best team we've faced this year and if we would have played as well in the other matches as we did Tuesday those outcomes might have been different."

"We're a work in progress and we're going to keep working," added BHS assistant coach Netti Homer.

The Prowlers employed a front court that was able to keep Bemidji's defense off balance much of the match. And when the Jacks did create an offensive opportunity, they had trouble delivering the kills.

After leading 5-2 in the first game, Bemidji let the Prowlers off the hook as six errors helped fuel an 8-point TRF run. That spurt gave the visitors a 10-5 advantage and the Lumberjacks never recovered.

Thief River Falls opened the second game with a 4-0 run, with the help of two BHS miscues. A few minutes later the Prowlers expanded a 6-4 lead to a 14-7 advantage and seven of those points were courtesy of Thief River Falls' net attack.

The home team closed within 20-15 but the Prowlers eventually tallied the game-winner when Bemidji touched the net.

In the final game Thief River Falls used a 9-point run to overcome a 7-6 deficit and take control.

"Our goal each game is to improve defensively but I felt we struggled in that area," Homer said. "Thief River is a very good team and there were times when I thought we did some very good things. But we didn't do enough good things."

Bemidji's offense was paced by Myria Colley who had eight kills and the six-kill efforts of Brylee Colligan and Emily Falldorf.

Alexa Greendahl dished 26 set assists while Claire Laakso had three blocks.

Colley contributed 11 digs and Greendahl and Hanna Olson each tallied nine.

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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