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Tigers look sharp, top Panthers in Wormley's head coaching debut

Nevis’ Melissa Stenberg (5) went up for a spike as Park Rapids’ Shania Johnson (15) defended during Tuesday night’s season opener at the Tiger Arena.

  It’s only one match, but the Nevis volleyball team seems to be making a smooth transition under new head coach Heidi Wormley.

     Wormley led the Tigers to a 25-11, 25-11, 25-14 victory over Park Rapids Tuesday night at the Tiger Arena in her debut as Nevis’ new head coach.

     The Tigers jumped out to early leads in all three sets in opening the season with a win.

     Olivia Toft, aided by a Megan Norby kill, served Nevis to a 4-0 lead in Set 1. After a kill by Park Rapids’ Mady Vaudrin, ace serves by Norby and Savannah Gatewood, a kill by Denia Brown and winning spikes by Melissa Stenberg and Norby gave Nevis a 15-8 advantage. Megan Grimes had a kill for the Panthers during that stretch. Six service points by Toft and kills by Norby and Hannah Bliss helped the Tigers close out the set.

     Taylor Drury’s two kills, an ace serve by Toft, a kill by Stenberg, and a block and kill by Brown gave the Tigers a quick 13-3 lead in Set 2. Vaudrin and Justine Rittgers had kills for the Panthers in the early going. Shania Johnson’s winning tip, kills by Grimes and Vaudrin, and an ace serve by Grimes kept Park Rapids within 17-7 before two kills by Drury and kills by Norby and Brown closed out that set.

     Ace serves by Drury and Angel Wolf, two kills by Brown and a kill by Bliss sparked the Tigers to a quick 11-2 advantage in Set 3. A kill by Grimes was followed by a winning tip and kill by Rittgers as the Panthers stayed within 15-7. Norby’s ace serve and a tip by Stenberg pushed Nevis’ lead to 19-9 before Drury, Ruby Vedbraaten and Diana Schuldt served out the match.

     Vaudrin led the Panthers with five kills while Rittgers and Grimes had three kills each. Rittgers (8), Grimes (7) and Morgan Dean (6) combined for 21 digs, Johnson had 12 set assists and Grimes had two solo blocks for the Panthers, who had 26 errors on serve receive, 15 attack errors and 11 service errors.

Park Rapids statistics

Serving: Rittgers 2 for 3, Grimes 3 for 4 (1 ace), Bynum 1 for 2, Vaudrin 4 for 7, M. Dean 7 for 9, E. Dean 1 for 4, Johnson 4 for 5.

Service points: Vaudrin 3, M. Dean 3, Johnson 2, Rittgers 1, Grimes 1.

Attacks: Rittgers 5 (3 kills), Grimes 16 (3 kills), Vaudrin 17 (5 kills), M. Dean 12, E. Dean 3, Johnson 2 (1 kill).

Sets: Rittgers 3 (1 assist), Grimes 3, Bynum 1, Vaudrin 4 (1 assist), M. Dean 5, E. Dean 6, Johnson 48 (12 assists).

Digs: Rittgers 8, Grimes 7, M. Dean 6, Bynum 3, E. Dean 3, Johnson 3, Vaudrin 2.

Solo blocks: Grimes 2.

Serve receive: Rittgers 6 for 11, Grimes 9 for 16, Vaudrin 7 for 9, M. Dean 2 for 7, E. Dean 3 for 6.