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Bemidji State volleyball goes 1-3 in opening tourney

PITTSBURG, Kan. – After splitting its first two matches of the season on Friday, the Bemidji State volleyball team dropped its final two of the weekend at the Pittsburg State Gorilla Classic Saturday in Pittsburg, Kan. 

The Beavers fell to host Pittsburg State (25-17, 25-17, 25-22) and Rockhurst (Mo.) (25-18, 25-16, 25-15) by 3-0 scores.

The two losses drop BSU to 1-3 on the young season heading into next weekend’s three-game tournament in Duluth.

In the day’s first match, Bemidji State never recovered from an early deficit in the first set en route to falling 25-17. The Beavers and Gorillas exchanged points at the beginning of the second set, but a late 9-1 run by the Gorillas gave them a 2-0 lead. BSU’s but it surrendered a late 21-19 lead in game three and fell 25-22.

Sophomore Kelsi Crawford led the team with 11 kills, setter Courtney Volkmann racked up 33 assists and libero Elissa Christensen notched 12 digs.

BSU’s concluded play at the Gorilla Classic with a match against Rockhurst. Despite close starts to the first two sets, the Hawks were able to pull away with 25-18 and 25-16 wins. RU never trailed in the match-clinching third set, winning 25-15.

In the loss, senior Bethany Thompson unloaded a season-high 15 kills, Volkmann added 24 assists, and Christensen chipped in nine digs.

On Friday, BSU swept Northwest Oklahoma State  (25-13,25-22, 25-19) in their tournament opener before falling to Emporia State (Kan.) in three sets, 25-15, 25-18, 25-14.

BSU gets back to action next weekend in the Duluth Volleyball Classic against 14th-ranked Ferris State, Erskine College (S.C.) and Shippensburg (Pa.). The Beavers open NSIC play on the road Sept. 14 against Minot State.