JaKaili Norman

JaKaili Norman

“We had never beaten them since I’ve been here,” Grangeville senior middle blocker JaKaili Norman said of the Bulldogs’ five-set win over Prairie last Thursday night, Sept. 5. “We all went out with confidence. We had all set personal little goals before that game, and we all fulfilled them.”

Norman had put in time during the summer, going to volleyball camps and working on serves with Ally Williams, who had a huge night — 10 aces — in her return to action following an injury last winter. “She tore her ACL last basketball season,” Norman said. “She did a lot of physical therapy, she worked hard in the offseason, she got cleared to go, and that’s good for us — she’s a good asset for the team, and she’s good to go.”

The game flow against Prairie saw the Grangeville girls handle the ups-and-downs most volleyball teams experience every match.

“It was kinda weird,” Norman said. “We won two games then they won two games. Prairie cleaned up in that third game, and we had more mistakes. And that’s tough. ... We’re working on that mental process of keeping our heads up even if we make a dumb mistake. ... So in the last game, it was like ‘Ok guys, we need to battle, let’s go.’”

The win against Prairie marked Grangeville’s first in seven years.

“Megan Bashaw moved to middle hitter and did awesome,” Norman said. “She hadn’t been a middle before ... she’s doing so good at it. She and Macy Smith are both building up that self-confidence — and our setters [Williams and Hayden Hill] are doing great as well.”

This Bulldog of the Week athlete highlight is brought to you by: Super 8.

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