Grangeville Although the Pirates’ season opener bounced away from them at Troy on Sept. 3, Prairie has gone undefeated since. PHS carried a weeklong winning streak into the eight-team tournament at GHS last Saturday and won every one of their ten sets against teams from across the area.
Leading up to the tournament, the Pirates beat Lapwai on Sept. 9 and swept CV on Sept. 10. Then, on Thursday, Sept. 10, Prairie served its way to a win over Grangeville (20-25, 25-15, 25-15, 25-20).
At one point, Grangeville led the opening set Thursday night 22-10. The Pirates rallied; though they were unable to steal the first set after falling so far behind, they won the match with a continuing surge.
“We struggled with our serve receive in the next three sets and we never recovered,” Grangeville coach Kelcey Edwards said.
The Pirates and Bulldogs fashioned a rematch two days later by scorching the rest of the tournament field on Sept. 14.
Prairie’s route to the tournament title match went through Nezperce (25-17, 25-10), Kamiah (25-10, 25-21), Summit (25-20, 25-16) and Clearwater Valley (25-18, 25-14).
Grangeville’s went through Highland (25-5, 25-11), Cascade (25-11, 25-9), Clearwater Valley (25-11, 25-18) and Nezperce (25-15, 16-25, 15-12).
After holding off Nezperce in an extra set, the Bulldogs played Prairie better than they had on Thursday night, Edwards said.
“We passed better on Saturday and I was glad to see the improvement in this area of our game,” he said. “We still need to improve our serving percentage a little, but we are making progress in all areas of our game.”
Krystin Uhlenkott (3.6 kills per game), Shayla VonBargen (2.3 kills per game) and Hailey Danly (5.9 assists per game) powered Prairie’s push to the finish on Saturday. On Thursday, the offensive numbers belonged to Leah Holthaus (2.8 kills per game) and Kayla Schumacher (2.0 kills per game).
Grangeville’s key cogs on Saturday were Chantel Key (3.5 kills per game) and Hannah Baker (7.4 assists per game) alongside Taylor Hazelbaker, Delanie Adams and Addie Lutz.
On Thursday, Key delivered (3.0 kills per game) on Baker’s assists (5.0 per game), along with Lutz and Hazelbaker.
The “all-tournament” team was: Key (Grangeville), Kyndahl Ulmer (Kamiah), Schumacher (Prairie), Baker (Grangeville), Sarah Mosman (Nezperce), Ally Hale (Summit), Shaylynn Gutzman (Clearwater Valley) and Holthaus (Prairie).
Coming — Prairie (8-1) hosted Kamiah on Sept. 17, and is set to visit Genesee on Thursday, Sept. 19, for a tri-match that also includes Potlatch. On Saturday, the Pirates will play at the Border Battle Tournament in Pomeroy.
Grangeville (10-3) visited Orofino on Sept. 17, and will visit Cascade for a triangular with Tri-Valley on Thursday, Sept. 19.
Kamiah will host Troy on Thursday night and is set to play at the Border Battle Tournament in Pomeroy on Saturday, Sept. 21. Kamiah will visit Potlatch on Sept. 24.
CV hosted Potlatch on Sept. 17, and will host a tri-match with Lapwai and Troy on Thursday, Sept. 19. The Rams will visit Timberline on Sept. 23 and will host Grangeville on Tuesday, Sept. 24.
Summit played Kendrick at Highland on Sept. 17 and will play at Highland on Sept. 23 and at Deary Sept. 24.