FRISCO — Last season’s playoff run was one to remember for the Lady Eagles volleyball team. The girls were undefeated in the district before the post season. They would continue their unbeaten streak until the Regional Tournament, where they dropped a heartbreaking loss to Frisco Wakeland.
Without dwelling on the past for too long, the girls have since returned to the court with a fire in their hearts. The loss to Wakeland, though crushing at the time, has since fueled the teams desire to improve upon last season’s already impressive record, and to find a way back to the playoffs.
And given the chance to set the tone for the rest of the season, Prosper would take on two of its toughest opponents in their season opener: Waxahachie, and none other than Frisco Wakeland.
“Both of these teams are always a thorn in our side,” said head coach Erin Kauffman. “It’s hard to beat both of them and you’ve got to be playing well to beat either of them.”
As added pressure for the Lady Eagles, Wakeland was the host.
Nonetheless, the Kauffman and the girls headed to Frisco Wakeland for the doubleheader.
In the first game of the evening, Prosper played Waxahachie, a team that the Lady Eagles have become very familiar with in recent years. Last season, they split wins, but on Aug. 7 it was Prosper who emerged as the victor. Despite playing without their best hitter due to an injury, Waxahachie proved to be a tough contender in the match. Known for their ball control, the Lady Indians did not go down without a fight, but, in the end, strong offense and tough blocking sealed the victory for Prosper.
In a quick turnaround, the girls immediately turned their attention to Wakeland, but Kauffman said the first set served as a wake-up call for the girls.
“We didn’t play very well. I think we were expecting to beat them easier because they graduated almost all of their starters except for a few so the kinda shocked us.”
But the deficit was short-lived as the Lady Eagles quickly bounced back to a two-set lead. Heading into the fourth set, the tensions were high, and Wakeland managed to squeak out a two-point win, forcing the decisive fifth set.
With the game on the line, Prosper was in need of leadership, and senior outside hitter Haley Killinger answered the call.
“[Killinger] came alive in the fifth set with her jump serve,” Kauffman said of the senior. “Offensively she led the team with 25 kills on the night, and everything she touched turned into a point for us.”
Though the win was a total team effort, Kauffman noted a few other players that made a big impact on the night, including setter Madi Whitmire, libero Kayla Martin, outside hitter Samantha Jacobs and middle blocker Hope Gramly.
With the season off to an explosive 2-0 start, Prosper now turns their attention to Adidas John Turner Classic Tournament in Pearland on August 10-12. The girls are seeded 12th out of 80 teams, and the tournament is invite-only.