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Bemidji State falls again, swept by nationally-ranked Wayne State

BEMIDJI – The Bemidji State volleyball team put up a good fight, but could not find a way to stifle the attack of No. 21-ranked Wayne State in 3-0 (25-18, 25-16, 25-20) loss at the BSU Gymnasium Saturday.

The loss dropped the Beavers to 3-9 overall and 1-4 against NSIC opponents.

The match was Bemidji State’s second against a top-25 opponent. The Beavers also fell to Ferris State at the Minnesota Duluth Volleyball Classic.

The Beavers earned the first two points of the first set, but Wayne State (10-3, 4-1) went on a 12-2 run to take control. BSU climbed back into contention with strong passing that led to multiple kills by Kelly Niles and Bethany Thompson, making it a two-point game.

From there, however, the Wildcats regained momentum and won the first game 25-18.

In Game 2, Bemidji State did a better job controlling WSC’s tempo to start, but allowed the Wildcats to pull away late. The two teams exchanged points and limited each other to no more than two consecutive scores in a row until the set was knotted at 13.

The Wildcats finished off a 25-16 win with a 12-3 run that included six of Cori Hobbs’ ten kills on the afternoon.

Hobbs also recorded the set-clinching point, working off of one of Leisa McClintock’s 38 assists.

Bemidji State’s closest attempt at taking a set came in the third. The teams played even until the Beavers were able to take a 17-13 lead, but Wayne State stormed back to level the game at 19 before taking six of the last seven points for a 25-20 victory.

Courtney Volkmann recorded 32 assists and added two service aces. Libero Elissa Christensen led the team in digs for the fifth straight match, this time with 11, and Thompson led the squad in kills with 12. Niles had eight kills of her own.

“We’ve got to be cognizant of when the other team is on a run and buckle down and keep it from happening,” BSU head coach Wayne Chadwick said. “That’s been our Achilles heel all season. We’ll play tough with someone and allow them to go on a five-point run.”

Up next for the Beavers is a road trip that includes matches against AVCA Division II Volleyball Poll vote-getter Winona State and another conference foe in Upper Iowa.