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Bemidji bounces back to stop Duluth East

From left, Bemidji volleyball players Hanna Olson, Allie Heifort, Jasmin Yerbich and Myria Colley listen to coaches Teresa Colligan, left, and Netti Homer during Saturday’s victory over Duluth East. Pat Miller | Bemidji Pioneer

BEMIDJI – After expending a tremendous amount of energy Thursday in a five-set loss at Nevis, the Bemidji volleyball players were back on the court Saturday afternoon at home against Duluth East.

If the Lumberjacks were tired from that marathon match they didn’t show it as the Jacks improved to 6-1 with a 25-15, 25-12, 24-26, 25-14 victory over the Greyhounds.

“This was a good bounce-back match after the Nevis loss,” said BHS senior Jess Yost. “We didn’t play a perfect match, especially in the third game. But we shouldn’t be peaking at this time of the season. We should be peaking at the end.”

Losing the third game proved to be a non-factor as Bemidji controlled play in the first two sets and regained that dominance in the final game.

“We had our moments,” said BHS coach Teresa Colligan. “I thought our defense was consistent and we had many good blocks. Because of our defense Duluth East never had any big runs.

“But at times it seemed that we weren’t as intense as we needed to be,” the coach continued. “In the third game it was like we dropped our intensity a bit.”

 While the visitors never managed any decisive runs the Lumberjacks were able to control the scoreboard through a series of multiple scoring streaks.

In the first game BHS overcame a 4-1 deficit with a 6-0 spurt courtesy of Allie Heifort’s serving, a pair of kills by Yost and Myria Colley’s stuff.

Later in the game Yost ripped a pair of winners to fuel another 3-0 run and kills by Yost and Timi Severson keyed another 3-0 run.

Leading only 15-14 the home team iced the first-set victory with a 9-0 rally that featured eight serving points courtesy of Hanna Olson. The spurt began with Heifort’s spike and included a pair of stuffs by Heifort and Colley, three Yost kills and two ace serves.

 The trend continued in the second set and Yost was at the line for the final three points.

After the hiccup in the third game Bemidji outscored the Greyhounds 14-5 down the stretch to claim the fourth game and the match.

Yost finished with 23 kills while Heifort had 10 and Timms, who celebrated her birthday Saturday, contributed nine.

“We like to use all of our hitters,” Yost said. “Alexa (setter Alexa Greendahl) chooses who she will set to. We like to mix it up but she’ll also go to whichever hitter is hot.”

That trend resulted in 44 set assists Saturday.

Defensively Colley had six blocks and Heifort four. Yost and Jasmin Yerbich each collected 11 digs and Olson finished with nine. Olson also had four aces.

The Jacks resume their schedule Tuesday’s at home against Roseau. Next Saturday they will travel to Apple Valley for a tournament. 

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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