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Superb week for 7-1 Perham volleyball

Ella Von Ruden, left, and Hope Slettebak keep eyes peeled on a blocked kill attempt in a game earlier this season. Robert Williams/FOCUS

The Perham volleyball team improved to 7-1 after winning their Heart O’ Lakes Conference opening game at Breckenridge and taking the consolation championship at the Southwest Minnesota Challenge tournament in Marshall over the weekend.

“We played outstanding down there,” Head Coach Eryn Moser said. “I was so proud of how the team focused on playing each team down there with an intense rhythm.”

The consolation championship is for 17th place out of 36 teams. The Challenge is the largest volleyball tournament in the state and most of the teams are either Class 3A (Perham is 2A) or state ranked teams.

“It is a very tough tournament,” said Moser.

Perham suffered their only loss of the tournament and first of the season against Kasson-Mantorville, currently, the No. 6 ranked team in Class 2A 2-0 (25-7, 25-20).

The Yellowjackets bounced back to win four straight at the tournament defeating three schools from Minnesota Class 3A: Eastview, St. Michael and East Ridge, along with Jamestown, a Class A North Dakota school, which has a two-class system, A being the largest, along with Class B.

“Most of our games this past weekend we had to come from behind to win it,” Moser said. “I was very proud of how our team did not give up. Our senior leadership really came out in the first couple of wins.  TIna Scheidecker and Allie Christenson really had a great tournament. Allie did a nice job of leading the offense, making wise choices of sets. Tina Scheidecker does a great job on defense and mixed it up a lot on offense to keep the other team defensively guessing all the time. Both girls kept the team going.”

Scores from those four victories were:

Eastview 2-0 (25-16, 25-19). Tina Scheidecker had nine kills; Maria Rutten had seven. Analea Erickson and Hope Slettebak each had three blocks. Perham had six aces, three by Allie Christenson, a pair from Tina Schmitz and one by Chelsey Honrud.

Jamestown 2-1 (25-23, 7-25, 15-6). Scheidecker and Rutten led the offense again with six and four kills respectively. Erickson and Slettebak matched their three blocks each from the previous match. Christenson had 14 assists.

St. Michael 2-1 (21-25, 25-23, 15-11). Sheidecker with eight kills, Rutten with six. The two combined for 14 of the team’s 20 kills. Schmitz had a tournament-high 21 digs for Perham. Christenson had 17 assists.

East Ridge 2-1 (25-23, 25-27, 15-11) to clinch consolation honors.Scheidecker recorded a dozen kills, Ella Von Ruden had six, to go with two assists and a team-high five blocks. Christenson recorded her tournament high of 24 assists and three ace serves.

“Ella Von Ruden had a great championship game,” said Moser. “She played outstanding at the net, both hitting and blocking. Maria Rutten mixed it up well hitting hard and then rolling the ball over the block for a kill.”

Von Ruden, Rutten, along with Amy Scheidecker are a trio of sophomores who have built upon a successful spring 15U season, where their team won every tournament they played, and have been a positive influx on the varsity team making big impacts from different areas of the court.

Rutten attacks the net and is typically at or near the top of the score sheet in terms of kills each game. Scheidecker has a knack for spurring on point streaks when she is serving, along with flying around the backcourt diving for digs, and Von Ruden has made a big impact at the net both offensively and defensively.

A number of other 15U players are ready to come off the bench and those girls know how to win and are not accustomed to losing, at all. The impact of that 15U team and its members has complemented a hungry group of seniors coming off a 9-19 season last year to make this year’s volleyball team the surprise story of the season with a record of 7-1.

While the on-court input of younger players has been a benefit to the team, the core group of experienced seniors is helping shape those younger players and bring a burst of success to the early volleyball season. The four-pack of seniors have a hunger for winning. Tina Scheidecker, Erickson, Schmitz and Christenson, along with juniors Slettebak and Honrud, got a taste of playoff fun last year knocking rival Pelican Rapids out of contention, but their season came to an abrupt end the following game. 

"I think our success has been due, in large part, to the tremedous play and leadership of our seniors. They have really stepped up to keep our team grounded and focused. No disrespect intended toward our younger players, but they have made the mistakes that you would expect young girls to make. They will be very good, but this is an adjustment year for them."

There is a nice match of senior leadership, juniors gaining needed experience in that realm and young talent making up the whole of the Perham lineup and creating some excitement all built around Moser's pursuit of wins late in the year being the goal of work being down in the early portion of the season. 

Perham sits atop the Heart O’ Lakes Conference at 1-0 tied with Hawley and Barnesville after a conference-opening win on the road at Breckenridge last Thursday.

The non-air conditioned gymnasium in Breckenridge provided a steamy arena for the red hot Yellowjackets, who won their third consecutive volleyball match to start the season defeating the Cowgirls 3-0. Perham won by set scores of 25-18, 25-11 and 25-20.

Tina Scheidecker and Rutten each had six kills. Christenson had 14 assists and was 12-13 service with an ace; Slettebak recorded 10 assists. Amy Scheidecker, Schmitz and Honrud each had two aces.  

“Serving was definitely a plus for us that night. We struggled a little bit with Breck in the fact that we did not play to our potential. We have really been working hard at the philosophy that we play a faceless opponent. It shouldn't matter who it is, we play our game. We struggled with that a bit Thursday night.”

Perham has yet to garner any attention in the first two weeks of the State Class 2A polls, but will do so if they keep playing as they have been throughout the middle of their schedule.


