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Marshall, Belle Plaine defeat Panthers at state

The Park Rapids volleyball team gave two of the top Class AA teams in the state a battle in the Panthers' first trip to the state tournament.

Park Rapids made its state debut with a 3-1 loss to Marshall in a quarterfinal match Thursday night before being eliminated with a 3-1 loss to Belle Plaine in a consolation semifinal match Friday night at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. 

Marshall, which was making its record 28th state appearance, defeated the Panthers 25-19, 25-17, 25-27, 25-21 in the quarterfinals. Marshall, the No. 3 seed, closed out Set 1 with a 7-3 run to take the early lead. Kaisa Coborn had five kills and Kamree Carlson had two kills and an ace serve in that set. In Set 2, Marshall closed with a 7-1 run as Rilee MIchaelson had five kills. Marshall held a 25-24 lead in Set 3 before two errors and a kill by Katelyn Weaver forced another set. Coborn had six kills while Michaelson and Carlson had three kills while Weaver and Kendra Scholz served aces in that set. The Panthers held an 18-17 lead in Set 4 before Marshall went on an 8-3 run to end the match. Michaelson had five kills, Carlson had three kills and two ace serves, and Coborn had three kills in that set. 

Coborn (16), Michaelson (15) and Carlson (10) combined for 41 of the Panthers’ 46 kills with Weaver setting up 42 of those kills. Carlson served three of the Panthers’ five aces and led the team with 20 digs. Coborn (19), Kora Just (18) and Michaelson (12) also had double digits in digs.

Bria Morris’ 12 kills, Erica Jones’ 11 kills and 21 digs, and Mia Schnaible’s 28 digs led the Tigers, who served 12 aces in the match to carry a 28-5 record into the semifinals.

The Panthers also played well in a 25-17, 23-25, 25-14, 25-23 loss to Belle Plaine.

In Set 1, Belle Plaine went on an 18-8 run to take control as Michaelson's three kills and two service aces and two kills apiece by Coborn and Carlson led the Panthers. Set 2 featured 11 ties, the latest at 23-23, before a kill by Michaelson and an ace serve by Carlson tied the match. Carlson and Michaelson had three kills each while Scholz served two aces in that set. Belle Plaine used a 20-5 run to take charge in Set 3 as Michaelson had three kills and an ace serve for the Panthers. Set 4 saw both teams battle to 10 ties as the Panthers held a 19-17 advantage. Belle Plaine ended the set with an 8-4 run to advance. Coborn had six kills and two ace serves while Michaelson, Scholz and Kayleah Breitweser had three kills apiece in the final set.

Michaelson's 12 kills and three ace serves, Coborn's 11 kills and 17 digs, Carlson's nine kills and 13 digs, Just's 19 digs, Weaver's 37 set assists, Breitweser's five kills and Scholz's four kills led the Panthers, who end the season with a 24-8 record.

All-state hitter Mikayla Coops had 21 kills and 19 digs and Morgan Kruger added 17 kills as Belle Plaine advanced to the consolation title match with a 25-7 record.