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Yellowjackets downed by DGF at home

Perham's Laura Alstadt splits the Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton block when she goes for the kill in set one against the Rebels. Jason Groth/FOCUS

They started strong, but the Perham Yellowjackets faded quickly, suffering a 25-17, 23-25, 14-25, 23-25 defeat to Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton on Oct. 3 at the Prairie Wind Middle School gymnasium.

The energy was high in the gym for the rematch between the rivals and the Yellowjackets were hoping to build upon that and get revenge from an earlier 3-2 defeat to the Rebels.

The Yellowjackets used the energy and raced out to a strong start in set one, looking like it would be the start of a victorious evening. However, things soured quickly in sets two, three and four.

“We are playing fearful and we are over-thinking things. When it comes down to the nitty-gritty, our girls have to play with more conviction and more heart,” Perham head coach Eryn Moser said. “We have a tendency to play it safe. The game plan is fresh in their minds in game one and it’s executed and looks good. All of a sudden in two, three and four we start to see a different team that relies too much on playing it safe. We talked about being more of a risk taker and thinking outside of the box.”

Gabby DeBoer led the Yellowjackets with 15 kills while Hannah Ekse added nine. Laura Alstadt finished with six kills.  

As they did in the first meeting, Grace Steichen and Joeli Kelso provided a potent punch at the front row. They finished with 12 kills each. However, it took a while for them to get going as Perham came out strong in the first set.

Paige Fabre led the defensive attack for the Rebels. She finished with 31 digs and became the all-time digs leader for the Rebels. She finished with four ace serves as well.

The Yellowjackets had leads of 5-1 and 11-2 in set one, while racing to a 25-17 win. However, the Yellowjackets rarely found themselves out in front after the opening set. It was back-and-forth in the fourth set, yet back-to-back kills by Steichen erased a 23-22 deficit for the Rebels, which they eventually closed out.

The Yellowjackets will have a couple of days of practice to work out some of the kinks from the loss to DGF. They return home for the annual Yellowjacket Invitational on Oct. 7. The Yellowjackets will host 16 teams, featuring several top teams in Section 8AA including Roseau, DGF, Park Rapids and Thief River Falls. Last year’s defending champion, Sauk Centre, returns as well. Pool play begins at 9 a.m. at the PWMS gymnasium and the Perham Area Community Center.

“I’m proud of the tournament that we have here. We have 16 teams coming and we have some phenomenal talent coming that is very high class out of our section,” Moser said. “It’s going to be a long day, but a fun day. If you are a volleyball lover, the gym in Perham is where you want to be.”

DGF def. Perham 17-25, 25-23, 25-14, 25-23

PER: Allie King 24SA, 1AS, 22D; Hannah Ekse 9K, 3D; Laura Alstadt 6K, 5D; Gracie DeBoer 5K, 5SA, 3D; Gabby DeBoer 15K, 24D; Rachel Muer 2K, 3AS, 3D; Lisa Meader 20D; Aixa Kolofale 15SA, 7D; Kolbey Bormann 2AS, 6D; Sydney Riepe 3K, 2D; Tayler Parks 1AS, 11D.

DGF: Grace Steichen 12K; Joeli Kelso 12K; Maria Watt 8K, 2B; Jocelyn Dubbels 7K; Paige Fabre 4AS, 31D; Sofia Reno 38SA.

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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