1. Marshall (8) 131

2. Belle Plaine 113

3. Fergus Falls (1) 110

4. Stewartville 105

5. Thief River Falls 101

6. Kasson-Mantorville 98

7. Jackson County Central 79

8. St. Crouix Lutheran 74

9. Jordan 29

10. Chatfield 26

Others receiving votes: Hill-Murray (24), Visitation (23), Sauk Center (13), Concordia Academy (10), Kenyon-Wanamingo (9), Rocori (6), Dassel-Cokato (6).

Poll courtesy of the Minnesota Volleyball Coaches Association

Match Statistics:

Perham 3, Breckenridge 0

Kills: Rutten 6,T. Scheidecker 6, Erickson 5, Von Ruden 4.

Assists: Christenson 14, Slettebak 10.

Serving: T. Scheidecker 8/10, Christenson 12/13 - 1 ace, Slettebak 9/9, A. Scheidecker 15/15 - 2 aces, Schmitz 10/11 - 2 aces, Honrud 7/8 - 2 aces.

Blocks: T. Scheidecker 4, Erickson 2, Von Ruden 2, Christenson 2.

Digs: T. Scheidecker 21/23, Schmitz 10/13, A. Scheidecker 9/13, Rutten 10/10.

Kasson-Mantorville 2, Perham 0

Kills: Rutten 3, T. Scheidecker 3, Slettebak 2, Von Ruden 2.

Assists: Christenson 7, Slettebak 2, Von Ruden 1.

Serving: Honrud 5/6 - 1 ace. Slettebak 5/6, A. Scheidecker 5/5.

Blocks: Erickson, Rutten, Von Ruden 1.

Perham 2, Eastview 0

Kills: T. Scheidecker 9, Rutten 7, Von Ruden 4.

Assists: Christenson 15, Slettebak 2, Von Ruden 2.

Serving: T. Scheidecker 9/9, Schmitz 6/6 - 2 aces, A. Scheidecker 5/5, Honrud 3/4 - 1 ace.  

Blocks: Erickson, Slettebak 3

Digs: Christenson 9/9, Schmits 11/15, T. Scheidecker 8/10.

Perham 2, Jamestown 1

Kills: T. Scheidecker 6, Rutten 4, Erickson 3, Slettebak 3.

Assists: Christenson 14, Slettebak 1.

Serving: Schmitz 11/11, Rutten 8/8, Christenson 6/8 - 2 aces.

Blocks: Erickson, Slettebak 3.

Digs: Schmitz 15/19, T. Scheidecker 13/15, Christenson 9/10, A. Scheidecker 8/9.

Perham 2, STMA 1

Kills: T. Scheidecker 8, Rutten 6, Slettebak 3.

Assists: Christenson 17, T. Scheidecker 1.

Serving: Schmitz 12/12, Erickson 11/11, Scheidecker 11/12, Christenson 11/12.

Blocks: Erickson, Von Ruden, Slettebak 2.

Digs: Schmits 21/28, Rutten 16/21, T. Scheidecker 15/18, Christenson 10/12.

Perham 2, East Ridge 1

Kills: T. Scheidecker 12, Von Ruden 6, Rutten 5.

Assists: Christenson 24, Von Ruden 2, Schmitz 1.

Serving: Schmitz 16/16 - 1 ace, Erickson 11/11, Christenson 14/16 - 3 aces.

Blocks: Von Ruden 5, Rutten 3, Slettebak 3, Erickson 2.

Digs: Schmitz 18/26, A. Scheidecker 17/18, T. Scheidecker 16/19, Rutten 14/18.

Heart O’ Lakes Confernce Volleyball Standings

Barnesville 1-0

Hawley       1-0

Perham      1-0

Pelican Rapids       0-0

Breckenridge 0-1

DGF            0-1

Frazee       0-1

HOL Leaders:

Kills leaders (per set)

Holly Vancura (Barn)6.67

Kennady Barlund (Fra)\5.3

Carly Ulven (Haw)4.6

Amy Bentow (DGF)3.33

Darby Olson (Haw)3.3

Katrina Dahlgren (Breck)3.0

Rachel Solum (Barn)3.0

Digs leaders (per set)

Liz Driscoll (DGF)7.0

Tina Scheidecker (PER) 7.0

Taylor Tappe (Fra)6.0

Sydney Honek (DGF)5.0

Taylor Peterson (Barn)4.0

Hope Slettebak (PER)4.0

Assists leaders (per set) (offense)

Nicole Hustad (Barn)10.33 (5-1)

Ally Reno (DGF)6.66 (5-1?)

Carly Ulven (Haw)5.3 (6-2)

Allie Christenson (PER)4.67 (6-2)

Brittany Laddusaw (Haw)4.6 (6-2)

Maddie Oswald (Fra)2.7 (6-2)

Service Aces (total)

Darby Olson (Haw)4

Carly Ulven (Haw)3

Amy Scheidecker (PER)3

Chelsey Honrud (PER)2

Tina Schmitz (PER)2

Amy Bentow (DGF)2

Mira Ellefson (Haw)2

Ace Blocks (total solo and assists)

Karyssa Hovelson (Haw)5

Tina Scheidecker (PER)4

Whitney Janu (Fra)4

Anna Smith (DGF)4

Rachel Solum (Barn)3

Robert Williams

Sports Editor at the Detroit Lakes Tribune. Williams worked prior as the Sports Editor in Perham for the Focus, a Forum Communications newspaper, from 2010-14. 

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