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Lady Pros win state

The Grant Union Prospector volleyball team wins state championship for the first time in 28 years.
Angel Carpenter

Blue Mountain Eagle

Published on November 6, 2017 3:48PM

Grant Union celebrates their state championship win over Culver. From left, Sydney Brockway (11), Kaylee Wright (13), Hailie Wright (10), Whitney McClellan (12) and Alcie Moore (1).

Contributed photo/Tanni Wenger Photography

Grant Union celebrates their state championship win over Culver. From left, Sydney Brockway (11), Kaylee Wright (13), Hailie Wright (10), Whitney McClellan (12) and Alcie Moore (1).

Grant Union Prospector Kaylee Wright kills the ball with Culver player Maddie Miller attempting the block. Also in the photo, from left, are Sydney Brockway (11), Whitney McClellan, Hailie Wright and Reagan Shelley.

Contributed photo/Tanni Wenger Photography

Grant Union Prospector Kaylee Wright kills the ball with Culver player Maddie Miller attempting the block. Also in the photo, from left, are Sydney Brockway (11), Whitney McClellan, Hailie Wright and Reagan Shelley.

The Grant Union Prospectors stand together with their award Saturday after winning the OSAA/U.S. Bank/Les Schwab Tires Volleyball State Championship in Redmond.

Contributed photo/Tanni Wenger Photography Studio

The Grant Union Prospectors stand together with their award Saturday after winning the OSAA/U.S. Bank/Les Schwab Tires Volleyball State Championship in Redmond.

At the net are Grant Union Prospectors Kaylee (13) and Hailie Wright (10), blocking Culver player Claire Bender’s (12) shot.

Contributed photo/Tanni Wenger Photography Studio

At the net are Grant Union Prospectors Kaylee (13) and Hailie Wright (10), blocking Culver player Claire Bender’s (12) shot.

Grant Union Prospecter Hailie Wright (10) sets the ball as teammates Reagan Shelley (8) and Trinity Hutchison (5) move into position in the championship match against Culver.

Contributed photo/Tanni Wenger Photography Studio

Grant Union Prospecter Hailie Wright (10) sets the ball as teammates Reagan Shelley (8) and Trinity Hutchison (5) move into position in the championship match against Culver.

Grant Union outside hitter Sydney Brockway is in action against Culver in the Prospectors’ state championship win Nov. 4 in Redmond.

Contributed photo/Tanni Wenger Photography Studio

Grant Union outside hitter Sydney Brockway is in action against Culver in the Prospectors’ state championship win Nov. 4 in Redmond.

Grant Union Prospector Kaylee Wright blocks Kennedy player Sophia Carley in the semifinal match.

Contributed photo/Tanni Wenger Photography Studio

Grant Union Prospector Kaylee Wright blocks Kennedy player Sophia Carley in the semifinal match.

Grant Union Propsectors Mariah Moulton, left, and Trinity Hutchison go up for a block against Monroe Dragon Maddie O’Hare.

Contributed photo/Tanni Wenger Photography Studio

Grant Union Propsectors Mariah Moulton, left, and Trinity Hutchison go up for a block against Monroe Dragon Maddie O’Hare.

Grant Union Prospector Taylor Allen serves in the quarterfinal match against the Monroe Dragons.

Contributed photo/Tanni Wenger Photography Studio

Grant Union Prospector Taylor Allen serves in the quarterfinal match against the Monroe Dragons.

Grant Union’s Alcie Moore smiles during the quarterfinal match with the Monroe Dragons, which the Prospectors won 3-0.

Contributed photo/Tanni Wenger Photography Studio

Grant Union’s Alcie Moore smiles during the quarterfinal match with the Monroe Dragons, which the Prospectors won 3-0.

Grant Union Prospector Kaylee Wright spikes the ball to Culver in Saturday’s state championship match.

Contributed photo/Tanni Wenger Photography Studio

Grant Union Prospector Kaylee Wright spikes the ball to Culver in Saturday’s state championship match.

The Grant Union Prospectors celebrate during their rise to the top at the OSAA Volleyball State Championships.

Contributed photo/Tanni Wenger Photography Studio

The Grant Union Prospectors celebrate during their rise to the top at the OSAA Volleyball State Championships.


The Grant Union Prospector volleyball team is on top of the world after battling the Culver Bulldogs Saturday with a 3-1 win for the 2A state championship title.

It was the first time since 1989 that Grant Union has won the volleyball state championship — when Prospector head coach Shae Speth was herself a junior on the varsity team.

“I told the girls this means so much more as a coach to see all the work that they’ve put in come to a championship,” Speth said.

After winning a close first set 25-23, Grant Union lost the second 22-25, then finished, victorious, with scores of 25-17 and 25-20.

Entering the tournament, Grant Union was the No. 2 seed, and Culver, led by Randi Viggiano, was the No. 1 seed.

The Prospectors’ only loss this season came in September to the Bulldogs at the Grant Union court.

In that match, Prospector setter Hailie Wright, a junior, was injured, and she was out of play for a couple weeks.

