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Bemidji St. volleyball: Golden Bears still too much for Beavers

The Bemidji State volleyball team won a set, but could not muster the firepower needed to upset the top ranked team in Division II volleybal Friday night.

Concordia St. Paul defeated Bemidji State 3-1 at Gangelhoff Center behind set scores of 25-11, 25-13, 21-25 and 18-25.

The set win is a major sign of progress to show how far Bemidji State has come since Lurie Bitter took over the program three years ago.

Concordia (20-0, 9-0 NSIC) has been so tough this season that it has only lost three sets the entire year.

The last time Bemidji State earned a set victory against Concordia came in 2003.

"We are starting to do things we haven't done in a long time at BSU," said head coach Laurie Bitter. "We are pushing these top teams and this program is moving in the right direction."

In that third set, the Beavers took an early 4-1 lead on kills from Nicole Olson and Bethany Thompson.

Laura Slinger gave the Beavers an 8-4 lead and from there on out, the Beavers led by at least three points until the Golden Bears cut the deficit to 21-19.

Melissa McNeely and Slinger teamed up for the match point on a block.

"We played unbelievably well in that third set," coach Bitter said. "It was fun."

Courtney Bitter posted 29 set assists and nine digs in the match.

Olson had a team-high 13 kills.

Brie Groskreutz had a team-high 14 digs.

Bemidji State (6-13 overall, 3-6 NSIC) travels to St. Cloud State today to wrap up the weekend road trip. Game time is 5 p.m.