The Yellowjackets had a 2-1 advantage after three games but weren't able to capture the match win against Breckenridge on Friday, Oct. 23 in Perham.
Perham won the first set by a score of 26-24, but Breckenridge came back in the second, finding its momentum and winning 25-22. The Yellowjackets rallied in the third giving them a 2-1 advantage over the Cowgirls of Breckenridge. But the Cowgirls regained the momentum winning the final two games and handing Perham its first loss of the season.
“I feel that we battled to the very end and I feel like we had some ups and downs that we need to kind of push our way through so our downs aren't so long and we can bounce back quicker than we have,” Perham head coach Nikki Bruns said about her team’s showing on Friday. “I’m really proud of how they battled through all five games against a really good Breckenridge team.”
Bruns said that her team had key freshman players Willow Thiel and Jaden Hackel stepping up their game throughout the match. The work of both made Perham’s middles effective throughout the night. Bruns added that libero Grayce Mickelson worked hard to keep pushing and keep Perham in the game.
Perham tallied nine serving errors throughout, but despite having issues with serving in the first set, the Yellowjackets managed to pick up the pace and push through the rest of the match.
“Our attacking from the middle and changing up our hitting really made us effective,” Bruns said. “Our serving game really picked up as we progressed over the course of the game because we struggled right out of the gate.”
Bruns said that her team needs to become confident and consistent in their blocks. She said that it will be a big focus for the Yellowjackets as they progress through their season. She has hopes to continue the improving aspects of the Yellowjackets defense as well.
“Our biggest goal is to come to every game and prepare the same no matter who we are going up against,” Bruns said. “That we are always competing our very best.”
The Yellowjackets are scheduled to take on Frazee-Vergas on Tuesday and Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton on Thursday. Bruns said that her team is hoping that the schedule will not change at the games and will still be able to happen. COVID-19 has brought uncertainty to their season schedule but the team is holding on and hoping for the best as they progress.
Frazee poses a few challenges to the Yellowjackets. Bruns said that Frazee will come out scrappy on the floor on Tuesday. She added that her team needs to continue to be aggressive and dig during Tuesday’s matchup. Perham goes into Tuesday’s game holding a 3-1 record.
“Our biggest thing is that we need to be aggressive on our end but that we are ready for Frazee to pick up everything we send to them,” Bruns said.
Breckenridge 3, Perham 2 (24-26, 25-22, 21-25, 25-22, 15-6)
Kills: Willow Thiel 15, Stella Raser 9, Lily DeBoer 9, Audrey Portrament 4, Katie Johnson 2
Assists: Katie Johnson 39, Jaden Hackel 1
Aces: Stella Raser 2, Katie Johnson 1
Digs: Grayce Mickelson 22, Katie Johnson 16, Lily DeBoer 15, Sydney Anderson 15, Lily Lorenson 6, Willow Thiel 5, Jaden Hackel 3, Audrey Portrament 3
Block Assists: Willow Thiel 4, Jaden Hackel 4, Katie Johnson 2, Lily DeBoer 1, Audrey Portrament 1