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Miranda Lockhart had four blocks to lead the Perham defense, which had a busy night against a striking Lumberjacks squad. Photos by Robert Williams/FOCUS

Volleyball: Size mismatch aids Bemidji to a 3-0 victory at Perham

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sports Perham, 56573
Perham Minnesota 222 2nd Avenue SE 56573

An opening night matchup with the defending 8AAA Section Champion Bemidji Lumberjacks saw the Perham Yellowjackets battling two very talented six-foot outside hitters.

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"Our backrow defense was busy as Bemidji's six-footers hit over Perham blocks all night," Head Coach Dan Christenson said.

After a sluggish game one (25-14), in which the Yellowjackets let the game slip late due to unforced errors, Perham rallied and closed the gap to a score of 23-20, then 24-21 in game two, but could not get any closer with Bemidji winning 25-21.

"We needed to play with more urgency and intensity tonight to win," said Christenson. "It didn't happen."

The Yellowjackets continued to find a rhythm and battle through the unknowns of the first game of the season. Perham was down 18-17 in game three, but the Lumberjacks, who went to state last season, continued to find a way to finish. Bemidji ran off seven of the next nine points to win game three 25-19, ended the match punctually with an ace of serve.

"It was a good first night for us," Lumberjacks coach Teresa Colligan said. "We had people in new spots tonight and there are some things we need to work out but it was a good start."

Among the players in a new spot was setter Alexa Greendahl. She did very well in her opening start. Greendahl finished with 29 assists and a team-high 11 digs.

Among her targets was senior Jess Yost, who ripped 17 kills. Allie Heifort added nine winning spikes.

Hanna Olson, Yost and Myria Colley each contributed 10 digs while Blake Bardwell and Colley had three blocks.

Maria Rutten led Perham with eight kills. Tina Scheidecker had seven digs. Allie Christenson had 11 assists and Miranda Lockhart tallied four blocks in a busy night of defense.

"It was good to get a match in here early in the season to use as a measuring stone," said Christenson. "We've scrimmaged twice, but haven't taken score, so this first match will be beneficial in determining what it is we need to get done before our match with Detroit Lakes. Not a bad showing for the Jackets, but we now know where the improvements have to come for us to be successful this fall."

Bemidji will make its home debut Thursday against Detroit Lakes. The Lakers and Yellowjackets square off in DL next Tuesday.

Follow @eotsports on Twitter.

Pat Miller of the Bemidji Pioneer contributed to this story. Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

Bemidji 3, Perham 0 (25-14, 25-21, 25-19)

Perham statistics:

Kills:

Maria Rutten 8

Tina Scheidecker 6

Allie Christenson 4

Analea Erickson 3

Miranda Lockhart 3

Digs:

Tina Scheidecker 7

Allie Christenson 5

Maria Rutten 4

Tina Schmitz 4

Hope Slettebak 2

Miranda Lockhart 2

Brooke Boedigheimer 1

Blocks:

Miranda Lockhart 4

Maria Rutten 2

Analea Erickson 1

Hope Slettebak 1

Aces:

Tina Scheidecker 2

Tina schmitz 2

Miranda Lockhart 2

Hope Slettebak 1

Assists:

Allie Christenson 11

Hope Slettebak 9

Analea Erickson 1

Tina Scheideker 1

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