Photo by Andrew Ottoson
Grangeville outplayed Prairie during the fifth set last Thursday night, Sept. 15, at GHS, partly on the strength of Paige Lindsley’s play in the middle. Prairie’s attacks frequently went through Chaye Uptmor (right), whose hitting challenged the Bulldogs.
The teams will rematch Oct. 11 at Prairie.
As of Wednesday, September 21, 2016
GRANGEVILLE It had been years since Grangeville last beat Prairie in volleyball, and the Bulldogs pulled a narrow win from a close contest Thursday night at GHS, with five sets tipping in the Bulldogs' favor (25-27, 25-16, 17-25, 25-20, 15-12) on the strength of several well-timed spikes by Maicee Conner.
Prairie led the fourth game 10-5 after the Pirates put away a long point, but GHS tied it at 13-13 with Rachel Kelley serving, As they had after Grangeville rallied late in the first game, the teams played each other within a couple of points -- until Paige Lindsley notched a point at 17-19 that started her turn at the serve line. Her serves forced another PHS time-out, as she delivered a couple of aces and Kelley scored once on a spike and once on a joust against Angela Wemhoff. Prairie regained the serve trailing 24-20, but Kenzie Kennedy's kill forced a fifth game.
The tiebreaker was tied at 4-4 when Conner notched back-to-back kills, and she smoked another one at 7-5. Prairie held within two points and tied it at 12-12 on an ace by Chaye Uptmor. After a Grangeville time-out, Lindsley tallied the go-ahead point and GHS coach Kelcey Edwards tabbed Sophia Bush to serve, after which GHS finally pulled away.
“It was tough,” Edwards said. “It had been a while since we beat them. The girls really wanted this one, and maybe we pushed too much early.”
“We couldn't keep a pass on our side of the net during the first game,” he added. “We put a lot of effort into getting back in it and didn't finish. Katrina Frei's serves in that second game got us even. We hung around in the third one, and it didn't seem like we were even in the fourth. The girls were quiet, the crowd was quiet. But in the fifth, that's how we were playing earlier in the year. That was good to see.”
Conner, he said, “stepped up tonight and played well.”
From the Prairie point of view, it was a tough continuation to what has been a tough start to the season.
“The effort is there,” PHS coach Cheyenne Hudson said. “We've got to keep making those small improvements. Grangeville defended well... Hopefully by the time we see them again, we'll be improved.”
She said Prairie's run of wins over Grangeville had dated back to 2013.
Coming — These teams will play each other again Oct. 11 at PHS.
For Grangeville, Central Idaho League play opened this week with Orofino visiting on Sept. 20 and continues with a visit to St. Maries at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24.
For Prairie, a home match against Whitepine League rival Genesee is slated for Sept. 22.
Prairie will be at the Pomeroy Border Battle Tournament on Saturday, Sept. 24, and at Lapwai Sept. 27.