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Three Wolverines to play together at Bemidji State University

Wadena-Deer Creek's Rachel Craig, Courtney Volkmann and Kelsi Crawford have decided to keep their volleyball skills close to home.

The three WDC seniors are joining Wayne Chadwick's Bemidji State University volleyball program for the 2011-2012 season.

The WDC trio was part of an undefeated squad last fall that brought a Class AA state championship back to the community for the first time.

The Beavers played Division II volleyball in the tough Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).

The team is losing six seniors to graduation.

"It's tough for freshman to come in and play right away but I think this is a good chance," WDC head volleyball coach Sue Volkmann said.

The 6-0 Craig will give the Beavers a strong middle hitter and blocker. During her senior season with the Wolverines she led the team with 213 blocks. Volkmann was a Class AA all-state setter two years in a row for the Wolverines and is considered a natural leader on the court. She was named the 2010 Minnesota Coaches Association Class AA Player of the Year. During her long prep career Volkmann had 4,232 assists, 1,241 digs, 541 kills and 495 service aces.

Crawford is an outside hitter with formidable strength and athletic skills. Chadwick also feels Crawford can help the team with her defensive skills.

The Wolverines posted a perfect 32-0 record last year as they made their third straight appearance in the state tournament.