The Wadena-Deer Creek volleyball team was not happy with how they left the court after it's season-opening loss to Pequot Lakes. The Wolverines made some changes and responded in their 2019 home-opener on Aug. 29 when they defeated the Perham Yellowjackets 25-22, 25-23, 22-25 and 25-19 to improve to 1-1 on the season.

"We played much better as a team and supported each other on the floor more," Wadena-DC head coach Sue Volkmann said. "I think our young kids were thrown into the fire and with each game, I hope, they will get a little better and more comfortable. Things just went our way tonight."

Volkmann said it was a chaotic mess during their match with Pequot Lakes that they made some line up changes and addressed who would be setting for who and when. Volkmann said it helped to get the first game against Perham.

"Everybody likes to play at home, and we love our fan support," Volkmann said. "We have really good support here for volleyball and it's a lot of fun to be at home."

For Perham, it was the slow starts that ultimately affected them in the loss. Perham head coach Eryn Moser said she thought the team finished strong throughout the contest. The Yellowjackets used a nice rally in game two to erase an eight-point deficit, but couldn't complete the comeback.

"Our girls started to figure out that what we talked about in practice is actually being effective," Moser said. "Our girls have to start to realize that running an offense revolves around hitting it at certain spots and doing certain things, not just playing it safe and getting the ball over. We have struggled doing that the last two games. We have a really young team that does't have a lot of varsity experience and once they start to realize that executing game plan is going to make things go a little easier in a game and that will work to our advantage."

Kennedy Gravelle led the way offensively for Wadena-DC. She finished with 22 kills and had a perfect service night with two ace serves. She finished with four blocks at the net as well.

"It was really good. We came back from Tuesday's loss and played more as a team," Gravelle said. "We had better team chemistry and talking on the court, which was in our favor tonight and helped us get the win."

Gravelle said she made sure she mixed things up with her attack, which is something her teammates helped her with. She said the team had a lot of energy, which helps them.

"We knew we had to pick it up a lot from that game," Gravelle said. "We knew we had to work more as a team and we weren't a team on Tuesday. Doing that helped a ton, and it showed."

The Yellowjackets were prepared for the strong attack from Gravelle and expected to see a lot of Madison Carsten. However, it didn't slow them down. Carsten finished the game with 14 kills and had a perfect night at the service line with one ace.

"We said they have two hitters, they have an outside and a middle," Moser said. "Those are the girls that are going to get the ball the majority of the time. We had two eighth graders on the court tonight and with more experience, those girls are going to step into crucial roles and be able to do something for us."

Lily DeBoer led the Perham attack with 10 kills and 15 set assists. She added one ace serve as well in the loss. Stella Raser finished with eight kills, while Willow Thiel finished with five for Perham.

With Mackenzie Carsten serving, the Wolverines went on a 4-0 run to break a 14-14 tie in game one. Wadena-DC gained the momentum and carried it out with a 25-22 win in game one.

It appeared that Wadena-DC was going to walk away with game two, but Perham rallied back. The Wolverines raced out to an 8-0 lead before Perham slowly gained the momentum back. Perham battled its way back after the slow start and cut the Wadena-DC lead down to one at 24-23, but the Wolverines closed it out with a 25-23 win in game two.

The momentum from the comeback carried over into the third game for Perham. Perham jumped out to a 5-1 lead, only to see Wadena-DC rally back and tie it at seven. Perham and Wadena-DC swapped the lead a few times during the midway portion of the game, before a Perham rally secured the win. Perham trailed 22-18 before closing on a 7-0 run to secure the game four win 25-22.

An ace serve from Laura Krause turned the momentum in the fourth and final game. Perham grabbed a 19-17 lead only to see it disappear. Krause's ace tied the game at 19 and sparked a Wolverine run. The Wolverines scored the final eight points to win 25-19. Madison Carsten finished with three kills in the final run, helping the Wolverines secure the win.

The Wolverines improved to 1-1 with the victory while the Yellowjackets dropped their mark to 1-1.

Wadena-DC def. Perham (25-22, 25-23, 22-25, 25-19)
WDC- Kennedy Gravelle 22K, 2AS, 4B; Madison Carsten 14K, 9D, 1AS, 2B; Katelyn Gardner 3K, 2B; Lola Pulver 3K; MacKenzie Carsten 2K, 4D, 36SA; Lauryn Gravelle 1K; Courtny Warren 13D, 1AS; Hailey Wiederich 3D, Mari Grendahl 1D.
PER-Katie Zepper 3K, 3D; Katie Johnson 17SA, 3AS, 11D; Lily DeBoer 10K, 15SA, 1AS, Sydney Anderson 4K, 3AS, 22D; Stella Raser 8K, 6D; Grayce Mickelson 4SA, 18D; Jaden Hackel 3K, 1D; Kaylie Kirchenwitz 2K, 4D; Lily Lorenson 1K, 4D; Willow Thiel 5K, 5D.