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Volleyball preview: A battle for supremacy: Otters look to prove superiority over top seeded Yellowjackets

Published 11:41am Monday, October 28, 2013

The Fergus Falls Otters were able to celebrate Friday night after a three set victory over Barnesville in the Section 8AA playoffs.

It wasn’t the Fergus girls best game, but they got the job done.

With a slow start that saw the Trojans jump out to a five-point lead, the Otters were able to rally back to claim a nine-point win and carry the momentum into the final two sets.

“I don’t know what it is,” Otter coach Renee Erickson said of the slow start, “but whatever it is, we need to correct if we are going to get deeper into the playoffs.”

The Otters will now have to switch its focus to the Heart O’Lakes Conference champion Perham Yellowjackets.

The Yellowjackets were able to claim the top seed in the south half of the section, edging out the No. 7 ranked (Class AA) Otters.

With neither team facing each other during the regular season, Perham was awarded the top seed based off QRF standings. The Otters, due to conference obligations, played only five of its 27 regular season games against sectional opponents and all were in the north half of the bracket.

This has caused debate amongst fans as to which team should have received the top seed as Perham boasts a superior record, while the Otters play a predominantly Class AAA schedule.

On Friday, the Yellowjackets were able to defeat the Frazee Hornets in four sets, but were in a hard fought battle most of the evening.

Perham has had a stunning turnaround this season, going from a 9-19 team last season to a 26-2 force.

“What I know about Perham is that they are a very consistent team,” Erickson said. “We will have to be on top of our game and not have a let down in any of the sets.”

One of the Yellowjackets main strengths is their serve receive as seniors Tina Scheidecker and Tina Schmitz were in the top five in digs in the HOL.

Scheidecker also reached a milestone Friday as she recorded her 1,000th career dig in the sub-section victory.

Perham head coach Eryn Moser will have here girls ready as she has noticed weaknesses in the Fergus six in scouting the Otters.

Fergus will need outside hitter Anna Monke to continue her recent hot streak at the net, while the Otters will look to the consistent play of Brianna Rasmusson to help them battle through a tough opponent.

In area play, the Battle Lake Battler girls were able to edge third-seeded West Central Area in five-sets and will take on Wheaton/Herman-Norcross in the Section 6A south semifinal.

The Battlers will look to avenge an opening season, four-set loss to the Warriors.

Also in the southern half of the section. The number one seeded Henning Hornets, a three-set winner over Parkers Prairie, will take on Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley.

The Wolverines were able to sweep the Brandon-Evansville Chargers Friday.

In the northern half of the bracket, New York Mills, a two-seed, blew past the Rothsay Tigers in three sets.

The Eagles will host the Mahnomen Indians at Hawley.

The Otters and Yellowjackets will take the court at 7 p.m. Tuesday, while the Battlers and Eagles will play at 7:30 p.m. The Hornets will have an earlier game as it begins play at 6 p.m.

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