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VOLLEYBALL: Bemidji State falls to UM Crookston, drops 11th straight

CROOKSTON — The Bemidji State volleyball team dropped their 11th straight match Tuesday night, falling to Minnesota Crookston, 25-18, 26-24, 25-20.

“It was an inconsistent match for us,” BSU head coach Wayne Chadwick said. “We’ve got to play complete games. We can’t dig ourselves a hole in the beginning and try to fight and claw our way back and we can’t start hot and relax at the end. We’ve got to play from zero to 25.”

The Beavers (3-16, 1-11 NSIC) lost to the Golden Eagles (9-10, 5-7 NSIC) Sept. 14 by a similar score 25-23, 27-25, 25-21.

Tuesday, the teams were close all match.

The first set was knotted a nine when UMC took over and went on a five-point run from which Bemidji State could not recover. The five-point run turned into a 15-4 run that put the Golden Eagles up by 11 before BSU went on a point streak at the end to make the final 25-18.

The Golden Eagles came out strong in the second set and led 20-9 at one point, but the Beavers willed their way back into the game.

BSU went on a 15-4 run with senior Bethany Thompson, sophomore Elissa Christensen and freshman Courtney Fox fuelling the rally from behind the service line.

UMC, however, found a way to shake off the momentous Bemidji State comeback and take a 26-24 win.

Following the intermission, BSU came out stronger than in either of the first two sets and took a 12-7 lead, but UMC quickly erased that and scored seven straight times to regain control. From there, the Golden Eagles staved off a Beaver rally by taking 11 of the match’s last eight points to win the third set 25-20.

Thompson racked up a match-high 16 kills on the night to bring her season total to 260, and sophomore setter Courtney Volkmann posted a double-double with 35 assists and a match-best 13 digs.

Thompson, the team’s captain, stands less than 100 kills from 1,000 at 906. She now needs just 11 more kills to crack the program’s top-ten list in that category.

“Thompson was a monster,” Chadwick said of his squad’s lone senior. “She had some great moments. She and Volkmann had great nights, but unfortunately we were too up and down.”