EGF hands Panthers 3-0 loss in home debut

The Park Rapids volleyball team saw its 19-match winning streak in Mid-State Conference play end with a 3-0 loss at Aitkin in the season opener.

Kate Aukes went up for a kill during Park Rapids' home opener against East Grand Forks on Saturday, Oct. 10. Vance Carlson / Enterprise

Jessie Helgeland and Kendra Emery combined for 16 kills in leading the East Grand Forks volleyball team to a 3-0 win over Park Rapids at the Area High School gym on Saturday, Oct. 10.

Helgeland’s nine kills and Emery’s seven kills and 17 digs sparked the Green Wave’s 25-19, 25-17, 25-23 win in Park Rapids’ home debut. Kasumi Lee also had 17 digs for EGF, which compiled 31 kills and had nine ace serves in the match.

Kills by Quinn Hunter and Katie Burlingame gave Park Rapids a 2-1 lead in Set 1 before the Green Wave responded with a 13-5 run to claim a 14-7 advantage. A kill by Hunter and two kills by Kate Aukes kept the Panthers within 21-15 before EGF claimed a 24-15 lead. Two kills by Burlingame and a kill by Kendra Scholz closed the gap to 24-19 before the Green Wave closed out the opening set.

EGF jumped out to leads of 6-1 and 14-7 before kills by Aukes and Burlingame and two kills by Scholz cut the margin to 18-15. The Green Wave went on a 7-2 run to close out that set.

Three kills by Burlingame, two kills by Riley Pike, and kills by Scholz and Aukes kept the Panthers within 20-16 in Set 3. After EGF claimed a 23-17 advantage, Burlingame served an ace and Pike had a winning tip as Park Rapids tied the set at 23-23. The Green Wave ended that 6-0 run by closing out the match.


Aitkin snapped the Panthers’ 19-match winning streak in Mid-State Conference matches with a 3-0 victory in the season opener at Aitkin on Oct. 8.

Noelle Jones’ nine kills and six blocks and Teagan Piecek’s seven kills sparked the Gobblers’ 25-15, 25-10, 25-15 victory. Rae Nyberg added five kills, three blocks and three ace serves while Lydia Fellerman had six kills and four service aces. Ally Ehnstrom had 26 set assists as Aitkin had 28 kills and nine ace serves in the match.

Park Rapids’ last loss in conference matches was a 3-0 setback to Pequot Lakes in September of 2015.

No Park Rapids statistics were available.

“I wasn't sure what I was going to expect going into our first game. We lost a lot of our big go-to hitters and I knew that was going to be a gap that needed to be filled. As a team, we kept the ball in play a lot, but we struggled to put the ball down and score when needed,” said Park Rapids head coach Christine Sauer. “I knew that it was going to be a learning experience for all. I saw growth in the second match as the kids got more comfortable with one another, but we still are waiting for someone to step up and be the go-to offensive swing that can put the ball down. I was hoping that we would have had less errors on our part. We gave too many points to East Grand Forks that they didn't earn. I think the team is responding well to one another. They get the concept and importance of ‘teamness’ and we are just working on earning each of our points.”

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Quinn Hunter (3) went up for a block during Park Rapids' home opener against East Grand Forks on Saturday, Oct. 10. Vance Carlson / Enterprise

1982 Dawson-Boyd High School graduate
1987 Moorhead State University graduate
Sports reporter for Park Rapids Enterprise since 1987
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