Mallory Greiff and Willow Thiel served Perham to a 3-0 sweep over the Park Rapids volleyball team at the Area High School gym on Tuesday, Sept. 21.
Greiff served eight straight points to break open Set 1 while Thiel served nine consecutive points midway through Set 2 in the Yellowjackets’ 25-16, 25-12, 25-21 victory in this match between Section 8AA teams.
A kill by Quinn Hunter gave Park Rapids a 3-0 lead to open Set 1 before the Yellowjackets rallied to tie the set at 4-4. Kills by Kate Aukes and Hunter made it 11-11 before Sydney Anderson served an ace and Greiff followed with eight straight service points to give Perham a 22-13 advantage. After a kill by Chloe Tretbar and an ace serve by Riley Pike made it 22-16, the Yellowjackets closed out the set.
Marriyam Ejaz served a pair of aces as the Panthers claimed a 3-0 edge to start Set 2. A kill by Pike made it 4-2 before Perham claimed an 8-5 lead. Thiel followed a kill with three ace serves as the Yellowjackets extended their advantage to 18-6. Perham led 21-9 when Aukes had a kill during Ejaz’s serve to cut the gap to 21-12. An ace serve by Anderson ended that set.
Set 3 featured 13 ties before Perham took charge down the stretch. A block by Pike and Hunter along with kills by Pike and Tretbar on Keely Peterson’s serve gave Park Rapids a 4-1 lead to start that set. Consecutive kills by Abby Felts tied the set at 7-7 while a kill by Tretbar put the Panthers in front 14-13. A kill by Aukes tied the set at 16-16 while a kill by Hunter evened the set at 20-20. Perham sealed the win by going on a 5-1 run.
Thiel pounded down nine kills as Perham improved to 3-1 in section matches and 5-7 overall.
Hunter and Aukes had four kills each, Ejaz served seven points, and Pike tallied eight set assists to lead Park Rapids’ offense. Defensively, Peterson had 13 digs as the Panthers fell to 0-2 against section opponents and 2-6 overall. The Panthers had 16 kills with 14 hitting errors and only three ace serves with eight service errors.
“After playing against Sebeka we sat down and revisited our hopes and goals for the season and set out a plan on being on the same page. Going into the Detroit Lakes match last week, our team was all in sync on the same page. They played confident and let go of each mistake and moved on really quickly. We served very aggressively and swung confidently,” said Park Rapids head coach Christine Sauer about the Panthers’ come-from-behind 3-2 Mid-State Conference win. “Playing against Perham, we didn't have a bad game, but there is always room for growth. Perham's offense and defense were really smart. They hit where we weren't and as soon as we found a weakness in their defense they adjusted. We are on the right path and we are going to keep pushing and improving.”