BRAINERD -- The Bemidji High School volleyball team couldn’t prevent its season from coming to a close on Friday night.
The sixth-seeded Lumberjacks had late leads in multiple sets at third-seeded Brainerd, but Bemidji couldn’t cash in during a 3-0 (25-21, 27-25, 25-23) loss in the Section 8-3A Tournament quarterfinals.
“We played the best volleyball that we have played all season,” BHS head coach Alicia Kriens said. “We executed the plan right. The girl did everything that we asked them to, we just fell short.”
The Jacks (13-16) led 21-20 in the second set and 23-22 in the third set, but the clinching points eluded them in the season-ending defeat. The Warriors (20-8) broke from a 25-25 tie in the second set to win 27-25, then took the last three points of the third set to win 25-23.
“The girls battled hard,” Kriens said. “I told them to walk away from here proud, with your heads held high. That was a great match.”
Individually, Taylor Wade tallied 11 kills to go with 10 from Emily Wade. Emily also stuffed the stat sheet with 19 set assists and 15 digs, both team-highs. Elsewhere, Anikka Takkunen had 14 set assists while Jenna Anderson and Ashley Hofstad had 14 and 13 digs, respectively. Beth Bolte finished with two blocks, while she, Hofstad and Emily Wade each recorded one ace.
Bemidji graduates four seniors in Keena Kondos, Taylor Wade, Hofstad and Takkunen.
“They’re such a good bunch, and they work so hard,” Kriens said of the seniors. “… It’ll be a tough loss. But we have a lot of good girls waiting in the wings, ready to step up. Now that they’ve gotten to see that senior leadership from those girls, hopefully they’re ready and want to step into that position.”