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COLLEGE VOLLEYBALL: Bemidji State swept up by USF

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- The Bemidji State volleyball team kept close, but ultimately was handed a 3-0 (26-24, 25-21, 25-20) loss by Sioux Falls on Friday.

The Beavers (3-25, 0-19 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference) stormed ahead 6-2 in the first set with an ace from Emma Hallmann, but then the Cougars (15-9, 9-9 NSIC) worked their way back into a 20-16 lead. Still, BSU held firm -- fending off two set points -- before ultimately slipping at 24-all and dropping the set 26-24.

The second started similarly, as Julie Touchett recorded a kill and two aces to carry Bemidji State to a 3-0 lead. The Beavers played even as late as 10-10, but then USF started to take over once more by way of an ensuing 5-0 run.

BSU fought back within one at 22-21 when Maddie Filipiak and Anna Averkamp combined for a block, but Sioux Falls rattled off three and a row from there to take the second, 25-21.

The Cougars took an early advantage in the third but Bemidji State stuck around, just once allowing more than three straight USF points. The Beavers kept within striking distance throughout the set, but never leveled the score, and Sioux Falls inched its way to the deciding 25-20 win.

Bemidji State will close out the season at 2 p.m. today when they face No. 4 Southwest Minnesota State in Marshall.