The Perry netters were knocked down early, but fought back into Tuesday’s Raccoon River Conference match before eventually suffering a 3-1 setback to visiting Ballard.
The first two games were 25-17 and 25-14 wins for the Bombers, with both sets developing in similar fashion as the guests were able to break open tight games once the points reached the double-digits and then pulled away for the win.
The third game stayed close throughout until a late surge allowed Perry to open a slight lead, and advantage they used in trading off points until putting the contest away late for a 25-21 victory that forced a fourth set.
The Jayettes burst to an early lead and seemingly had control of the game until a seven-point run helped fuel a Bomber comeback that ended with the visitors closing out the match with a 25-21 win.
Perry head coach Kristel Schultz said it was clear to her what changed for her squad in the third and fourth games.
“Our passing was the big difference,” she said. “We started making smarter passes and that was because the defense stepped up and we were getting a ton of touches on blocks at the net.”
Perry fell into a quick 6-2 hole in the opening game, but clawed back to within 9-7 before Ballard scored six of the next eight points to open a 15-9 edge. The margin quickly grew to 20-11, but Perry had a small surge to close to within 21-16 before falling, 25-17.
The teams were tied at 4-4, 6-6 and 10-10 before eight of the following nine points went into the guest column for an 18-11 lead, setting the stage for a 25-14 Bomber victory.
The third game was back-and-forth until the late stages, with the teams repeatedly trading points as neither could pull away. Perry turned an 18-18 score into a 21-19 lead, but Ballard countered to knot the score at 21-all.
A Bomber miscue gave Perry a 22-21 lead, with reserve Gabby West sent onto the court to serve. The hosts swiftly scored three straight to steal the 25-21 win and force a fourth game.
Fueled by the win, an amped-up Jayette squad quickly opened a 5-0 lead in game four and still held a 17-14 lead when Ballard rolled off seven consecutive points to seize a 21-17 advantage en route to a match-ending 25-21 win.
“We still have a lot of work to do on our defensive positioning,” Schultz added. “I thought we ended on a positive note and for the most part we can take several high notes from tonight.”
Jo Diw led Perry (3-16, 0-3) with 14 kills, with Grace Marburger adding 10 and Isabel Saemisch and Adrian Thompson five each. Maddie West had two kills, with Syd Guerra and Sid Vancil each adding one kill while Diw provided a block.
Vancil distributed 30 of Perry’s 35 assists, with Diw and Thompson making two each and West one.
Guerra’s 25 digs were a team high, with Marburger making 25 digs and Diw 18 while Vancil added 12 digs, West seven, Thompson five and Saemisch one.
Marburger served 16-of-17 with five aces, with Diw 10-of-16 with four aces. Thompson was 12-13-2, Vancil 7-8-1, Guerra 6-of-8 and Gabby West 3-of-3.
Perry will play only twice more this month and not again until a Sept. 22 trip to Bondurant-Farrar, with Carroll to visit the Jayettes Sept. 27.