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Park Rapids' Mady Vaudrin (9) attempted to spike the ball past Crosby-Ironton's Hallie Schmidt (left) and Lisa Knutson during Thursday night's match.

Strong serving leads Panthers by Rangers

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One of the best serving performances of the season led the Park Rapids volleyball team to its first Mid-State Conference win of the season Thursday night.

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Serving 26 aces and pounding down 35 kills sparked the Panthers to a 25-10, 23-25, 25-16, 25-15 win over Crosby-Ironton at the Area High School gym.

The Panthers dominated Set 1 as a kill and dig by Mady Vaudrin and an ace serve by Grace Bateman produced a quick 5-1 lead. An ace serve by Vaudrin and a kill by Megan Grimes made it 8-3 before Katelyn Hilmanowski served an ace and five points to push the advantage to 14-5. Grimes had a block during that stretch. Park Rapids put the set away when Justine Rittgers served an ace and five points for a 20-6 cushion. Grimes had a block and kill during that stretch. A kill by Hilmanowski and ace serve by Vaudrin ended the set.

In Set 2, kills by Hilmanowski, Vaudrin and Grimes and three ace serves by Hilmanowski during a 6-0 run gave the Panthers a quick 11-4 advantage. Crosby-Ironton ended the set with a 21-12 run despite an ace serve by Grimes, a pair of winning tips by Bateman, a kill by Vaudrin and an ace serve by Bailee Jerger.

Kills by Jerger and Hilmanowski and four service points by Vaudrin gave the Panthers a 7-6 lead in Set 3. A kill and ace serve by Grimes and an ace serve by Bateman gave Park Rapids an 18-12 advantage. A kill by Rittgers, two ace serves by Hilmanowski and a winning tip by Bateman sparked a 7-4 run to end the set.

Despite kills by Vaudrin and Grimes and another tip by Bateman, the Panthers trailed 7-5 in Set 4. Hilmanowski served four points and Grimes had a kill as Park Rapids claimed a 10-7 lead. After Lisa Knutson served two aces to give the Rangers a 13-10 edge, Grimes served five aces during a 6-0 run as Park Rapids led 18-14. After a kill by Vaudrin, Bateman served three aces as the Panthers led 24-16. Vaudrin had a kill during that run. Katlyn Zaske replaced Bateman and served out the final point to end the match.

Hilmanowski served seven aces and 17 points, Bateman served six aces and 12 points, and Grimes served eight aces to lead the Panthers. Vaudrin (9), Grimes (8), Rittgers (6) and Hilmanowski (5) combined for 28 kills while Rittgers led the way with 10 digs as the Panthers improved to 1-3 in the conference and 5-13-1 overall.

Hallie Schmidt had 12 kills to lead the Rangers, who fell to 0-3 in conference matches and 3-15 overall.

Park Rapids statistics

Serving: Bateman 16 for 19 (6 aces), Rittgers 8 for 11 (1 ace), Vaudrin 12 for 13 (3 aces), Hilmanowski 21 for 24 (7 aces), Grimes 11 for 14 (8 aces), Jerger 12 for 14 (1 ace), Zaske 1 for 1.

Service points: Hilmanowski 17, Bateman 12, Grimes 9, Rittgers 6, Vaudrin 6, Jerger 6, Zaske 1.

Attacks: Bateman 8 (3 kills), Rittgers 13 (6 kills), Vaudrin 25 (9 kills), Hilmanowski 13 (5 kills), Grimes 22 (8 kills), Robbins 4 (1 kill), Jerger 7 (3 kills).

Sets: Bateman 60 (11 assists), Rittgers 1, Johnson 1, Hilmanowski 4 (1 assist), Grimes 5 (1 assist), Robbins 1, Jerger 1.

Digs: Rittgers 10, Bateman 9, Hilmanowski 7, Jerger 7, Vaudrin 6, Johnson 4, Thelen 3, Grimes 2, Robbins 1.

Solo blocks: Grimes 2, Rittgers 1.

Assisted blocks: Rittgers 1, Hilmanowski 1, Grimes 1.

Serve receive: Rittgers 8 for 10, Vaudrin 9 for 11, Johnson 4 for 6, Hilmanowski 2 for 6, Grimes 0 for 1, Thelen 11 for 13, Robbins 0 for 1, Jerger 9 for 11.

Prowlers defeat Panthers

Brooke Yaggie's eight kills led Thief River Falls to a 25-6, 25-11, 25-15 win over the Panthers in a battle of Section 8AA teams last Tuesday night at Thief River Falls.

Vaudrin's four kills, Hilmanowski's three kills and Rittgers' 14 digs led the Panthers.

The Prowlers, who were rated No. 10 in last week's state Class AA poll, improved to 11-3.

Park Rapids statistics

Serving: Bateman 5 for 6 (2 aces), Rittgers 7 for 7, Vaudrin 10 for 10 (1 ace), Johnson 2 for 3, Hilmanowski 1 for 1, Grimes 2 for 2, Robbins 1 for 1, Melott 0 for 1.

Service points: Bateman 3, Vaudrin 3, Rittgers 2, Johnson 1.

Attacks: Bateman 8, Rittgers 6, Vaudrin 8 (4 kills), Johnson 1 (1 kill), Hilmanowski 11 (3 kills), Grimes 12 (2 kills), Thelen 1, Young 2, Olson 1, Robbins 9 (2 kills).

Sets: Bateman 37 (3 assists), Rittgers 2, Vaudrin 1, Johnson 14 (1 assist), Grimes 3, Thelen 2, Robbins 2.

Digs: Rittgers 14, Bateman 7, Thelen 7, Hilmanowski 5, Vaudrin 2, Grimes 2, Robbins 2, Johnson 1, Melott 1.

Assisted blocks: Hilmanowski 1, Grimes 1.

Serve receive: Bateman 1 for 1, Rittgers 11 for 15, Vaudrin 10 for 12, Johnson 0 for 1, Hilmanowski 3 for 6, Grimes 2 for 4,h Thelen 11 for 16, Robbins 5 for 9, Melott 0 for 1.

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