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Bemidji HS volleyball heads south for top competition

The Bemidji volleyball team opens play tonight at the Southwest State Challenge, a two-day, 32-team event that attracts many of the state's top teams.

The cross country teams, meanwhile, will run at the BSU Greenwood Run at the Greenwood golf course, a combined college-high school event.

Bemidji will open against Stillwater tonight in its opener and goes against the Fargo South-Wayzata winner or loser in the second round. It will take five straight wins to take the title

Region 8-3A champ SMA took last year's title beating Marshall 2-1 in the title match.

Bemidji went 2-3, losing to Eastview and Litchfield 2-0, beating Fergus Falls 2-0 , bowing to Sioux Falls, S.D. 2-1 and stopping Montevideo 2-0.

Bemidji takes a spotless 4-0 mark into play, winning all four starts 3-0 with only one opponent scoring more than 20 points in any set.

But the quality of the opposition will be far stronger this weekend than any it has seen before and will offer a good test as to how strong Bemidji can become this year.

Coach Teresa Colligan will alternate her top eight players with Kayla Hirt and Jess Yost inside, Abby Hendricks and Kelsey Heisler at the corners, Brooke and Courtney Homer in backcourt and Erika Weimann and Megan Wannebo alternating in.

Nicole McDonald and Allie Heifort round out the top ten.

Bemidji faces two more challenges next week at DGF Tuesday and Red River Thursday. The next home match is with Brainerd Sept. 22.

After several years as a high school event, the BSU cross country meet will return a college division this year.

The meet will open with the college women running at 3 and the college men at 3:45.

The high school division starts at 4:30 with the girls varsity. The junior high boys and girls races leave the starting line at 5 with the boys varsity at 5:30.

The entry in the high school division has dwindled in recent years with only three high schools and the Trek North Charter School entered. Grand Rapids, which competed last year, is not back.

Brainerd took both titles, edging Bemidji by two points in the boys division and Grand Rapids for the girls crown by four.

Bagley-Fosston will be back again. The Flyers had a full boys team in 2008 but only four girls.

Erik Truedson of Bemidji and Morgan Illikainen of the Rapids took the individual titles.

Mary, Moorhead and Jamestown will join the Beavers in the college division.

The Fighting Squirrels, The BSD men's club squad, will compete in the men's division. The men's team is one of 10 cut at by the college in the past two decades. The women's unit is school sponsored.

Bemidji High is likely to go with Jake Urban, Andy Berube, Alex Schoneberger, Dylan Jones, John Buckanaga Devin Danielson and Corey Huber among its top entrants. The remainder will run as independents.

The girls starters should include Kim Truedson, Bailey Drewes, Amber Solheim, Alex Lyren, Hana Felix, Betsy Richards and Chelsea Johnson.