Perry netters host annual tournament

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Perry senior Victoria Hegstrom rips a kill past Ballard's Meredith Ossian (5) and Miranda Noack (17) during their match in the Perry Tournament Oct. 8. Jayette libero player Sydney Guerra (7) watches the play along with teammates Sidney Vancil and Jo Diw (right).


Class 3A Roland-Story finished with a 4-0 mark to win the annual Perry Tournament Thursday, with the Norse finishing 8-1 in games played.

Woodward-Granger was second at 3-1 and was the only team to force R-S into a three-game match. Perry place third with a 2-2 mark, with Ballard finishing 1-3 while Saydel remained without a win on the season after dropping all four of their matches.

Roland-Story defeated Ballard, 21-10 and 21-16 before escaping W-G 21-16, 16-21, 15-4. R-S whipped Saydel, 21-10 and 21-9 and cemented their tourney title with a 21-10, 21-16 victory over Perry.

Perry senior Ellie Nielsen serves against W-G in the Perry Tourney Thursday.
Perry senior Ellie Nielsen serves against W-G in the Perry Tourney Thursday.

Perry had opened with a 21-9, 21-13 win against Saydel, then rallied to top Ballard, 11-21, 21-15 and 19-17. The hosts then fell to W-G, 22-20 and 21-14 before running into R-S in their final game.

W-G topped Saydel, 21-8 and 21-7 before falling to R-S and then slipping past Perry. The Hawks finished with a 24-26, 21-18, 16-14 victory against Ballard.

Perry’s record moved to 9-16 overall after the tourney, during which head coach Kristel Schultz saw several reasons to be positive.

“We were getting better sets and were hitting harder,” she said. “I thought we were playing scrappier than we have at times. We could still be more effective with passes to the net, but overall I thought we played hard and I was happy with that.”

Perry had little trouble in their opening win against the Eagles, but dropped a lopsided first game to Ballard before evening the match and forcing a third game. The Jayettes saw a 12-9 lead turn into a 14-12 deficit, but, with the win on the line, managed to knot the score at 14-all. The teams traded missed serves and missed hits until Perry pulled away for a 19-17 match victory.

Woodward-Granger's Bree Lesch attacks from the back row against Perry Thursday. On the court for W-G are, from left, Mary Hansen, Julie Pitman, Alyssa Bice and Anna Nelson while Adrian Thompson (18), Victoria Hegstrom, Jo Diw (back) and Grace Marburger (11) await the ball for the Jayettes.
Woodward-Granger’s Bree Lesch attacks from the back row against Perry Thursday. On the court for W-G are, from left, Mary Hansen, Julie Pitman, Alyssa Bice and Anna Nelson while Adrian Thompson (18), Victoria Hegstrom, Jo Diw (back) and Grace Marburger (11) await the ball for the Jayettes.

W-G (21-8 overall) also blitzed Saydel but then ran into a Roland-Story team that was the tallest of the five squads in the tourney. R-S won game one and W-G game two before the Norse used a long series of Hawk mishits to score an easy 15-4 win in game three.

It was the first loss for W-G since a 2-1 setback to Johnston Sept. 19. All eight losses have been to schools larger than the Hawks, who play in Class 2A.

“We were not playing real sharp and it just wasn’t good enough for us against them (R-S),” W-G head coach Meg Jackson said. “We muddled through too much tonight instead of playing with a lot of energy and that is going to have to change.”

The first game of the Perry vs. W-G match was a back-and-forth affair until the Hawks squeaked out a 22-20 win, with sharp hitting allowing W-G to end the match with a 21-14 win in the second game.

Perry's Victoria Hegstrom and Jo Diw (1) defend against a kill attempt from W-G's Mary Hansen Thursday. Grace Marburger (11) watches for Perry and Kara Bodensteiner (16), Alyssa Bice (11) and Kaycee Major (12) for W-G.
Perry’s Victoria Hegstrom and Jo Diw (1) defend against a kill attempt from W-G’s Mary Hansen Thursday. Grace Marburger (11) watches for Perry and Kara Bodensteiner (16), Alyssa Bice (11) and Kaycee Major (12) for W-G.

Perry struggled in the first game against R-S but showed a determined approach in the second game despite falling, 21-16.

The insertion of junior Adrian Thompson — who had 11 kills Thursday — into the front row rotation appeared to give Perry a spark at different stages in the tourney, a point Schultz was quick to note.

“I think maybe Adrian was the change-up we needed,” she said. “We might have finally landed on a lineup that is the most effective combination we can create.”

W-G discovered Ballard was set on playing hard all the way as well, as the Bombers snatched a 26-24 win in game one. The Hawks responded with a 21-18 win in game two before seeing a 14-11 lead in game three disappear as the Bombers scored three consecutive points to put the match win back in play.

Kills from Anna Nelson and Olivia McCune gave W-G a 16-14 win and second-place in the tourney.

Perry's Taylor Lathrum spikes the ball past the defense of Ballard's Madison Knutson (8) and Gabrielle Doud (14) Thursday.
Perry’s Taylor Lathrum spikes the ball past the defense of Ballard’s Madison Knutson (8) and Gabrielle Doud (14) Thursday.

Ellie Nielsen led Perry with 16 kills, with Victoria Hegstrom adding 14 kills, Thompson and Jo Diw 11 kills apiece, Grace Marburger eight and Taylor Lathrum five. Nielsen finished with 20 assists and Sidney Vancil with 17, with Lathrum making four blocks and Diw and Hegstrom one each.

Marburger’s 17 digs led the hosts, with Mariah Duffy and Sydney Guerra providing six digs each while Vancil had five and Diw four to help the defense.

Diw had eight aces on 25-of-30 serving and Nielsen three aces on 27-of-28 serving. Marburger was 25-25-1 behind the line and Lathrum 22-of-24 with Hegstrom 12-13-2, Vancil 10-of-10, Guerra 2-of-3 and Maddie West 2-of-3.

McCune’s 33 kills paced W-G, with Mary Hansen tallying 23 kills, Bree Lesch 13 and Julie Pitman 10. Alyssa Bice distributed 48 assists and Hansen 37, with McCune tallying five blocks, Nelson three and Hansen two.

A 40-42-5 serving effort from McCune was tops for the Hawks, with Lesch 27-31-5 and Kaycee Major 26-31-5 while Hansen had a team-best eight aces. Libero player Kara Bodensteiner’s 58 digs was the team-high, with Lesch making 50 digs and Major 26.

Perry returns to action Thursday with a trip to Carlisle before playing in the Knoxville Invitational Oct. 17. W-G hosts Earlham Tuesday, visits Guthrie Center Thursday and hosts the Norm McCune Invitational Oct. 17.

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