While it came in a defeat, the Perham volleyball team learned a lot about itself on Oct. 10 against Park Rapids Area. The Yellowjackets were defeated 24-26, 22-25, 25-18 and 17-25, but they came away knowing they can compete with best in Section 8AA.
Park Rapids Area entered the game as the top team in Section 8AA, boasting a 16-2 record after defeating Perham. The Panthers were led by Rilee Michaelson and Kaisa Coburn, who each recorded 14 kills.
“They are a good team and seeded a couple ahead of us in the section right now,” Perham’s Gabby DeBoer said. “We wanted to come out and give them a run. Unfortunately, it didn’t go our way right now, but we are looking forward to seeing them again.”
DeBoer stated they needed to put a double block up against Michaelson, which they did for most of the night. However, it came apart in the fourth game when Michaelson took her game to the next level with several kills, thwarting a comeback bid from Perham.
The Yellowjackets used a balanced offensive attack led by DeBoer. She finished with 17 kills, while Hannah Ekse finished with 14 kills and Laura Alstadt added 12 kills. Alstadt said they learned a lot from winning the third set.
“It was good because we know that we could do it and we knew all along, but we had to show that we could do it now,” Alstadt said. “It gives us momentum.”
Alstadt said before the third set that she told the team to play like it was the game to go to state and that it was their last game of the season. The Yellowjackets took control of that set by building up a 14-8 lead and an 18-10 lead. The Yellowjackets closed it out with a 25-18 win.
Allie King finished with 29 set assists for Perham, while DeBoer added 22 digs. Lisa Meader finished with 19 as well.
The loss moves the Yellowjackets to 13-11 overall on the season, while Park Rapids Area improves to 16-2. The Yellowjackets close out the regular season with a pair of conference contests. They take on Frazee on Oct. 12 in Frazee, beginning at 7:30 p.m.
“We have Frazee coming up and we know their Super Bowl is to come and win against Perham,” Alstadt said. “We are going to push our hardest.”
Park Rapids def. Perham 26-24, 25-22, 18-25, 25-17
PER: Allie King 29SA, 14D; Hannah Ekse 14K, 1D; Laura Alstadt 12K, 3D; Gracie DeBoer 2K, 3SA, 1D; Gabby DeBoer 17K, 1SA, 1AS, 22D; Rachel Muer 6K, 5D; Lisa Meader 19D; Aixa Kolofale 1K, 19SA, 14D; Tayler Parks 1AS, 12D.
PARK: Kaisa Coborn 14K, 18D; Rilee Michaelson 14K; Jaiden McCollum 12K; Kamree Carlson 10K, 21D; Kennedy Carlson 2AS, 50SA; Katelyn Weaver 11D;