After a close victory in the first set, Bemidji volleyball used dominant second and fourth sets to roll to a 3-1 victory over St. Cloud Tech in its home opener on Thursday at the Bemidji High School Fieldhouse.
The Lumberjacks notched a close 29-27 victory in the first before cruising to a 25-10 win in the second. Tech pulled back a set with a 25-18 win in the third before Bemidji wrapped up the match in set four thanks to a dominant 25-9 scoreline.
Throughout the night, the serving of Kennedy Smith kept the Tigers off balance, as she posted seven aces–among them this service ace in helping Bemidji open up a small lead in the first set.
St. Cloud Tech pulled even late in the set to force extra points to decide who would claim the first. Sophomores Elizabeth Oster and Beth Bolte both came up with important kills for Bemidji to pull ahead at different stages before Smith fired another ace on set point to give the Lumberjacks the narrow win.
Bolte played a key role on several occasions in what turned out to be a decisive 16-1 run from the Lumberjacks to rapidly flip a 9-9 tie into an easy 25-10 victory in the second set.
The Lumberjacks were unable to overturn an early deficit in the third, but Allie Lillquist picked up several points at the net as she started to make her mark on the attack.
Bemidji roared out to a large lead in the fourth set, but one of the match’s memorable moments went in Tech’s favor on a lengthy rally between the two sides.
Undeterred, the Lumberjacks quickly poured on more points to grow the lead to 17-2, with Lillquist again coming up with some big shots.
Match point was secured not long after by Bemidji, concluding a dominant 25-9 final set.
The victory improves the Lumberjacks to 1-1 in the new season, ahead of what will be a week-long break from games before a trip to Willmar next Thursday. The match will begin at 7pm.
Postgame interview with Bemidji head coach Alicia Kriens: