Volleyball: Park Rapids closes out Mid-State season with a win

The Panthers sweep Crosby-Ironton to improve to 1-4 in conference matches.

Park Rapids head coach Ellie Riihiluoma (middle) talks with her players between sets of the Panthers' Mid-State Conference win over Crosby-Ironton at the Area High School gym on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022.
Vance Carlson / Park Rapids Enterprise
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PARK RAPIDS – Serving 11 aces and pounding down 38 kills helped the Park Rapids volleyball team close out the Mid-State Conference schedule with a win.

The Panthers overcame 18 hitting errors, seven errors on serve receive and five service errors in a 25-15, 25-19, 25-21 victory over Crosby-Ironton at the Area High School gym on Thursday, Oct. 6.

Riley Pike gave the Panthers a 4-0 lead in Set 1 by following a kill with three service aces. Winning tips by Natalie Viloria and Halle Eischens, two kills by Chloe Tretbar, and a kill by Abby Felts made it 12-5 before Pike served another ace and Tretbar had another kill for a 17-8 advantage. After a kill by Tretbar made it 20-12, three kills by Felts closed out the set.

Halle Eischens bumps a set during Park Rapids' win over Crosby-Ironton on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022.
Vance Carlson / Park Rapids Enterprise

A kill by Viloria and a tip by Eischens gave Park Rapids a 3-2 edge to start Set 2 before Erika Sellin served an ace during a 5-0 run to extend the lead to 9-3. Pike had three kills and Felts had a winning tip during that stretch. Two more winning tips by Felts, two kills by Pike and a kill by Tretbar made it 19-11. C-I cut the gap to 20-17, but an ace serve by Sellin and kills by Eischens and Anna Yliniemi closed out that set.

Yliniemi’s kill and ace serve, kills by Felts, Kilea Persons and Pike, and ace serves by Sellin and Persons led the Panthers to an 11-9 lead in Set 3. The Rangers went on a 9-3 run to claim an 18-14 advantage, but Park Rapids responded behind a kill and an ace serve by Tretbar along with a block by Viloria and Felts and a tip by Felts as the set was tied at 21-21. Persons served out the match as kills by Pike, Felts and Yliniemi completed the sweep.


Anna Yliniemi receives a serve during Park Rapids' Mid-State Conference win over Crosby-Ironton on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022.
Vance Carlson / Park Rapids Enterprise

Pike’s 10 kills, 10 digs, 18 set assists and four ace serves led the Panthers. Felts had 11 kills and nine digs, Sellin served 12 points (including four aces) and had 10 set assists, Yliniemi had eight digs, and Tretbar chipped in six kills and six digs as Park Rapids ended Mid-State play with a 1-4 record while improving to 5-11 overall.

Josie Schaeffer (7) and Samantha Hachey (5) combined for 12 kills as the Rangers finished 0-5 in conference matches and fell to 4-11 overall. C-I had 25 kills and served six aces.

Pequot Lakes went 5-0 to win the conference title while Detroit Lakes (4-1), Staples-Motley (3-2) and Aitkin (2-3) followed.

“It felt good to end the conference season with a win. The girls have been working hard at practice and really focusing on scoring off of our third contact. I thought that showed in our hitting (Thursday night),” said Park Rapids head coach Ellie Riihiluoma. “As a team we kept our own mistakes to a minimum. (The) win was a whole team effort to take care of the ball and put ourselves in a position to swing confidently.”

Park Rapids statistics

Serves: Sellin 16 for 17 (4 aces), Pike 14 for 14 (4 aces), Yliniemi 13 for 13 (1 ace), Tretbar 8 for 10 (1 ace), Eischens 7 for 8, Persons 7 for 7 (1 ace), Felts 3 for 4.

Service points: Sellin 12, Pike 8, Yliniemi 6, Eischens 6, Persons 6, Tretbar 4, Felts 1.

Attacks: Felts 28 (11 kills), Pike 23 (10 kills), Tretbar 19 (6 kills), Viloria 14 (3 kills), Eischens 12 (3 kills), Yliniemi 11 (3 kills), Persons 5 (2 kills), Sellin 1.

Sets: Pike 53 (18 assists), Sellin 31 (10 assists), Viloria 9 (3 assists), Felts 4 (1 assist), Eischens 3 (1 assist), Yliniemi 2, Persons 1.

Digs: Pike 10, Felts 9, Yliniemi 8, Tretbar 6, Sellin 4, Eischens 3, Persons 2, Viloria 1.

Assisted blocks: Felts 1, Tretbar 1, Viloria 1, Yliniemi 1.

Serve receive: Tretbar 16 for 18, Felts 10 for 12, Yliniemi 9 for 9, Viloria 6 for 7, Eischens 4 for 5, Persons 3 for 4, Pike 3 for 3.

Despite having to replace almost the entire starting lineup, the Braves were competitive during a 6-18 season.

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