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BHS volleyball team honored on awards night

The record-setting Bemidji High volleyball team was honored Monday night at its annual Awards Night ceremony at the Commons.

Special guests were the members of the varsity, JV, B and C Teams who represented Bemidji this fall.

The varsity won a record 22 matches, one above the previous mark set three times.

Head Coach Teresa Colligan served as emcee for the program, thanking the parents and Booster Club members for their continued support and presenting corsages to the senior players parents.

Leann Johnson, who guided the freshmen, praised her small squad for making steady progress during the year despite frequent turnovers due to illness and injuries. The squad finished with only 11 players.

Lindsey Gullickson, in her first season as B Team coach, presented certificates to her 14 players who went 22-5-3 this season finishing among the leaders in several tournaments.

Heather Anderson did likewise for her nine JV performers who went 18-5 capping the year with a title at the season-ending Grand Rapids Invitational.

Team leaders were:

Kills: Allie Heifort

Aces: Sara Heisler and Brianna Thorson

Digs: Thorson

Blocks: Katie Jensen and Kalee Wiebolt

Sets: Jenna Sagedahl

Assistant Coach Netti Homer reviewed the varsity season which ended 22-6 in the semifinals of the section tournament, bowing to Alexandria 3-1.

Bemidji finished ninth among 32 teams at the prestigious Marshall tourney which sent four of its five opponents to the state meet.

It also was third at the Alexandria tourney beating Wadena which went on to take the consolation title at the state meet.

The team claimed all five of its extended five-set matches this year and numbered Grand Forks Red River among its victims. The Roughriders went on to take the North Dakota state title.

"It was great group of girls to work with, especially the five seniors who played so well all year."

She urged all of the returning players to work during the off season to develop their skills ready to make another run at the team's first state tournament trip.

Colligan returned to cite the team leaders, pointing out that the team set all sorts of school records during the season.

Included were

Serves: Erika Weimann, 98% (school record)

Aces; Courtney Homer, 43

Pass receiving; Abby Hendricks

Digs: Courtney Homer 389 (school record); Weimann, 388

Assists: Brooke Homer 830 (school record)

Kills: Kayla Hirt 357 (school record)

Blocks; Hirt 37 solo and 75 assists

Kelsey Heisler was also cited for her three year career marks of assists, 129 (3rd); career kills 465 (4th) and single season kills, 210 (5th)

Awards voted by the players included;

Moat Improved Player: Jess Yost

Hustle Award: Hendricks

Moat Valuable Player: Hirt

Hendricks (4.0) and Weimann (3.99) were named to the All State Academic Team while the team earned a Gold Division All-State Academic Award.

Hirt earned an honorable mention spot on the St. Paul Pioneer Press All-State team.

The Coaches Award was given to the full team this year for its season-long contributions to its success.

Outgoing captains Hirt, Heisler and Brooke Homer conducted the team roast and presented serious gifts to the coaches in appreciation of their efforts this year.

Special gifts went to the five seniors.

Elected to head the 2010 team were Hirt and Meghan Wannebo who urged their returning teammates to work hard during the winter, spring and summer and come back ready to challenge for the section title in 2010.

Earning their 2009 volleyball letters were;

SENIORS: Abby Hendricks, Kelsey Heisler, Erika Weimann, and Courtney and Brooke Homer

JUNIORS: Meghan Wannebo0, Kayla Hirt, and Liz Hirt

SOPHOMORES: Nicole McDonald, Kellie Morehouse and Jenna Sagedahl

FRESHMEN: Jess Yost and Allie Heifort

Next stop on the banquet circuit is the football banquet Sunday at 5 p.m. at the Calvary Lutheran Church Parish Hall.

Yet to be announced is the girls swim banquet, the eighth and final event of the fall.