RICHARDSON — Following an impressive victory over Frisco Reedy on Tuesday, Nov. 7, the Lady Eagles secured a place in the Regional Tournament for the first time since 2014 with their win on Friday, Nov. 10.
They matched up against the Red Oak High School Lady Hawks, who had previously swept Midlothian on Tuesday, Nov. 7.
Led by long-time head coach Hope Porter, the Lady Hawks had a very impressive run this season. Although they didn’t play as many games as Prosper, they posted a 37-5 record prior to the match with Prosper and won the District 10-5A Championship with a record of 12-2.
With a sea of green supporting the Lady Eagles at Richardson Berkner, Prosper wasted no time getting on the scoreboard in set one. Led by junior Kayla Martin at the service line, Prosper went up early. The Lady Hawks quickly followed suit, pulling within one point before eventually taking the lead themselves in a two-point run. Prosper senior Haley Killinger responded with a big block to end the Red Oak scoring, followed by a big kill to regain the lead. Both teams continued the back-and-forth scoring, as senior Taryn Weber and junior Ciera Hecht kept the ball rolling for the Prosper offense. With the Lady Eagles leading 16-15 in the first, Red Oak took their first timeout, allowing the Lady Eagles to build some momentum out of the break. The team went on a four-point run to force another Red Oak timeout. The Lady Eagles eventually finished the set victorious at 25-21.
The first point of set two was awarded to Prosper, but again Red Oak’s persistence made a big impact early in the set. They kept the score tied up, until Prosper offense got rolling. Killinger’s strong swing consistently scored points for the Lady Eagles, and senior Hope Gramly came alive in the second with a big kill past the defense. As the set continued, the Lady Eagles held strong defensively by not allowing the opponent to score any points. After a five-point extending the Prosper lead, however, the Lady Hawks rallied back to get right back into the game. Coach Erin Kauffman was forced to take a timeout in order to regroup. The back-and-forth scoring carried through the entire set, with Hecht earning a few more kills for the Lady Eagles. Junior Morgan Monroe checked into the set and earned an ace to give Prosper a 15-13 lead, and fellow junior Madi Whitmire helped lead the team to another win over the Lady Hawks with some big plays at the net. With the final score at 25-19, the finish line was in sight as Prosper held a 2-0 lead over Red Oak.
Again, the Lady Eagles captured the first point of set three, setting the tone for the rest of the match after Gramly got up for the big block. The senior followed the play up with back-to-back slide kills to put the Lady Eagles ahead 3-1. The offense continued to roll through the Lady Hawks, both at the net and in the back row. Defensively, Prosper continued to hold strong with senior Macy Walterschied at the helm. Gramly and Killinger led the charge up front, and Weber saw some action from the right side with her deadly cross-court slice. The Lady Hawks tried to stay afloat, but with all the momentum with the ladies in green, they could not match the strong Prosper play. They would come within two points of stealing a set from Prosper, but ultimately the Lady Hawks fell in three to Prosper, with the final set score at 25-23.
Killinger capped off her night with 12 kills, 9 digs and 3 blocks. Hecht recorded 11 kills and 8 digs, and Gramly also had a big night with 8 kills and 2 blocks. Defensively Martin was all over the court with 11 total digs, and Whitmire finished the match with 39 assists, 5 kills and 12 kills.
“We blocked pretty well tonight,” Kauffman said. “Haley Killinger had a great all-around game.”
The win matched Prosper up with Lovejoy High School the next day. Prior to the match, Kauffman said the mentality was strong for her team.
“We just have to fight and play relentless pursuit defense. We have to serve really aggressive and not let (Madison Waters) score points on the outside.”