A bounce-back victory in the second set was never added to by Bemidji volleyball in a 3-1 loss to Grand Rapids (25-18, 23-25, 25-19, 27-25) at the Bemidji High School Fieldhouse on Thursday evening.
The Lumberjacks could never recover from a large early deficit in the first set of the night, trailing by as many as 12 points late before putting together a small rally to trim down the final deficit to a more respectable margin.
Their push to end the first set yielded a strong beginning to the second, with Bemidji’s attack varying into kills from the likes of Kennedy Smith and Beth Bolte in both building and maintaining the lead in a bid to level the match.
Despite leading 19-10 at one stage, Bemidji needed the final two points of the set with the score tied at 23–punctuated by a kill from Allie Lilquist–to finish off the narrow victory.
The third set remained close until the late stages and Bemidji’s attack featured several big swings from both Bolte and Elizabeth Oster in the middle to stay in front at various stages.
A close finish to the set appeared to be on the way before the Thunderhawks took the final seven points to put a strong close to the third.
Aces were in frequent supply for Bemidji during the fourth set in what proved to be yet another close margin much of the way.
Trailing late and with Grand Rapids holding match point at 24-22, the Lumberjacks mustered one final push starting with a massive kill from Kate Hildenbrand that kept the match alive.
The Lumberjacks took two more points to hold a set point of their own, but the visiting Thunderhawks responded by winning the final three points of the night to conclude the match.
Bemidji drops to 4-7 heading into a home match with Moorhead on Tuesday evening at 7:15pm. Pregame will be at 7 on KBUN 104.5 and Lumberjacks1 online at kbunsportsradio.com.
Postgame with Bemidji head coach Alicia Kriens: