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Wadena-DC sweeps its way to 2-0

Wadena-Deer Creek's Ashley Adams tries to catch the Yellowjackets off guard when she sends a set over the net during their 3-0 victory over Perham. Jason Groth/Pioneer Journal

The Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines blasted their way to a 2-0 start, sweeping the Perham Yellowjackets in a rematch of last year’s section quarterfinal volleyball match on Aug. 31 in Wadena.

“I thought we came out really fired up and played really well,” Wadena-Deer Creek head coach Sue Volkmann said. “Then, we didn’t have a flow to the game after that. We kind of did the things we needed to do to win and it all came together in the end.”

The Wolverines earned the 3-0 victory (25-21, 25-21, 25-20) giving them their third straight win over the Yellowjackets. However, this year’s match wasn’t a potential playoff preview with the Wolverines moving to Section 6A.

“It’s a great match to start out the season. It lets us know where we need to improve upon and what our strengths are,” Perham head coach Eryn Moser said. “Going into the next couple of weeks, we definitely need to game plan for what we need to improve upon.”

The game featured a nice contest between two of the area’s top players in Wadena-DC’s Casey Volkmann and Perham’s Gabby DeBoer. DeBoer finished with 15 kills, while Volkmann finished with 20.

Casey Volkmann tries to tip it past the Perham block.

“Casey is a phenomenal player but I thought DeBoer did an awesome job of containing her,” Moser said. “We just had to control the things on our side of the net and we couldn’t do that tonight. I’m not going to hold anything against Casey, I thought she had a great game, but I think we created obstacles on our side and that’s what we need to push through.”

Sue Volkmann said the Wolverines need to start spreading the ball around a bit and avoid going to the well of Casey Volkmann too much.

“I think the kids need to learn they can rely on some other kids to step up and that they are capable of doing it,” Sue Volkmann said. “We just have to put some trust in them.”

Volkmann said one of the hitters that’s capable of stepping up into the role is Ellie Miron. She finished with nine kills, including a pair of crucial kills late in game three. Volkmann said once she gets her rhythm and approach down, she is a factor for them.

The Wolverines service game played a role in slowing down the Yellowjacket attack. The Wolverines finished with nine ace serves with Katlyn Heaton leading the way with four. Lila Lohmiller and Casey Volkmann added two each, while Kennedy Gravelle picked one up.

“We have good servers and they can place the ball,” Volkmann said. “We found some weaknesses that they had and exploited those. It really helped us when we weren’t playing as well as we should have been.”

Inconsistency has hurt the Yellowjackets during the early portion of the season. They would get momentum on their side and a couple of mistakes would haunt them and give the momentum back.

“We are beating ourselves a lot with a lot of unforced errors,” Moser said. “We have potential to where we get the momentum on our side and then we miss two serves in a row. I think those are the things this team has to work on. We create some things and then we have errors that work against us. We plan to practice around those type of situations and push ourselves through that.”

The Wolverines grabbed the early lead in game one, racing out to a 9-3 lead. Yet, the Yellowjackets rallied and cut the lead to two after a Gabby DeBoer block, making it 17-15. A timeout changed the momentum back to the Wolverines. They stretched it to four but kills by DeBoer and Rachel Muer closed it back to two, 19-17. Perham could not get any closer and a kill by Volkmann ended game one, 25-21.

The second game was much of the same. Whenever Perham gained momentum, the Wolverines answered back. Wadena-DC used a 10-6 spurt to take a six-point lead at 16-10 after  a kill by Miron. Perham would fight back, cutting the lead back to one at 18-17. The Wolverines called timeout and stretched the lead back, eventually closing out the game, 25-21.

Perham jumped ahead in game one, taking an early lead, yet it was the Wolverines turning the tide and taking the lead for good at 9-8 during a service run by Lohmiller. It would be a lead they would not relinquish in game three. They took command and won, 25-20, closing out the match.

Wadena-Deer Creek improves to 2-0 overall on the season while Perham falls to 1-1. Both teams return with tough matches. Wadena-Deer Creek travels to Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton to take on the Rebels, while Perham squares off with Detroit Lakes in Detroit Lakes. Both matches are on Sept. 5 and begin at 7:30 p.m.

WDC def. Perham 3-0 (25-21, 25-21, 25-20)

WDC: Casey Volkmann 20K, 15D, 2AS; Ellie Miron 9K, 3B; Kennedy Gravelle 5K, 2B, 1AS; Ashley Adams 3K, 1B, 6D, 32SA; Kylee Hopp 2K, 3B; Kyla Ness 10D; Courtny Warren 10D, Lila Lohmiller 6D, 2AS; Katlyn Heaton 4D, 4AS; Mackenzie Carsten 1D; Mari Grendahl 1D.

PER: Hannah Ekse 6K; Sydney Riepe 2K: Laura Alstadt 2K; Gabby DeBoer 15K, 12D; Rachel Muer 4K, 5D; Allie King 15SA, 7D; Lisa Meader 1AS, 17D; Aixa Kolofale 11SA, 12D; Katie Zepper 1K, Kolbey Bormann 10D; Tayler Parks 2D.

Jason Groth

 Groth is a Minnesota Newspaper Association award-winning Sports Editor of the Perham Focus and the Wadena Pioneer Journal. Groth worked in Grand Rapids as the Sports Director at KOZY/KMFY radio for two years and prior to that he was the Sports Editor/Writer for the Grand Rapids Herald-Review for seven years. 

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