Entering Tuesday’s Raccoon River Conference tilt with visiting Winterset, the Perry volleyball team had played 20 matches. Some were three-game tourney sets, others were first-to-three-wins regulation matches. None had gone four games, let alone five.
All that changed when a resolute Jayette squad took the Huskies to the very edge before falling, 3-2. Winterset (14-6, 4-2) won game one, 25-18, but Perry (7-14, 0-5) fought back to claim a 26-24 victory in game two. Perry claimed a 25-21 game three win, but Winterset stayed alive with a 25-20 win in the fourth game to force a deciding fifth game.
The hosts quickly fell into a 6-2 hole in the first-to-15, win-by-two game. Winterset held a 13-8 lead, but Perry stormed back with four consecutive points to close to within 13-12. A Husky point made it 14-12, but the Jayettes refused to yield and scored to set the score at 14-13.
Unfortunately a Winterset kill ended the match, and while Perry was on the short end of the score, head coach Kristel Schultz said several positives could be found in the match.
“We were able to find holes in their defense and did a good job better job of finishing plays than we have been doing,” she said. “We have struggled to go on long scoring rallies but were able to have a few of those tonight and that was good to see.”
Winterset pulled away midway through the first game to claim a 25-18 win and then came out strong in game two by grabbing a 10-3 edge. Perry senior Ellie Nielsen was serving as the hosts surged to nine straight points to seize a 12-10 lead. The teams went back-and-forth, with the game tied from 19-all until 24-all as neither squad could score consecutive points until Perry’s two-point run resulted in a 26-24 win.
Neither squad led by more than four points in game three, but serving by Grace Marburger and solid defense allowed Perry to close a late gap and tie the game at 19-all. The score stood at 21-all until four consecutive points with Sidney Vancil behind the line powered Perry to a 25-21 win.
Winterset used a 9-3 rally to snag a 19-13 lead in the critical fourth game. Perry appeared ready to surge again with a pair of strong attacks, but a missed serve gave the visitors a 20-15 lead and helped create a 25-20 lead that forced a fifth game.
The Jayettes had four runs of at least five points during the match ended by missed serves, which Schultz noted as damaging to Perry’s chances of victory.
“Anytime there is a missed serve it is a momentum-killer, especially if you stop your own run with one,” she said. “One of the things we have to address is that if one of our girls loses her intensity the others just kind of piggyback on that and it brings us down. We need the opposite to happen.
“However, the girls played well as a team for the most part tonight and did not shut down when they got behind in games,” Schultz added. “Playing from a deficit is something we work on quite a bit in practice — how to handle situations where the other team needs only seven or eight points but we need 10 or 12. We handled that pretty well tonight.”
Unofficially, Nielsen led Perry with 17 kills, with Jo Diw adding eight and Marburger, Victoria Hegstrom and Taylor Lathrum five apiece. while Adrian Thompson had four kills. Lathrum had four blocks, Diw three, Hegstrom two and Marburger, Thompson and Nielsen one each.
Marburger’s 14 digs paced Perry, with Sydney Guerra adding 12 and Diw 11 while Vancil provided 15 assists and Nielsen 11.
Vancil was 17-of-17 serving, Marburger 16-of-16, Diw 11-of-14 with an ace and Nielsen 14-of-17 with three aces.
The Jayettes wore pink uniforms, with both teams using pink hair ribbons to commemorate “Dig For a Cure” night. Funds raised were donated to the American Cancer Society as part of the fight against breast cancer.
Perry will host the Jayette Tournament Thursday, with Ballard, Roland-Story, Saydel and Woodward-Granger attending. Play begins at 4:30 p.m.
JAYETTE JUNIOR VARSITY KENNELS HUSKIES
The Perry JV netters defeated Winterset soundly Tuesday by capturing wins of 25-8 and 25-20.
Maddie West, Isabel Saemisch, Guerra and Vancil were all 100 percent as servers with Sara Weir providing four ace serves.
Diw, Thompson and Vancil had three kills apiece, with West tallying four assits. Diw and Thompson each had a pair of blocks, with Guerra making a team-best five digs.