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VOLLEYBALL: Jacks struggle to gain momentum, fall to Spuds in three

Bemidji High School junior Taylor Wade (11) tips the ball over in Tuesday’s match against Moorhead at the high school. (Jillian Gandsey | Bemidji Pioneer)1 / 3
Bemidji High School junior Ashley Hofstad (3) and senior Rumer Flatness (16) reach for the block in Tuesday’s match against Moorhead at the high school. (Jillian Gandsey | Bemidji Pioneer)2 / 3
Bemidji High School senior Rumer Flatness (16) attempts to hit through the Moorhead block in a match Tuesday at the high school. (Jillian Gandsey | Bemidji Pioneer)3 / 3

BEMIDJI -- The Bemidji High School volleyball team improved as the night went along, but ultimately the Jacks couldn’t figure out how to turn around their game fast enough to take a set in a 3-0 loss to Moorhead.

The Spuds (9-7) were strong out of the gate and cruised to a 25-13 win in set one, and they held the Lumberjacks (8-13) to 17 and 19 points in the second and third sets to complete the sweep.

“Usually it’s a battle between us and Moorhead,” BHS head coach Alicia Kriens said. “They always have a really good offense, and we knew that they were going to have some big blockers. We just couldn’t convert.”

In set one, Taylor Wade had two kills and two aces in a 5-2 Bemidji run to cut Moorhead’s lead to 9-8, but the Spuds responded with eight straight points, and the Lumberjacks couldn’t recover.

They returned to the court with a refreshed offense in set two, though, and jumped out to a 6-2 lead, but Moorhead came back again to take 13 of the next 15 points and claim a 15-8 lead.

The Jacks worked their way back within three points on four occasions (12-15, 13-16, 15-18 and 16-19) but couldn’t pull closer than that and Moorhead ran away with a 25-17 win.

In the third and final set, neither team could muster more than a three-point lead until the Spuds scored five straight to jump ahead 20-14.

Bemidji answered with a 5-2 run after that – including kills from Taylor Wade and Ashley Hofstad and a Makenzie Christiansen block – but the Spuds scored the next three points to put the set, and ultimately the match, away with a 25-19 win.

“Again with our confidence,” Kriens said. “This weekend and tonight, there’s something missing. There’s that little bit of fire, and that’s something I just told the girls, ‘That’s not something that I can do for you. I give you all the tools you need, the skills – all the physical stuff – but when it comes to game day and practice time, you need to bring that fire all the time because that’s what’s going to win games in the end.’ It’s that little bit of extra effort, that extra emotion.”

Taylor Wade led the Jacks offense with nine kills, followed by Emily Wade’s six and Hofstad’s five.

“Emily Wade has been our one consistent factor, I think,” said Kriens. “She’s been very consistent the entire season. Ashley Hofstad again, five kills, only one error. She passed excellent. Both of those players really stick out to me as two of our consistent players.”

Emily Wade also put up 11 assists and nine digs on the night, while Mikerra Mathews had eight assists.

Libero Jenna Anderson posted 14 digs and added a pair of aces, while Taylor Wade picked up 11 digs.

Up next for BHS, the Lumberjacks take to the road Thursday, Oct. 11, for a 7 p.m. game at Grand Rapids.