Cottonwood Chronicle / Greg Wherry
The 2014 1AD1 state volleyball champion Prairie Pirates are: (front row from left) stats keeper Sam Remacle, Krystin Uhlenkott, Hailey Danly, Sarah Seubert, Chaye Uptmor and stats keeper Sierra Latimer; (back row) assistant coach Marlene Forsmann, Shayla VonBargen, Kellie Heitman, Holli Uhlorn, Natasha Gimmeson, Kayla Schumacher, head coach Cheyenne Hudson and Mykaela McWilliams.
As of Wednesday, November 5, 2014
WENDELL — Starting in the mid-1990s and continuing until last week, Troy and Genesee put together an impressive run: 12 of the past 18 class 1A division titles. But Prairie will mark 2014 as the year when a senior-led squad directed by Whitepine League “coach of the year” Cheyenne Hudson topped both the league and the state.
On the way to the top, all-WPL first-teamers Kayla Schumacher and Krystin Uhlenkott produced a high volume of timely kills, assisted by all-WPL second-team setters Tasha Gimmeson and Hailey Danly.
Crucially, Prairie’s all-WPL honorable mention libero Chaye Uptmor and two middles — all-WPL second-teamer Holli Uhlorn and Shayla VonBargen — gave Hudson the means to counter one of the tallest athletes in the tournament.
That was WPL “player of the year” Abbey Blum, who anchored the third-place Troy team Prairie defeated (25-20, 25-21, 25-11) during the semifinal last Saturday, Nov. 1.
Uhlorn delivered a stuffed block on match point to send PHS to the finals.
During the championship game, Prairie defeated Genesee (25-18, 25-21, 26-24) on the strength of a timely strike by Schumacher at the conclusion of the third set.
During the opening round last Friday, Oct. 31, Prairie swept Oakley (25-19, 25-12, 25-22). The Pirates dropped only one set all the tournament. Genesee rallied after falling a game behind, but nevertheless the Pirates slew Genesee (25-20, 23-25, 25-15, 26-24) to advance to the knock-out rounds unbeaten.
The Pirates (26-5 overall) finished with only two league losses — one apiece to each of Troy and Genesee — and did not lose a match during post-season play.
VonBargen, Uhlenkott and Danly will be seniors next year.