Grant Union’s confident serving kept the Myrtle Point Bobcats off balance as the Prospectors powered through the first round of the state tournament Saturday in John Day.
In the second set, Prospector sophomore Taylor Allen went on a nine-point serve run, and junior Kaylee Wright added a 10-point run. The Bobcats were unable to get a second touch on the ball, and the Prospectors cruised to victory in three sets, 25-15, 25-4 and 25-8, to move on to the Nov. 3-4 2A State Championship Tournament at Ridgeview High School in Redmond.
Grant Union head coach Shae Speth said, after missing five serves in the first set, they found their focus.
“The last two sets they were serving really tough,” she said of her team. “(It’s) one of our strengths for sure — it’s definitely a weapon for us.”
Overall, Prospector senior Whitney McClellan racked up eight aces on 15 serving attempts for the day. The team amassed 23 aces, giving up only one serve-receive error, the coach said.
Senior Mariah Moulton led Grant Union with 15 kills — “a terrific hitting day,” Speth said.
The team focused on maintaining a quick, efficient offense and playing “our game,” the coach said.
“We are looking forward to the challenges of state tournament, and feel we are in a great position to compete for a state title,” Speth said.
Myrtle Point head coach Tami Brown said her team was hampered by injuries late in the season but was able to battle back to make it to the first round.
“We knew, obviously, that it was going to be a tough match — they’re second in state,” she said, referring to Grant Union.
Grant Union senior Trinity Hutchison said the team is excited to move on to the Final 8.
“We worked hard all year for this, and I think this year we have quite the shot at winning the state championship,” she said.
Prospector junior Hailie Wright said they played well as a team. McClellan said that’s how the team stays on top of its game.
“We all get along really well, and we trust and believe in each other,” McClellan said. “We’re a really good, compact and strong team.”
Moving on to the championship tournament, Grant Union takes on the Monroe Dragons at 10 a.m. Friday in Redmond.
The Prospectors have a 26-1 overall record and are ranked No. 2 in state. Monroe has a 22-6 overall record and is ranked No. 9.
Grant Union vs. Myrtle Point
Mariah Moulton: 15 kills (with 1 error on 26 attempts); 1 ace; 100 percent serve-receive; 5 digs
Trinity Hutchison: 3 kills; 3 solo blocks
Taylor Allen: 5 aces; 2 digs
Hailie Wright: 4 kills; 1 ace; 6 digs
Sydney Brockway: 6 kills; 1 ace; 100 percent serve-receive; 3 digs
Whitney McClellan: 8 aces (on 15 serving attempts); 6 digs
Kaylee Wright: 5 kills; 6 aces; 3 digs