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Tigers tame Panthers in opener

Nevis’ Hannah Anderson (9) and Denia Brown (6) went up for a block on a spike by Park Rapids’ Bria Wolff (7) during Tuesday night’s season opener at the Area High School gym.

     Nevis relied on its experience to spark a 25-14, 25-13, 25-13 win over the Park Rapids volleyball team in the season opener Tuesday night at the Area High School gym.

     In Set 1, a pair of blocks by Nevis’ Denia Brown was offset by a pair of kills by Park Rapids’ Megan Grimes as both teams battled to a 5-5 tie. A tip by Hannah Bliss and a kill by Brown gave Nevis a 14-7 advantage before a pair of kills by Brown pushed the Tigers’ lead to 19-10. After a kill and service ace by Grimes and a kill by Jaiden McCollum cut the gap to 20-13, a spike by Bliss helped Nevis close out the set.

     A kill by Grimes and ace serve by Kennedy Carlson gave the Panthers a 3-2 lead in Set 2 before a kill by Brown tied it at 3-3. Nevis took the lead for good when Brown served five points with Bliss contributing a kill, tip and block during that stretch. An ace serve by Grimes and kill by McCollum cut the gap to 8-7 before three kills by Bliss gave the Tigers a 12-8 edge. Ruby Vedbraaten then served eight points as the Tigers led 20-8. McCollum and Bria Wolff responded with kills for the Panthers before Nevis served out the set.

     Bliss served three points and Jordyn Lucas followed with an ace and three points as the Tigers jumped out to a 7-1 lead in Set 3. Two kills and a block by Grimes and a kill by Wolff made it 8-5 before two winning spikes and three service points by Bliss gave Nevis a 16-9 advantage. An ace and six service points by Lucas, two kills by Hannah Anderson and a kill by Brown helped the Tigers close out the match.

     Grimes (6), McCollum (6) and Wolff (5) combined for all of the Panthers’ 17 kills. Kennedy Carlson served five points and tallied 17 set assists while McCollum led the way with six digs. A young Park Rapids team made 23 hitting errors, 29 errors on serve receive and nine service errors. One sophomore (Macky Warne), three freshmen (McCollum, Carlson and Taylor Hilmanowski) and one eighth grader (Kaisa Coborn) made their varsity debuts and were five of the nine players who saw action for new head coach Steph Hanson.

Park Rapids statistics

Serving: Hilmanowski 1 for 1, Carlson 8 for 10 (1 ace), Coborn 4 for 4, Grimes 5 for 7 (2 aces), Wolff 1 for 1, Warne 2 for 2, Wagner 3 for 3, Dean 0 for 3, McCollum 6 for 8.

Service points: Carlson 5, Grimes 4, McCollum 2.

Attacks: Hilmanowski 2, Coborn 2, Grimes 17 (6 kills), Wolff 13 (5 kills), Wagner 4, Dean 4, McCollum 17 (6 kills).

Sets: Carlson 56 (17 assists), Grimes 3, Wolff 1, Warne 3, Wagner 2, Dean 3.

Digs: McCollum 6, Grimes 3, Wolff 3, Dean 3, Wagner 2, Hilmanowski 1, Coborn 1, Warne 1.

Solo blocks: Grimes 1.

Serve receive: Hilmanowski 2 for 3, Coborn 12 for 17, Grimes 5 for 10, Wolff 1 for 1, Warne 8 for 10, Wagner 12 for 17, Dean 1 for 5, McCollum 13 for 20.