GRIMES — If Monday’s Class 4A Region 2 First Round volleyball match between Perry and host DC-G had been a sprint, the Jayettes would have handily defeated their hosts.
Unfortunately, matches are played to 25 points, not 10, and the Fillies were able to overcome a trio of sluggish starts to sweep their guests, 25-15, 25-11 and 25-22. The win sends DC-G (26-11) to No. 2 and defending state champion Harlan Thursday while Perry bows out at 12-23 overall.
“We came out lights-out in every single set,” Perry head coach Kristel Schultz said. “Every time I looked at the scoreboard in the early part of each game it was 4-1, 5-1, 7-2 (in favor of) us. I can’t fault our energy.”
Perry raced to a 9-2 lead in the opening game, but DC-G slowly clawed back into the set, closing to 12-7 and finally knotting the score at 13-all. The Fillies then scored 12 of the last 14 points in the game to grab a 25-15 win.
The Jayettes were out quick in game two as well, leading 4-1 and then 8-4 before two long strings of points from the Fillies helped the hosts snatch a 25-11 victory.
DC-G Selena Nolte entered the match with 410 kills on the season, more than double the number of the most prolific Perry player. She finished with 17 kills in the match, but many of those came late, as the Jayettes played solid defense against the senior standout.
While Nolte was certainly a critical piece of the DC-G offense, it was the serving of Abigail Tabaka and Tatum Jorgensen that played perhaps a more crucial role. The former finished with four aces on 14-of-14 serving, with the later 11-14-2 behind the line.
“We had trouble with their aggressive servers,” Schultz said. “We couldn’t get our passes to the setter in the right place and any time your passing is off it takes you out of what you want to do offensively.”
Although down 2-0, the Jayettes refused to go quietly and surged to another fast start in the third game. Perry led by four points on three different occasions and fought off a DC-G rally to tie the game at 18-all. The teams swapped two-point runs before the hosts slowly pulled away for a 25-22 victory.
Ellie Nielsen had 10 kills, Jo Diw four, Taylor Lathrum three and Adrian Thompson two for Perry, with Sidney Vancil providing 10 assists and Nielsen three.
Nielsen’s 11 digs were a team-high, with Vancil adding nine digs, Victoria Hegstrom six, Diw and Mariah Duffy four apiece and Sydney Guerra three.
Diw was 15-18-1 and Vancil 10-10-1 behind the line, with Nielsen 5-7-1, Guerra 6-6-1 and Lathrum 7-of-8.
The loss ends the prep volleyball careers of Duffy, Hegstrom, Lathrum, Nielsen and Sara Weir.