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Panthers fall to Warroad in first round

Warroad jumped out to early leads and held off late rallies by Park Rapids to open the Section 8AA volleyball tournament with a 25-20, 25-18, 25-22 victory last Thursday night at the Area High School gym.

Warroad, the No. 6 seed, claimed a 10-5 lead in Game 1 before three service points by Hannah Wolff and an ace serve by Megan Norby helped the No. 3-seeded Panthers tie the game at 14-14. The game was tied at 19-19 before the Warriors closed with a 6-1 run.

In Game 2, the Warriors jumped out to a 10-4 lead and led 19-10 before four service points by Leeza Tostenson made it 19-15. Warroad then closed with a 6-3 run.

Warroad expanded an 8-2 lead to 19-11 in Game 3 before two service points by Olivia Vaadeland and three service points by Tostenson pulled the Panthers to within 20-18. Warroad and Park Rapids exchanged side outs to end the match.

Norby led the Panthers with eight kills while Tostenson had seven kills and Wolff and Vaadeland had six kills each. Jenny Palm had 22 set assists and Shelby Weckwerth had 19 digs as the Panthers ended the season with a 15-11 record.