PROSPER — It was a special night at Prosper High School on Tuesday, Oct. 10. With the post-season quickly approaching, the varsity volleyball team kicked off their last week of home competition with a victory over Carrollton Creekview, and recognition of the six seniors who will be leaving the program at the end of the season.
Prosper will graduate six players, all of whom will be attending college: Macy Walterscheid: Oklahoma State University, Taryn Weber: Oklahoma Baptist University – Volleyball, Chloe Hancock: University of Central Oklahoma – Volleyball, Spencer Smith: Colorado University, Hope Gramly: McKendree University – Volleyball/Bowling and Haley Killinger: Texas Tech – Volleyball
For the seniors, it was an emotional but fun night to celebrate their accomplishments with the program.
“We’ve played since we were in third grade together, so this is kinda sad for us,” said Smith. “Seeing the juniors sitting on the bench giving us those flowers made me really sad… but it’s been a good four years.”
Walterscheid said that the atmosphere in the gym is something she will miss the most.
“I really will miss the student section, and the energy you get from playing in the arena,” she said. “It’s just really special.”
Following the senior recognitions, both teams were eager to get out on the court and get the game started. Prosper remains one of the top programs in the state, holding a number 2 state ranking according to Sports Day.
Carrollton Creekview hasn’t seen the same success this season. The Lady Mustangs have won just one game this year against district foe RL Turner on Sept. 29. Prior to the match they were 1-8 in district play (1-26 overall) and in last place in District 14-5A. They also lost their last game to McKinney North 3-1 on Friday, Oct. 6.
In honor of Senior Day, Kauffman was able to start every senior. But with an unfamiliar lineup, Creekview capitalized on Prosper’s early mistakes as the home team warmed up to the rotation. They snagged the first 3 points, but a missed serve was the only catalyst Prosper needed to get back on track. Hancock tied the set with an overset kill out of the middle, followed by kills from fellow seniors Weber and Gramly. Weber added another powerful kill through the block to push the Lady Eagle lead out to 7-4. And as the offense continued to heat up, they forced a Creekview timeout with junior Kayla Martin at the service line. Martin continued to serve after the timeout, but a ricocheted block finally returned the ball to Creekview. The Lady Mustangs would give the ball right back to Prosper after a missed serve, and with the Lady Eagles back in their usual rotation, they ran away with score. Gramly registered a series of blocks that eventually earned her a slide kill down the line, and Walterschied led the Eagles to a 21-7 lead before Prosper allowed Creekview to score. As all six the seniors returned to court, the Lady Eagles coasted to a 25-10 win for set one.
Continuing with the senior-dominated lineup, it was Prosper who stole the lead in set two. A few rare defensive errors allowed Creekview to stay in the match, especially with the Lady Mustang hitters finding their stride at the net. Their hopes for taking set two remained pretty high early in the set. The visitors rallied within one point of Prosper before tying the set at 7 all. Junior Ciera Hecht put the Lady Eagles back on top with a strong kill out of the left, but errors plagued the home team. Prosper finally got back on track when junior Madi Whitmire stepped back to serve. She pushed her team out to a comfortable nine-point lead before finally missing a short serve into the net. The offense continued to tack on points, including two back row kills by Killinger. Smith closed out the set with a powerful ace to take set two 25-12.
The score remained close in set three as the Lady Eagles looked to end the night with sweep.
With both teams battling throughout the set, the Lady Eagles managed to stay on top as Creekview couldn’t return any of Prosper’s offense. The team relied on Hecht and Gramly to keep them ahead, but struggled to find a rhythm in the third. They maintained control of the score before Whitmire went back to the line to serve. The junior setter brought Prosper within three points of clinching the match, and a block from Hancock and Hecht closed out the third and final set 25-9.
As the team approaches the end of the regular season, they continue to dominate on all facets of the game. Head Coach Erin Kauffman has a special bond with each of the seniors, and said she will definitely miss their presence on and off the court next year.
“You never know how a class is going to pan out,” said Kauffman. “This has been a really good senior class… I want us to be as successful as they can be this year for the seniors because I think they’ve done such a good job leading.”