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Perham spikers roll in HOL match with Hawley

The Perham Yellowjacket volleyball team sets goals for themselves heading into each game. Against the Hawley Nuggets, they eliminated the chance of getting one of those goals early in game one. However, once they settled in, the Yellowjackets bre...

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Perham's Hannah Ekse spikes it over the Hawley block during the first game against the Nuggets. Jason Groth/FOCUS

The Perham Yellowjacket volleyball team sets goals for themselves heading into each game. Against the Hawley Nuggets, they eliminated the chance of getting one of those goals early in game one. However, once they settled in, the Yellowjackets breezed to a 3-0 (25-21, 25-13, 25-14) victory over the Nuggets in Hawley, Minn. on Sept. 15.

The goal the Yellowjackets wanted to hit was have less than seven unforced errors in a game. Once the Yellowjackets settled in, that wasn’t a problem in the victory.

“They recognize where we are weak and what we have to improve upon,” Perham head coach Eryn Moser said. “We are going to keep driving away with it and, hopefully, by the end of the season we will be ready to go.”

The Yellowjackets improved themselves to 6-4 overall and 2-0 in the Heart O’Lakes Conference with the victory.

“It was a good conference win. We always know that Hawley is a sound defensive team,” Moser said. “We had the theory tonight of wearing them down and I think we did.”

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One of the keys for the Yellowjackets in the win was controlling their errors at the service line. They were able to limit them after the first game, which helped them dish out 11 aces in the win. Hannah Ekse, Lisa Meader and Leah Muer recorded three ace serves each in the win, while Serena Langen and Allie King had an ace each.

“They play a little safe. We tell them at the service line that we are going to be aggressive servers,” Moser said. “Sometimes, they think they have to get it in and that ends up being the error, when they play safe too much, we get the error out of it. It’s something that they recognize and hopefully they will fix it.”

The Yellowjacket balance up front wore down the Nuggets with Gabby DeBoer leading the way with 14 kills. Olivia Strand finished with 13 kills, while Janie Wunderlich, Abbey Zepper and Ekse added five each.

“Our goal was to come out, win in three and limit our errors,” DeBoer said. “Lately, we have been starting out matches with too many errors. In the first match, we struggled with that. We did better in the second match, but in the first and the third we were struggling with errors right away.”

“After we got through that first game, I thought, Olivia Strand came alive tonight. She had some really nice swings,” Moser said. “Our back row is starting to recognize blocks, so they are able to call our hitters as to where to go. We have really picked that up since the Marshall tournament. Meader is getting better at being able to recognize one block, two block, whether it’s a block line or block cross and our hitters are able to adjust to that.”

The Yellowjackets return to action on Saturday, Sept. 17 with the Minnewaska Area Tournament. Perham will open round robin play with West Lutheran, Ortonville and Minnewaska Area.

Check out Thursday’s edition of the Perham Focus for more on this game, as well as results from the Minnewaska Area Tournament.

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Perham def. Hawley, 3-0 (25-21, 25-13, 25-14)

PER- Serena Langen 21SA, 1AS, Gabby DeBoer 14K, 8D, 2B, Jenna Bjerke 2K, Olivia Strand 13K, Janie Wunderlich 5K, Hannah Ekse 5K, 3AS, Lisa Meader 3AS, 11D, Abbey Zepper 5K, Allie King 20SA, 1AS, Leah Muer 3SA.


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Perham's Olivia Strand rises up for the kill against the Hawley Nuggets. Strand finished with 13 kills in the win. Jason Groth/FOCUS

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