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Panthers win clutch points in victories over PR-B, Cass Lake

Mady Vaudrin went up for a kill during Thursday night's match against Cass Lake-Bena.1 / 2
Allie Bade received a serve during Thursday night's match against Cass Lake-Bena.2 / 2

Strong play at the net offset Cass Lake-Bena's scrappy defense as the Park Rapids volleyball team prevailed 25-17, 22-25, 25-23, 25-18 in a battle of the Panthers Thursday night at the Area High School gym.

An ace serve by Allie Bade, a block and kill by Olivia Vaadeland, a tip and kill by Megan Grimes, and a kill by Justine Rittgers gave the Panthers a 12-10 lead in Set 1. Three kills by Vaadeland, a kill by Rittgers and three kills by Grimes gave Park Rapids the opening set.

Three kills by Vaadeland and kills by Grace Bateman, Rittgers and Grimes gave Park Rapids a quick 11-5 lead in Set 2. After Cass Lake took a 12-11 lead, kills by Bateman, Grimes, Mady Vaudrin and Vaadeland gave Park Rapids a 20-17 edge, but Cass Lake closed with an 8-2 run to even the match.

Vaadeland opened Set 3 with a kill and block before blocks by Vaadeland and Bade on Shania Johnson's serve gave the Panthers a 13-4 advantage. Cass Lake rallied to within 17-16, but a spike by Vaadeland, a tip by Rittgers and kills by Grimes and Bateman set up a set-ending kill by Katelyn Hilmanowski that put Park Rapids back in the lead.

Two kills and a block by Vaadeland and two kills by Rittgers gave the Panthers a quick 9-1 edge in Set 4. A pair of spikes and a block by Grimes kept the Panthers in front 15-4 before Cass Lake rallied to within 15-10. A tip by Vaudrin, a kill and tip by Vaadeland and a kill by Bateman ended the match as the Panthers improved to 6-8 on the season.

Panthers outlast PR-B

The Panthers took control down the stretch to rally for a 17-25, 25-23, 20-25, 25-21, 15-8 victory over Pine River-Backus last Tuesday.

After PR-B took a 2-1 lead, Rittgers served an ace during a 6-0 run to give the Panthers a 12-2 lead in Set 4. Bateman served four points to extend the lead to 17-5 before the Panthers held off a late rally.

Three service points by Grimes and two service points by Hilmanowski gave the Panthers a 6-1 lead in Set 5. Park Rapids maintained that advantage before Grimes served out the final points.

Erika Jerger served 13 points and Vaadeland had 14 kills to lead the Panthers. Rittgers (18), Hilmanowski (17), Bateman (16), Vaadeland (14), Jerger (13) and Johnson (11) all had double digits in digs while Vaadeland had four solo blocks and five assisted blocks to lead the defense.

Brittany Kelley had 12 kills for the Tigers, who fell to 7-7 on the season.

Park Rapids statistics vs. PR-B

Serves: Bateman 14 for 14 (1 ace), Rittgers 15 for 15 (2 aces), Jerger 21 for 24 (2 aces), Grimes 1 for 2 (1 ace), Vaudrin 3 for 3 (1 ace), Vaadeland 13 for 13, Johnson 16 for 16, Hilmanowski 12 for 15 (2 aces).

Service points: Jerger 13, Bateman 9, Johnson 9, Rittgers 7, Vaadeland 4, Hilmanowski 4, Vaudrin 2, Grimes 1.

Attacks: Bateman 12 (1 kill), Rittgers 23 (4 kills), Grimes 18 (4 kills), Vaudrin 18 (4 kills), Vaadeland 41 (14 kills), Hilmanowski 25 (8 kills).

Sets: Bateman 81 (18 assists), Rittgers 3, Grimes 7 (1 assist), Vaudrin 3 (1 assist), Vaadeland 2, Johnson 20 (8 assists), Hilmanowski 1.

Digs: Rittgers 18, Hilmanowski 17, Bateman 16, Vaadeland 14, Jerger 13, Johnson 11, Grimes 3, Vaudrin 2.

Solo blocks: Vaadeland 4.

Assisted blocks: Vaadeland 5, Bateman 2, Rittgers 2, Jerger 1, Vaudrin 1.