The Monument/Dayville Tigers may have had a rough start to their week, but a will to win took them over the top in Saturday’s match against the Prairie City Panthers.
The Tigers claimed victory in Monument 3-1 with scores of 25-20, 8-25, 25-20 and 25-14.
“I am beyond thrilled,” said Tiger head coach Kristi Emerson. “We’ve come a long ways.”
She said they found out that due to a player switching schools, their earlier games were forfeited — 10 games, including three league matches.
“They have more than pulled their weight with determination, enthusiasm and the fight to want it and to prove to themselves and others that they’ll conquer,” Emerson said. “It’s an important game to win. Prairie City fought hard and played well. They’re a good team with good athletes.”
She added, “We’re going to take it game by game, fight, have fun and be the champions that we are.”
Monument/Dayville stayed ahead through nearly the entire first set.
The tables turned in the second, Prairie City gaining a strong, early lead; Panther Brianna Zweygardt went on a 15-point serving run, giving the Tigers hardly a chance to answer back.
Halfway down the stretch of the third set, the teams tied the score, then the Tigers kept a step ahead the rest of the way for a five-point win.
They kept their momentum going in the final set, springing ahead early for the lead.
“The team played really good,” said Tiger Faythe Schafer. “We just backed each other up and helped each other out. We cheered each other on and supported each other the whole time.”
“We really came together as a team, even though we had a rough week,” said Tiger Kyla Emerson. “We’ve been transitioning well. I hope we go far.”
Prairie City coach Lance Zweygardt said his team will focus on mental toughness moving forward.
“(The Tigers) were aggressive in keeping the ball in play,” he said. “There are always going to be down times. The biggest takeaway — we can’t take anything for granted and work to earn every point.”
Prairie City will host the Grant Union junior varsity I and II teams Thursday at 5 p.m. in Prairie City and Friday they host Jordan Valley for senior night at 3:30 p.m., starting with junior varsity.
Monument/Dayville hosts Adrian at 4 p.m. Saturday in Monument.
On Tuesday, Oct. 10, at 5:30 p.m., they face Long Creek/Ukiah in Long Creek.