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Holly Johnson and Seth Breitweser led the Park Rapids cross-country teams at Monday's 25-team Long Prairie-Grey Eagle Invitational. Johnson finished 39th overall with a 5K time of 23:52 as the Park Rapids girls finished 13th with 313 points. Haley Pickar (45th in 24:01), Whitney Steffel (55th in 24:34), Alex Kirlin (71st in 25:03), Julia Harmon (122nd in 28:34) and Karen Valencia (143rd in 35:24) also ran varsity for the Panthers.
Park Rapids earned a spot in this week's state Class AA volleyball poll while Nevis and United North Central returned to this week's state football polls. The Panthers received 21 votes in this week's state volleyball poll after opening the season with a 5-0 record. Maple Lake topped the Class AA poll with 195 votes while Stewartville (180), Southwest Minnesota Christian (159), Marshall (155), Kasson-Mantorville (128), North Branch (119), Concordia Academy (100), Hill Murray (64), Roseau (46) and Cold Spring Rocori (45) rounded out the top 10 spots.
Brianne Morris expected a close match against Perham/New York Mills Tuesday afternoon at the Depot Courts. The Park Rapids girls tennis team entered this Mid-State Conference dual by winning five consecutive matches. However, the Yellowjackets used a sweep in doubles and straight-set wins at No. 2 singles and No. 4 singles to snap Park Rapids' winning streak. Natalie Kinkel and Abby Morris gave Park Rapids a quick 2-0 lead with a pair of 6-0, 6-0 wins at No. 1 singles and No. 3 singles.
Aimee Lake and Madi Marjamaa combined to serve five aces down the stretch in the final two sets to rally the Menahga volleyball team to a win over Laporte Tuesday night at Menahga. The Braves overcame deficits of 15-8 in Set 3 and 23-18 in Set 4 for a 25-14, 25-27, 25-22, 26-24 victory. Menahga took control in Set 1 as a kill by Olivia Yliniemi, an ace serve by Cierra Ahlf and two kills by Leah Schwartz broke open a 6-6 tie and produced an 18-11 advantage. Kills by Ahlf and Tara Hendrickson and a winning tip by Marjamaa closed out the set.
Winning the last eight events helped the Park Rapids girls swimming team pull away from Fosston/Bagley in a 52-36 victory Tuesday night at Fosston.
Jaiden McCollum's 14 kills and Kamree Carlson's 10 kills powered the Park Rapids volleyball team past Pine River-Backus Tuesday night at Pine River. Rilee Michaelson (9) and Kaisa Coborn (6) combined for 15 more kills in the Panthers' 25-19, 25-21, 25-12 victory. Kennedy Carlson served four aces, Katelyn Weaver served three aces and Coborn served two aces. Kennedy Carlson also had 36 set assists.
Based on the season openers, both Park Rapids and Thief River Falls needed to rely on their defenses in order to pull off a victory in the Midwest Red District and Section 8AAA football opener Friday night at Thief River Falls. Park Rapids managed only 101 yards offensively in a season-opening 22-0 loss to United North Central while Thief River Falls' offense was held to only 145 yards in a 6-0 loss to Ottertail Central in Week 1.
Crosby-Ironton closed out the first set before the Park Rapids volleyball team took control and rallied for the win in the Mid-State Conference opener at Crosby Thursday night. The Panthers relied on 53 kills, 10 ace serves and 72 digs for a 28-30, 25-14, 25-16, 25-15 victory.
Annika Aho led the pack as the United North Central girls cross-country team captured the team title at Thursday's Pequot Lakes Invitational at Crosslake. Aho covered the 5K course with a winning time of 23:32 while Kaarin Lehto was third in 24:22 and Maria Isaacson finished fourth in 25:02. Anita Lehto (seventh in 25:25) and Lora Isaacson (11th in 27:07) rounded out UNC's winning team score of 26. Pequot Lakes was second in this four-team meet with 34 points.
A year ago, the Park Rapids girls swimming and diving team needed a 1-2 finish in the final event to rally for an 87-83 victory at Thief River Falls. In the rematch Thursday night at the Area High School pool, the Panthers sent a message early in coasting to a 110-64 victory. The Panthers won the first nine events, highlighted by 1-2-3 showings in three of them, to take control early and improve to 2-0 in dual meets this season.