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Ella Von Ruden had two big blocks late in the fourth set in Perham's 3-1 victory over D-G-F. Von Ruden and Hope Slettebak (4) combined for 14 blocks. Robert Williams/FOCUS

Perham defeats D-G-F 3-1, set up HOL title game with Hawley

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Perham defeats D-G-F 3-1, set up HOL title game with Hawley
Perham Minnesota 222 2nd Avenue SE 56573

GLYNDON — The Perham Yellowjackets defeated the four-time defending Heart O' Lakes Conference champion Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton Rebels for the second time this season setting up a winner-take-all game Tuesday in Perham with the Hawley Nuggets for the conference championship.

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Perham was the last team to win the HOL, aside from D-G-F, in 2008.

“We had to keep the conference alive so we can beat Hawley next week and win the conference,” Senior Libero Tina Schmitz said.

The Rebels took the first set Thursday night 25-21, but Perham grabbed leads early in the three successive sets and held on for a 3-1 victory (21-25, 25-21, 25-23, 25-22).

"We came out a little gun shy," Head Coach Eryn Moser said. "The history with D-G-F is rich and competitive. I think both teams have an urgency that ends up affecting them a bit in their playing. I was very proud of my team in the fact that they played through that urgency. We were able to pull ourselves together and refocus."  

Despite losing the first set, Perham did what they have done all year going 21-0 in full matches this season. The Yellowjackets found a way to storm back and keep momentum on their side of the net.

“We just know we need to beat them and have to stay up all the time, even if we get down,” said Schmitz.

Perham had set point in the second at 24-18. The Rebels staved off three points to 24-21 before the Yellowjackets tied the match at a set each.

Perham led set three to a tie at 20 points before outscoring D-G-F 5-3 when points became crucial to take a 2-1 lead.

Set four had all the makings of a blowout with the Jackets up 9-2 early, but D-G-F rallied for ties at 11, 12, 14, 15, 16 and 17 points as both teams traded points up to crunch time.

"I knew they were going to try to pick on Allie (Christenson) a bit on defense," Moser said. "By going to her, other teams feel we take our setter out of the offense. However, I ended up moving Hope to right side and Ella (Von Ruden) to middle and that really confused and frustrated D-G-F. Hope (Slettebak) has been a setter in the past and can really set well. Ella and Hope did their job. They picked on their hitters and really put up a nice block. Allie plays good enough defense that we were able to get the ball to Hope to set it up."  

Von Ruden led a four-point streak with a pair of blocks and an unlikely scoring point.

Tied at 17, Von Ruden bumped the third Perham strike of the ball over the net from the front row and it deflected off a Rebel defender and fell to the floor. Back-to-back Von Ruden blocks and a D-G-F error gave Perham a 21-17 lead. Von Ruden had a team-high eight blocks. Slettebak had six.

Slettebak gave Perham a 23-18 lead with a kill from the right side crosscourt.

Sophomore Maria Rutten scored Perham’s final two points to seal the match.

"We really did a nice job of mixing it up and creating problems for D-G-F," said Moser. "I was pleased with how the team played last night. I am looking forward to our match against Hawley. We are ready."

Tina Scheidecker led the offense with 21 kills. She was 27 for 27 serving with four aces. Schmitz was big again in the back row with 47 digs. Christenson had 36 assists.

The victory improves Perham’s overall record to 23-2, 5-0 in the HOL, tied with Hawley (18-6, 5-0).

Perham defeated Hawley 3-0 September 17 in Hawley in a non-conference game.

Game Statistics:

Kills:

T. Scheidecker - 21

Rutten - 11

Slettebak - 3

Digs:

Schmitz - 47

T. Scheidecker - 42

Christenson - 19

A. Scheidecker - 11

Honrud - 6

Rutten - 8

Blocks:

Von Ruden - 8

Slettebak - 6

Assists:

Christenson - 36

Serving:  90/93 - 97%

T. Scheidecker - 27/27 - 4A

Schmitz - 13/13

Erickson - 11/12 - 2 aces

Christenson - 14/14 - 1 ace

A. Scheidecker - 11/13

Honrud - 11/11 1 ace

Reese - 3/3

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Robert Williams
Robert is the Sports Editor of Detroit Lakes Newspapers. Williams worked prior as the Sports Editor in Perham for the Focus, a Forum Communications newspaper, from 2010-14. 
(218) 844-1442
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