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Bemidji State goes 1-1 on final day of Duluth tourney

DULUTH – The Bemidji State volleyball team played the last two matches of its non-conference schedule Saturday at the Duluth Volleyball Classic and went 1-1 to finish its nonconference slate.

The Beavers began the day with a 3-2 comeback win against Erskine College (S.C.) and finished with a 3-0 loss to Shippensburg (Pa.). The final split on the day put BSU 2-4 overall.

The Beavers pick up play on Friday when they head west to play new NSIC member Minot State to begin conference competition.

In the first match of the day, the Beavers lost a four-point edge in the first set, but recovered to take three of the last four points to preserve a 25-22 win.

The Raiders quickly erased BSU’s lead by taking the second set 25-12 and gained a lead of their own by eking out a 28-26 victory in the third, but Bemidji State forced a decisive fifth set by taking charge in set four, cruising 25-19.

The final game saw BSU jump out to a 9-5 lead, but Erskine put the Beavers on the brink of their fifth loss of the year with a 9-4 run.

Sophomore Courtney Volkmann and senior Bethany Thompson each recorded their second double-double in as many days. Volkmann racked up a career-high 44 assists and 13 digs in addition to six service aces, while Thompson added 12 digs to a career-best 24 kills.

Later in the day, BSU gave Shippensburg all it could handle but lost in three straight sets, 27-25, 25-19, 25-18.

BSU sophomore Rachel Craig finished in the tournament’s top five in hitting percentage, while Volkmann was top five in assists per game and led the six-team round robin in aces per game. Sophomore libero Elissa Christensen was in the top five in digs per game.