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Panthers blank TRF in section showdown

Strong serving by seniors Hailey Lundin, Hannah Wolff, Taylor Smythe and Shelby Weckwerth and a solid night at the night led the Park Rapids volleyball team to a key Section 8AA victory at Thief River Falls Thursday night.

Those four seniors combined to serve eight aces and 34 points in leading the Panthers to a 26-24, 25-17, 26-24 victory. The win was the Panthers' fifth straight 3-0 victory in non-tournament matches.

Park Rapids, which improved to 2-0 against section opponents and 8-6 overall, used three aces during a 7-0 run by Lundin to build a 17-11 lead in Game 1. An ace by Weckwerth made it 22-17 before Thief River Falls rallied for a 24-24 tie. After a side out, Wolff served out the game.

In Game 2, Smythe's pair of aces during a 5-0 run gave the Panthers a 9-4 advantage. Weckwerth served five points, including an ace, to help the Panthers claim a 23-15 advantage en route to winning that game.

The Prowlers led 23-19 in Game 3 before five points by Lundin gave Park Rapids a 24-23 edge. Thief River Falls made it 24-24 before Wolff was able to serve out the game.

Lundin served three aces and 13 points, Wolff had 11 points, and Smythe and Weckwerth served two aces each.

At the net, Megan Norby had 14 kills while Wolff and Leeza Tostenson had seven kills each. Olivia Vaadeland added six kills.

Defensively, Weckwerth (19), Lundin (17) and Norby (15) hit double digits in digs with Wolff and Vaadeland tallying three solo blocks each.