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Perham ends Detroit Lakes volleyball's playoff run

Junior Middle Hitter Carrie Sorensen attempts a kill during the Sub-Section semifinals Friday in Ralph Anderson Gym. (Taylor Blank/DL Newspapers)

Sometimes history doesn't repeat itself, no matter how recent.

For the Detroit Lakes volleyball team, a repeat of recent history was desired -- but not had -- in the Lakers' narrow 3-2 loss to visiting Perham Friday night during the Sub-Section South semifinals inside Ralph Anderson Gym.

It was only a week before, the Lakers broke a 15-match losing streak to the Yellowjackets with a sweep, to help secure a No. 3 seed heading into the Section playoffs.

But the No. 6 Yellowjackets came in with a swing of momentum after upsetting No. 2 Breckenridge the night before and set the tone Friday with a 25-23 win in game one.

From there, the Lakers kept answering Perham's wins, but couldn't overtake the visitors in the decisive game five, losing 15-11.

"We just were not able to generate runs in our losses," said DL head coach Beth Leighton. "In our wins, we were able to maintain runs of three to four points, but in our losses, there would be long rallies, one serve and then a sideout."

The scores reflected the Lakers were in control during the victories, winning games two and four 25-15 and 25-12.

All three losses were from within the four-point range by the scores of 25-22, 25-23 and 15-11.

Perham senior middle hitter Elisa Moenkedick came out strong and finished the evening with 12 kills. Her quick kills down the heart of the DL defense were rally killers throughout the match.

"I felt (Moenkedick) came out more aggressive than the last time we played them," Leighton said. "And they took out (DL middle hitter) Ashlyn Jasken, but Bethany Stoltenburg was incredible for us on both the front and backrow."

Stoltenburg finished with a team-high 15 kills, while junior middle hitter Carrie Sorensen had another strong offensive game with 14.

"There just wasn't one thing which hurt us, it came down to two good teams who battled to the end," Leighton included.

After Perham's 25-22 win in the opening game, the Lakers cruised out to a 15-9 advantage and held the momentum for a 25-15 win.

The pivotal game three was nip-and-tuck throughout, with no more than a three-point advantage separating the teams up to a 21-21 tie.

Moenkedick blasted down a kill to break the tie, then added another soon after for a 23-21 Perham lead.

The big Yellowjacket middle hitter then proceeded to score on defense with a block on a DL hit to give Perham the game-point opportunity.

Sorensen came up with a crucial block and DL point to give the Lakers the sideout down 24-22, which was upped to 24-23 after a Perham netball.

But Moenkedick made sure there would be no comeback with a nice soft tip volley over the net, which found an open spot on the DL side of the floor for the win.

"The last time we played Perham, they played with a 5-1 set, (in the playoffs) they played a 6-2 and it helped keep their setters fresh," Leighton said.

Again, the Lakers had an answer by bolting to a 12-2 edge in game four and eventually built a commanding 20-9 lead for the 25-12 triumph.

"I felt like the girls didn't revert back to safe play, instead were aggressive and made the necessary adjustments," the DL coach included.

The largest gap in game five early belonged to DL when they built a 7-5 advantage, but it was 10-10 in no time.

But a DL tip out of bounds extended Perham's lead to 12-10, with Sorensen pulling the Lakers back to within one with a well-placed tip of her own.

But Moenkedick once again was up to the task, lacing another kill for the 13-11 edge, then another soft tip over the front line of DL for a 14-11 lead.

The match ended with a Laker netball, to finish the Laker's season with a 12-10 record.

DL setter Rachel Shane finished with 52 assists, while having two solo and nine assisted blocks.

Sorensen added four solo and 12 assisted blocks, while Mackenzie Gedrose was 18-24 in digs. Jasken finished the night going 17-17 from the service line with two ace serves.

Perham advanced to face undefeated Wadena-Deer Creek Tuesday, losing 3-0.

The Wolverines will face Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton at Hawley Saturday for a 7 p.m. start for the Section 8-2A championship.

Laker results

Sub-Section 8-2A semifinals: (6) Perham at (3) Detroit Lakes, Friday, Oct. 30.

Yellowjackets 3, Lakers 2

(25-22, 15-25, 25-23, 12-25, 15-11)

DL stat leaders -- Kills: Bethany Stoltenburg 15, Carrie Sorensen 14...Digs: Ashlyn Jasken 19-24; Mackenzie Gedrose 18-24...Block: Sorensen 4 solos, 12 assisted; Rachel Shane 2 solo, 9 assisted...Serving: Jasken 17-17, 2 aces...Setting: Shane 52 assists.