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For the third year in a row, the outcome of the Wadena Deer-Creek vs.
Riley Hanson's 15 kills powered the Nevis volleyball team to a 25-9, 25-8, 25-14 win over Park Rapids at the Century School gym Tuesday night. A kill and ace serve by Megan Norby, two kills by Hanson and an ace serve during a six-point run by Olivia Toft gave the Tigers an 11-1 lead in Set 1. After a kill by Park Rapids' Mady Vaudrin, Paige Walters served an ace to start a four-point run as Nevis held a 16-2 advantage. Ace serves by Annessa Feder and Norby helped Nevis close out the first set. In Set 2, three kills and a tip by Hanson gave Nevis a quick 10-2 lead.
Bailey LaCoursiere, Christina Smith and Julia Renner won all three of their matches in leading the Park Rapids girls tennis team to three dual-meet victories Tuesday at the Depot Courts. The Panthers opened with a 4-3 win over Long Prairie-Grey Eagle, followed with a 5-2 win over Mid-State Conference foe Pequot Lakes and ended with a 4-3 win over Section 8A rival Crookston to improve to 4-2 on the season. In the win over LP-GE, LaCoursiere, Smith and Renner combined to lose only two games in singles. Bonnie Baumgartner and Lexi Burlingame prevailed in a third-set tiebreaker at No.
Allycia Zinke and Mandy Schirmers placed in all five events in leading the Park Rapids girls swimming team to a first-place finish at Monday's Detroit Lakes Pentathlon meet. Zinke scored 63 points and Schirmers tallied 57 points as the Panthers compiled 282 points to top the six-team field. Detroit Lakes was second in this season-opening meet with 157.50 points. Katherine Erickson had the Panthers' only winning time with a 30.50 in the 50-yard backstroke. Taylor Ondracek was fifth in that event with a 32.07.
Both the Park Rapids boys and girls cross-country teams had impressive showings in the season-opening Shocky Strand Moorhead Rotary Invitational Monday. Isaac Overmyer (37th overall in 19:21) and Taylor Kimball (48th in 19:43) led Park Rapids to eighth place with 237 points. Moorhead led the 11-team boys field with 47 points. Lukas Gemar of Moorhead led the field by covering the 5,000-meter course in 16:29. In the girls meet, Lydia Lutz finished third overall in 16:16 while Alex Pederson placed 20th overall in 17:59 in her first varsity meet.
Aaron Morris is relying on team speed and depth to lead the Park Rapids football team to a successful season. The Panthers return five starters on both offense and defense from last year's team that went 1-5 in the Northern Division of the Heart O'Lakes Conference and 2-6 overall before falling to Perham 36-22 in the first round of the Section 8AAA playoffs. "We lost a lot of talented seniors, but I think the kids we have coming back will step in and accept the challenge and be ready to go," said Morris, who will be assisted by Brett Bishop (defensive coordinator), Joe Grimes (offensive co
Having a veteran lineup returning has Nicole Brandt expecting the Park Rapids girls tennis team to make another run at qualifying for the school's first trip to the state Class A tournament. In Brandt's first three years as head coach, the Panthers lost to Crookston (6-1) in the Section 8A finals in 2007 before falling to Crookston (4-3) in 2008 and Roseau (6-1) last year in the section semifinals. Those three teams, along with East Grand Forks, are expected to battle it out for the section title this fall.
Some people were surprised when the Park Rapids girls swimming and diving team won the Section 8A title last season. It won't surprise anyone if the Panthers defend their section title this fall. Having 19 swimmers and divers returning from a team that went 6-1-1 in dual meets and won the school's fifth section title has head coach Todd Fritze expecting another successful season from the Panthers. "This year is no different than any other year. Our expectations are high. We want to stay on top. Our goals are different, but our high expectations are never compromised.
Kerry Johnson will have to contend with contrasting situations for the Park Rapids boys and girls cross-country teams this season. The girls have high expectations after finishing fifth at last year's state Class A meet. However, the Panthers can't afford any injuries as only seven runners reported for the first two weeks of practice. The boys don't have a problem with numbers as 17 runners are competing this season. The return of 11 runners from last season has Johnson expecting an improved season from the boys this fall. "I'm working with a great bunch of kids.
Team chemistry was a main reason last year's Park Rapids volleyball team had one of its most successful seasons in school history. Developing team chemistry will be the key to success for the Panthers again this fall. With only two letterwinners returning from last year's team that finished with a 15-11 record, head coach Molly Aukes will be counting on several first-year varsity players to step into key roles. Those players have to fill in for last year's senior class of Hailey Lundin, Shelby Weckwerth, Hannah Wolff, Jenny Palm, Leeza Tostenson, Taylor Smythe, Shannon Taylor and Brie Wa