TROPHY CLUB – After an exciting 3-1 win over the McKinney Lionettes on Tuesday, the Lady Eagles volleyball team turned their attention to the Northwest ISD weekend tournament. It was a weekend stuffed with games, and Prosper, who finished 7-2 at the tournament, walked away with a 3rd place finish.
The extended weekend began on Thursday, Aug. 17 as Prosper opened the tournament at Byron Nelson High School with three big sweeps against Midlothian (25-21, 25-16), Mansfield High (25-16, 25-20), and Flowermound Marcus (25-17, 25-14). Prosper took first in their pool and advanced to Gold for day two. Freshman Samantha Jacobs and senior Haley Killinger led the way offensively with a combined 34 kills, followed by senior Taryn Weber who added six more kills. Junior setter Madi Whitmire was red-hot during gameplay, with 73 total assists and 3 blocks. Defensively, Prosper was tough to beat with senior middle blocker Hope Gramly at the net. She recorded four blocks, while junior Morgan Monroe handled the back row with 13 digs.
Thursday’s victories were short-lived, however, as the Lady Eagles were pitted against strong competition on Friday, Aug. 18. After sweeping Frisco 25-13 and 25-15, the team turned their attention to Amarillo. Head coach Erin Kauffman said her team battled the entire match, but the eventual tournament-winners proved too powerful for Prosper, who lost in two (18-25, 14-25).
“We played [them] tough,” Kauffman said. “Amarillo is just so good… if you took the score out of it, it looked like a pretty good game, but they won so many rallies that the score didn’t reflect how well we played them.”
Prosper tried to bounce back in game three against Frisco Liberty, taking the first set 25-23, but sophomore Jenna Wanaas and the rest of the Liberty squad rallied back to take two straight sets (19-25, 20-25) and the match. Gramly and fellow middle blocker Chloe Hancock each had three blocks, and Gramly had five kills. Killinger and Weber were also on the attack with a combined 25 kills, and Monroe was again very active in the back, recording 11 digs. Whitmire had 22 assists, and co-setter Spencer Smith added 20 sets to the match. With Friday’s competition in the books, Prosper was set to battle for the bronze on Saturday, Aug. 19.
Saturday began with another match up with Mansfield High. The Lady Eagles quickly took two straight sets (25-15, 25-21). Killinger had 14 kills, and Whitmire expanded her play a bit with 25 assists and 18 digs in the sweep. The Lady Eagles continued their day with another big victory over Frisco Reedy. The team took a 1-0 lead over Reedy with a long first match; the score finally ended at 28-26 in favor of Prosper, and eventually took the sweep at 25-19. Junior outside hitter Ciera Hecht came alive with 11 kills and 9 digs in the win. In the final match of the tournament for Prosper, the Lady Eagles would take on Aledo, one of the state’s top programs. The game went the distance, but it was Prosper who came out on top. They defeated the Lady Cats in three (25-14, 23-25 and 25-18) to secure a third-place finish. Killinger and Hecht led the offensive charge, with 16 and 12 kills respectively, while Gramly added six blocks. Whitmire was busy all game, with 35 assists and 11 digs, and senior defensive specialist Macy Walterscheid had a solid performance with 11 digs out of the back.
“I thought we finished on day three by playing the best volleyball I’ve seen us play,” Kauffman said about the tournament results. “I’m looking forward to [the team] getting back in the gym and practicing as a team.”
The Lady Eagles are now 16-4 on the season and will return home on Tuesday, Aug, 22 to take on Richardson at 6:30 p.m.