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Yellowjackets extend season with sweep of Crosby-Ironton

Perham's Hannah Ekse splits the Crosby-Ironton block for a kill during the Yellowjackets' sweep of Crosby-Ironton in the opening round of the Section 8AA playoffs. Jason Groth/FOCUS

The Perham volleyball team extended its season at least another day with a 28-26, 25-21, 25-21 victory over the Crosby-Ironton Rangers in the Section 8AA playoffs on Oct. 27 in Perham.

The Yellowjackets will head to Pequot Lakes to take on the Patriots at 7 p.m. in the quarterfinals. The Patriots advanced with a sweep of Staples-Motley.

The Yellowjackets limited their errors, while Crosby-Ironton struggled with errors late in each game, allowing Perham to pull away in three close sets.

Gabby DeBoer and Hannah Ekse led the way in the front row. DeBoer finished with 15 kills, while Ekse added 13 kills. Laura Alstadt finished with five, while Gracie DeBoer added four of her own.

Allie King ended with 21 assists, while Aixa Kolofale added 15 of her own. Lisa Meader finished with 15 digs, while Gabby DeBoer added 13.

The Yellowjackets used a late rally to take the first set against Crosby-Ironton. They rallied back from a slight deficit. They were able to put the Rangers away, 28-26, taking the first set.

The Yellowjackets jumped out to a 7-3 lead in the second set, but the pesky Rangers continued to battle with the Yellowjackets. The Rangers eventually rallied and took a 16-15 lead. It would be their only lead of the set. Ekse ended the set with a kill at the net. King had an ace serve during the closing run, helping Perham take the second, 25-21.

A late run in the third set allowed the Yellowjackets to close out the match, winning 25-21. Gabby DeBoer had a kill and a block at the net, helping the Yellowjackets take a 24-21 lead in the closing minutes. Perham’s Laura Alstadt found the line for the game’s final point with a kill, allowing the Yellowjackets to advance in the 8AA playoffs.

It was the final game for the Yellowjackets on the Prairie Wind Middle School gymnasium floor. It was a fitting end for seniors Gabby DeBoer, Sydney Riepe, Hannah Ekse, Kolbey Bormann and Aixa Kolofale. The Yellowjackets closed out the season with a pair of big wins on their home court, knocking off Pelican Rapids to capture a share of the Heart O’Lakes Conference Championship and earning a Section 8AA victory over Crosby-Ironton.

The Yellowjackets travel to Pequot Lakes for a 7 p.m. start on Oct. 28 in the quarterfinals of the Section 8AA playoffs. The semi-finals will take place on Oct. 31 at a site to be determined.

PER def. C-I (28-26, 25-21, 25-21)

PER-Allie King 1K, 21SA, 1AS, 6D; Hannah Ekse 13K, 1D; Laura Alstadt 5K, 9D; Gracie DeBoer 4K, 2D; Gabby DeBoer 15K, 1SA, 13D; Rachel Muer 1K, 2D; Lisa Meader 1AS, 15D; Aixa Kolofale 16SA, 4D; Sydney Riepe 1K, 2D; Tayler Parks 1AS, 7D.

Jason Groth

 Groth is a Minnesota Newspaper Association award-winning Sports Editor of the Perham Focus and the Wadena Pioneer Journal. Groth worked in Grand Rapids as the Sports Director at KOZY/KMFY radio for two years and prior to that he was the Sports Editor/Writer for the Grand Rapids Herald-Review for seven years. 

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