Jayettes play strong at Perry Invitational

Cesar J ToledoSports ReporterCtoledo@theperrychief.com
Jayettes play strong at Perry Invitational

By Cesar J Toledo

Sports Reporter

Ctoledo@theperrychief.com

This past Thursday, September 10th, Perry High School played host to seven schools including its own Jayettes. Perry fans watched in awe as the Jayettes amassed an impressive three wins and only one loss, which improved its record to an overall 7-10 and are now two games behind first place ADM.

When the Jayettes took the court, the crowd was electric as their cheers echoed throughout the gym. Local resident Bonnie Helmers was among the spectators cheering the team and her granddaughter Perry sophomore Johanna Diw. Helmers consistently tries to attend every home game to show her love and support.

“I’ve watched her since she has been old enough to play,” she said.

Local residents weren’t the only ones donning their blue and whites. The school’s swim team ended its practice early and were in full force cheering their team on. Head coach Jean Dowd along with her team traditionally makes the effort to show support for their fellow compadres.

“We try to go to at least one fall sport game for each sport,” she said.

The deafening cheers seemed to ignite a fire as the Jayettes started off hot winning its first match 22-20 against Collins-Maxwell-Baxter Raiders (CMB). The Jayettes’ play cooled off a little as the it led the game but mental mistakes proved costly as they lost 23-21. The team played poised - taking game three by four points in a 15-11 victory.

Junior Grace Marburger, who has been playing with a hurt wrist since the ADM Invitational two weeks ago, was the server when Perry earned its final point against CMB.

“Just get it over,” she said. “Give it a chance because you don’t want to miss a serve, because that’s not giving it a chance for us to get another point.”

In its second match the Jayettes were matched up against the Earlham Cardinals. The first game was an all-out battle as the teams went back and forth with neither taking a commanding lead. The Cardinals finally broke free and took a close game one, 21-18. In game two the Jayettes were dominant as they won by nine points in a 21-12 score. At one point the team rang off eight straight points to extend their lead 10-3. Senior Ellie Nielsen accounted for four of those points with her smashing spikes which killed the competition.

“If I get a kill the first time, I work on where that spot was,” she said. “So the next time I am going to go there because they’re not covering. I keep trying to roll or hit harder to skip their line shot.”

In game three the Cardinals were firing on all cylinders as they defeated Perry 15-7. The Jayettes couldn’t muster much and couldn’t get in rhythm.

“ I think they got on a roll and we gave them too many points in a row,” Nielsen said. “I feel if we would’ve stayed and maybe made some more serves than we could’ve stayed with them.”

The loss made it a must-win against the Panorama Panthers, if Perry wanted to have any chance of playing for first place. The team showed up in a big way. The Jayettes dominated game one as it won by 13 points in an impressive 21-8 game. Game two offered a much more dramatic finish as the Jayettes started hot but quickly got cold as the Panthers mounted a comeback. The team didn’t let that hiccup define its night as it was able to squeak out game two 21-19. Head coach Kristel Schultz was proud to see how hard her team competed.

“The girls played gutsy,” she said. “We were in so many situations where we could have given up, and the team fought hard to earn the win or at least compete.”

The win versus the Panthers put Perry, Earlham, and CMB in a three-way tie to see which team would be competing in the first place games. After much deliberation it was determined through head-to-head matchups, that CMB was awarded the first place game followed by Earlham in the third place game. Perry drew the short stick and competed for fifth place versus the Carlisle Wildcats.

Perry earned fifth place by defeating the Wildcats in three games. It was a tough three games for the Jayettes as both its wins came down to the wire. Both teams split the first two games. Perry took game one 25-22, while the Wildcats nabbed game two 25-15. The final game was close as the Jayettes squeaked by with a 16-14 win.

The team had four days off and then traveled to Ballard High School. The Jayettes went 0-3 by a combined 21 points in the contest. The loss puts Perry at 7-11 overall and 0-2 in conference play.

Next on the schedule for the Jayettes will be their face-off against Bondurant-Farrar High School on September 22 at Perry.

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