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VOLLEYBALL: Jacks drop season opener

Bemidji junior Taylor Wade jumps up in celebration during a BHS comeback before a 3-1 loss at Alexandria on Thursday. (Micah Friez | Forum News Service)1 / 2
Bemidji head coach Alicia Kriens (center) cheers after the Lumberjacks win a point during a 3-1 loss at Alexandria on Thursday. (Micah Friez | Forum News Service)2 / 2

ALEXANDRIA -- The Bemidji High School volleyball team opened its season at Alexandria on Thursday and fell to the Cardinals in four sets.

Alex took the first two sets 25-18, 25-23 before the Lumberjacks (0-1) rallied from a 20-10 deficit to win the third set 25-22 using a 5-0 run to end it.

“We started out a little slow,” said first-year BHS head coach Alicia Kriens. “The third game we were down 20-10 and we came back and took it, so we picked it up on defense and started to play our game.”

The resurgence continued into set four as the Jacks cruised out to a 6-1 lead, but Alexandria slowly worked its way back and finally tied it at 16-all and forced a Bemidji timeout.

It was back-and-forth the rest of the way, but the Cardinals stole the first set in extra points, 29-27 for the match victory.

“We came out in the fourth and it was neck-and-neck the whole game and we ended up losing,” Kriens said. “But overall, I was very proud of our first showing.”

Senior Emma Muller led the Jacks with 17 digs and 10 kills, while Taylor Wade knocked down eight kills and Emily Wade seven.

Kenzie Christianson tallied six blocks, and Mikerra Mathews racked up 14 digs.

The biggest strength for the Jacks in the match was defense, according to Kriens.

“We were very scrappy,” she said. “We never let anything hit the floor without somebody on our team hitting the floor as well.”

Bemidji will look for its first win of the season when they head to the Elk River Breakdown Tip Off Classic this weekend.