MOORHEAD -- The Bemidji High School volleyball team controlled much of Tuesday’s road match at Moorhead. But the Lumberjacks ended with a 3-1 loss to show for it.
BHS (8-9) played the aggressor early in sets, but the Spuds (10-7) closed strong to finish out 27-25, 20-25, 25-23 and 25-16 decisions on the night.
“We should have had it in three sets,” Bemidji head coach Alicia Kriens said. “We got ahead, and all we had to do was play point-for-point. We’re almost scared to win it. We’re almost scared to see how good we can be. We’re right there. We’re so close.”
The first set served as evidence of the contrast: The Jacks steamrolled ahead 17-10, but Moorhead rallied for an eventual 22-22 tie with an ace. Though BHS fended off a pair of set points, the Spuds won the third for the opening-set victory.
The score stood at 17-10 Bemidji in the second set, too, brought on by a dump from Anikka Takkunen. Unlike the first set, however, the Lumberjacks subdued the comeback effort -- which came as close as 21-18 -- to win by five.
Another seven-point lead came in the third set. It surfaced earlier, at 12-5 thanks to a torrid start and an Ashley Hofstad block, but Moorhead closed once again. The Spuds ultimately tied it at 20-20 and didn’t slow down, using a 5-0 burst to grab a decisive advantage.
The finish then fizzled away from Bemidji in the fourth set. After an 8-8 tie, Moorhead shot ahead 12-8. BHS closed as close as 16-13 from there, but the Spuds ended on a 9-3 run for a quick 25-16 winner.
“I think it’s just going to come down to them,” Kriens said of her team. “We have every ounce of belief in them and (we) know they’re better than these teams we’re playing. … It’s going to take them to make the switch mentally.”
Taylor Wade finished with team highs in kills (17), aces (three) and blocks (two). Hofstad added 11 kills, while Emily Wade put up 10 kills and 25 set assists. On the receiving end, Jenna Anderson had 23 digs alongside 17 from Hofstad.
“I think we’re headed in the right direction,” Kriens said, despite the loss. “We’ve been constantly going up, and that’s all we’re asking for. Hopefully, in the next couple weeks, we can fix that mentality and really know we’re as good as every other team and should be winning these matches.”
The Lumberjacks will next take part in the St. Michael-Albertville Invitational, starting at 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 11.