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Lakers close out close sets to defeat Panthers

Gabie Johnson went up for a spike during Thursday night's match against Detroit Lakes.

     Detroit Lakes was able to close out three close sets in a 25-20, 25-22, 25-20 Mid-State Conference volleyball victory at Park Rapids Thursday night.

     In Set 1, a kill and ace serve by Megan Grimes gave the Panthers a 6-4 lead. Detroit Lakes’ Hanna Gedrose served seven points to give the Lakers a 12-6 advantage before the Panthers rallied. A kill by Mady Vaudrin, three service points by Shania Johnson, tips by Grimes and Vaudrin, kills by Justine Rittgers and Vaudrin and an ace serve by Sydney Bynum cut the gap to 22-20 before an ace serve by Shay Nielsen closed out the set.

     A block and tip by Grimes and an ace serve during a 4-0 run by Gabie Johnson gave the Panthers a quick 5-1 lead in Set 2. A kill by Rittgers, a tip and winning spike by Vaudrin, a kill by Grimes and a winning serve by Bynum led the Panthers to an 18-18 tie. After Sophie Wood served the Lakers to a 22-18 advantage, a block and kill by Vaudrin made it 23-22 before the Lakers earned the next two points.

     A block by Grimes and kill by Vaudrin sparked the Panthers to an 8-4 lead in Set 3 before Wood served six points to give Detroit Lakes an 11-8 advantage. A tip and ace serve by Vaudrin, two kills by Grimes, and a block by Grimes and Gabie Johnson kept the Panthers within 16-15. Jenna Field served six points as the Lakers led 23-16 before a kill and block by Grimes cut the gap to 24-20. The Lakers earned the next point to close out the match.

     Shania Johnson, who had 39 set assists in the Panthers’ loss to Menahga last Tuesday, tallied 17 set assists against the Lakers. Grimes (who had 20 kills against Menahga) led the way against Detroit Lakes with nine kills, 18 digs and three solo blocks while Rittgers (who had 21 digs against Menahga) had 12 digs as the Panthers fell to 1-1 in conference matches and 4-5 overall.

     Field (9), Wood (8) Trisa Hutchinson (7), Alyssa Austin (6) and Julia Taylor (5) combined for 35 kills for the Lakers, who improved to 2-0 against conference foes and 4-2 overall.

Park Rapids statistics

Serving: Rittgers 7 for 7, Grimes 11 for 12 (1 ace), Wolff 1 for 1, Bynum 8 for 9 (1 ace), Vaudrin 6 for 7 (1 ace), S. Johnson 13 for 14, G. Johnson 9 for 9 (1 ace).

Service points: S. Johnson 9, Grimes 6, G. Johnson 6, Bynum 5, Vaudrin 3, Rittgers 2.

Attacks: Rittgers 16 (3 kills), Grimes 24 (9 kills), Wolff 1, Bynum 6, Vaudrin 29 (7 kills), S. Johnson 8, G. Johnson 6 (1 kill), Wagner 1.

Sets: Rittgers 5 (1 assist), Grimes 8, Bynum 16 (1 assist), Vaudrin 3, S. Johnson 78 (17 assists), G. Johnson 1, Wagner 1.

Digs: Grimes 18, Rittgers 12, Vaudrin 11, S. Johnson 10, G. Johnson 8, Wolff 1, Bynum 1.

Solo blocks: Grimes 3, Vaudrin 1, S. Johnson 1.

Assisted blocks: Grimes 1, G. Johnson 1.

Serve receive: Rittgers 22 for 29, Grimes 13 for 15, Wolff 2 for 2, Vaudrin 11 for 13, S. Johnson 1 for 1, G. Johnson 2 for 3.