Panthers' win streak is snapped by W-H-A
Walker-Hackensack-Akeley relied on fast starts and strong finishes to snap a six-match winning streak by the Park Rapids volleyball team.
The Wolves led at the midway point in all four games en route to a 25-22, 25-19, 17-25, 26-24 victory at the Area High School gym.
W-H-A jumped out to a 10-3 lead in Game 1 before an ace serve by Leeza Tostenson, three kills by Olivia Vaadeland, two kills by Hannah Wolff, two tips by Jenny Palm, a kill by Hailey Lundin and a tip by Megan Norby cut the deficit to 22-18. A kill by Lundin and an ace serve by Norby made it 23-22 before W-H-A won the next two points.
In Game 2, an ace serve and kill by Lundin, a kill and tip by Norby, and two kills by Tostenson led to an 11-11 tie. A kill by Lundin gave the Panthers a 17-15 lead before W-H-A went on a 7-0 run. A tip by Norby made it 22-19 before the Wolves won the next three points.
The Wolves kept the momentum going early in Game 3 by claiming a quick 7-2 lead. Kills by Norby and Vaadeland, two ace serves by Norby, kills by Lundin and Wolff, and tips by Palm and Norby rallied Park Rapids to a 12-12 tie. Two kills by Wolff led to a 14-14 tie before Lundin served two aces during a 7-0 run to give the Panthers a 21-14 edge. A kill by Wolff, a tip by Tostenson and a kill by Norby forced a fourth game.
W-H-A again jumped out to an early lead by building a 5-1 advantage. Two kills and a tip by Norby, kills by Vaadeland and Lundin, and a tip by Tostenson kept the Panthers within 14-12. Lundin then served two aces and Wolff had a block as Park Rapids claimed a 16-14 advantage. W-H-A responded with a 6-1 run before a kill by Tostenson and four service points by Norby gave the Panthers a 23-21 lead. Norby had a tip and Vaadeland had a kill during that stretch. Another kill by Vaadeland gave Park Rapids a 24-23 lead before the Wolves won the final three points to end the match.
The Panthers, who fell to 14-9 on the season, will close out the Mid-State Conference schedule by hosting Staples-Motley Tuesday night and will end the regular season at East Grand Forks Thursday night.