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PHS Volleyball: Jackets avenge pair of losses to get to 8AA North Finals

Kaylan Huber gets set to serve during the Jackets 3-2 upset victory over Detroit Lakes in the 8AA South semifinals Friday.

John George

With a pair of upset wins, the Perham Yellowjackets will play in the Section 8AA South Sub-Section Finals Tuesday, Nov. 3 in Park Rapids against No. 1 Wadena-Deer Creek. The match is scheduled to start at 8 p.m.

W-DC beat Perham earlier this season, 3-0 (25-7, 25-12, 25-19). The Wolverines ended Perham's season last year, coming from behind to beat them in the 8AA South Finals, 3-2, before advancing to the State Tournament.

Jackets avenge regular season losses

When the Section 8AA playoffs began, Christenson said being the No. 7 seed was no different that being the No. 2 seed. Both presented the same path to the North sub-section finals. The only difference was they'd have to do it away from Prairie Wind Gymnasium.

In the sub-section quarterfinals on Thursday, Perham avenged a Heart O' Lakes Conference loss at Breckenridge earlier in the season with a 3-1 win (25-22, 25-19, 20-25, 28-26).

"Our kids played with a ton of heart and pulled it out when they needed to," Christenson said. "Down game-point two times in set number four, and came back to win shows guts.

"I sure didn't want to go to a fifth game, that's for sure," Christenson added.

Becky Stoll was unconscious defensively, with a career high 49 digs, with only four errors. She was also 22-for-22 at the service line. As a team, Perham missed only four serves in the match.

In addition to Stoll in the back row, Kaylan Huber (23 digs) Kelli Meehl (22 digs) were outstanding, getting the offense in motion. The Jackets lone senior, Elisa Moenkedick, took advantage, finishing with 26 kills. Younger sister Katrina was also great at the net with 15 kills.

Prior to the loss at Breckenridge on Oct. 6, Christenson had not lost to the Cowgirls as the Jackets head coach. Perham was 8-0 over that span, outscoring Breckenridge 24-0.

That win moved Perham into the 8AA South semifinals against another team that beat them in the regular season, Detroit Lakes. Perham had knocked off the Lakers, 3-1, on Sept. 8, extending a 15-match win-streak for the Jackets over one of their biggest rivals. D.L. got their revenge with a 3-0 win in the regular season finale on Oct. 22.

But in the rubber-match on Friday night, Perham got the better of the Lakers, outlasting them, 3-2 (25-22, 15-25, 25-23, 12-25, 15-11).

"We did a much better job up front tonight than we did last week when we ended our regular season with a loss at Detroit Lakes 3-0," Christenson said. "Both Elisa and Katrina have become great all-around middles in the past two weeks."

Elisa finished with 21 kills and three blocks against the Lakers. Katrina added 10 kills with 16 digs.

Up 2-1, Detroit Lakes jumped out to a 12-1 lead in the fourth set. Perham made a couple of runs, but really couldn't get past the 10-point lead, but did gain valuable momentum that propelled them through game five.

Christenson took his team off the court during the three minute break between sets four and five.

"I gave Eryn (Anderson-Moser, an assistant coach), the line-up options and pulled the kids aside to talk to them and get them settled down," Christenson said. "We had to put that set behind us and get ready for the tie-breaker."

Leading 12-11, Mary Guck served through the next three points of the match for knock out the Lakers. It's the third straight year, and fourth time in the last six seaons that Perham has eliminated Detroit Lakes from the section tournament.

"I was proud of our girls tonight. They have made great strides in the past week, and are ready for another sub-section championship showdown with Wadena-Deer Creek."

The win against Detroit Lakes was Christenson's 200th career victory. His record is 200-137-1 in 12 seasons as a head coach overall, 177-76-1 in nine years at Perham.

Thursday, October 29

Section 8AA-South Quarterfinals

#7 Perham 3, #2 Breckenridge 1

(25-22, 25-19, 20-25, 28-26)

Jackets--(Kills-Digs-Blocks)--Elisa Moenkedick (26-9-0), Katrina Moenkedick (15-12-0), Kelli Meehl (9-22-0), Becky Stoll (5-49-0), Kaylan Huber (2-23-0), Mary Guck (2-9-0), Brooke Mickelson (0-16-0), Lexy Karvonen (0-3-0)

Assists--Guck 24, K. Moenkedick 19, Karvonen 1.

Aces--E. Moenkedick 3, Stoll 1.

Section 8AA-South Quarterfinals

#1 W-DC 3, #8 Pequot Lakes 0

#3 Detroit Lakes 3, #6 Hawley 1

#5 Pelican Rapids 3, #4 Fergus Falls 1

Section 8AA-North Quarterfinals

#1 D-G-F 3, #8 Thief River Falls 0

#2 Roseau 3, #7 East Grand Forks 1

#6 Warroad 3, #3 Park Rapids 0

#5 Crookston 3, #4 W-H-A 1

Friday, October 30

Section 8AA-South Semifinals

Perham 3, Detroit Lakes 2

(25-22, 15-25, 25-23, 12-25, 15-11)

Jackets--(Kills-Digs-Blocks)--E. Moenkedick (21-11-3), K. Moenkedick (10-16-0), Stoll (6-27-0), Meehl (3-13-0), Huber (3-21-3), Karvonen (1-6-0), Guck (1-12-0), Mickelson (0-5-0), Rayna Jacobson (0-4-0).

Assists--Guck 21, K. Moenkedick 12, Meehl 1, Karvonen 1.

Section 8AA-South Semifinals

#1 Wadena-Deer Creek 3, #5 Pelican Rapids 0

Section 8AA-North Semifinals

#1 D-G-F 3, #5 Crookston 0

#2 Roseau 3, #6 Warroad 2

Tuesday, November 3

Section 8AA-South Finals

#1 Wadena-Deer Creek vs. #7 Perham

Section 8AA-North Finals

#1 D-G-F vs. #2 Roseau


Saturday, November 7

Section 8AA Championship, 7 pm (TBD)