“It was kind of hard to come back from getting injured in that first Culver game,” Wright said. “I worked really hard in practices, and so did the team. Every day we practiced hard and we needed everybody, and that’s what helped us get the win.”

Prospector opposite hitter Reagan Shelley, a senior, said achieving the championship win feels amazing.

“I think everyone brought everything they had and played their best when we really needed it,” she said.

Grant Union’s first test at the two-day tournament, held at Ridgeview High School in Redmond, was in the quarterfinals, meeting up with the Monroe Dragons. The Prospectors won with scores of 26-24, 25-18 and 25-12.

Speth said, although her team came out to a rough start, they were able to settle their nerves and increase their offensive momentum.

“We missed too many serves in the first set, but after that for the entire tournament we were really solid serving, not just consistently, but we were serving consistently tough,” she said.

In the semifinals, Speth said the Kennedy Trojans showed they were an improved team, young but with tall middle blockers.

The Prospectors beat Kennedy 25-19, 25-17, 20-25, 21-25 and 15-13.

Middle blockers Kaylee Wright and Trinity Hutchison played well against the height across the net, Speth said.

“They really stepped up ... getting up and hands over,” she said. “They did really well, even hitting against a big block.”

Prospector outside hitter Sydney Brockway, a junior, delivered the game-winning kill.

“In practice, we train competitively, and we talk about mental toughness and having a champion attitude,” Speth said. “Getting past that semifinal match was huge for us.”

Speth has led the Prospector team for nine years, two years previously as an assistant coach, and she was an English teacher at Grant Union until she moved to Nebraska with her family last summer.

“I returned to continue building the program and achieve our goals we set years ago, with an amazing group of young women and coaches,” she said.

Speth returned to coach this season, and said she’s not sure, yet, if she’ll be back next year.

Her assistant coaches are Rhonda McCumber, Shanna Northway and her husband Steve Speth.

On Saturday night, the championship match against Culver was a “tale of two setters.”

Hailie Wright for Grant Union and Margie Beeler of Culver each had 37 set assists in the match.

“Hailie’s a very mindful setter,” Speth commented. “She always knows who she needs to set. Defensively is where she really stood out for me in this match. Hailie reads the game very well and gets to every ball.”

In the final play of the final set, 24-20, Grant Union didn’t win it with a big ace or a huge block. Instead, a Culver player came down touching the net.

“During the last play of the game, it was a delayed reaction that the game was over,” Speth said. “We didn’t realize that the net call had been made.”

Grant Union aced Culver 20 times and only missed six serves.

“Everybody contributes in their own way, whether serving, defense, blocking, everyone knows and accepts their role,” Speth said. “They work really well with each other. They’re not afraid to communicate with each other, and they don’t take offense and feelings don’t get hurt.”

Shelley said, after they lost the second set, they had an amazing comeback.

“Culver may have thought we’d give up when we were down — to have that attitude to come back was the big thing,” she said.

“It was a really competitive game,” said Brockway. “We all played really hard and all fought together to get the win.”

Prospector outside hitter Mariah Moulton, who had 20 kills in the final match and was named Player of the Game, has been on the varsity team four years, the team finishing in the top three each year.

“They were really good games, and there were a lot of good teams there,” she said. “It was fun winning it my senior year. It took everyone every day at practice to get it done.”

Final, Grant Union vs. Culver stats

Mariah Moulton: 20 kills, 1 ace, 19 digs, 1 block assist

Trinity Hutchison: 2 kills, 4 digs, 5 block assists

Reagan Shelley: 3 kills, 4 digs, 4 block assists

Hailie Wright: 4 kills, 37 set assists, 3 aces, 20 digs, 3 block assists

Sydney Brockway: 8 kills, 7 aces, 14 digs, 1 block assist

Kaylee Wright: 10 kills, 3 aces, 7 digs, 4 block assists

Alcie Moore: 3 digs

Taylor Allen: 3 aces, 1 dig

Whitney McClellan: 3 aces, 18 digs

Semifinal, Grant Union vs. Kennedy stats

Moulton: 21 kills, 1 aces, 2 block assists

Brockway: 16 kills, 1 aces, 13 digs

Moore: 3 digs

Hutchison: 1 kill, 5 block assists

Allen: 1 kill, 2 aces,

Shelley: 2 kills, 3 block assists, 2 digs

Hailie Wright: 4 kills, 139 set assists, 2 aces, 1 block assist

McClellan: 4 aces, 21 digs

Kaylee Wright: 10 kills, 1 solo block, 1 block assist, 2 digs

Quarterfinal, Grant Union vs. Monroe stats

Moulton: 14 kills, 3 aces, 10 digs

Hutchison: 2 kills, 1 solo block, 1 block assist, 2 digs

Moore: 5 digs

Allen: 2 aces, 1 dig

Shelley: 3 kills, 1 aces, 2 solo block, 1 block assist, 1 dig

Hailey Wright: 3 kills, 1 ace, 2 block assists, 7 digs

Brockway: 6 kills, 1 ace, 1 solo block, 5 digs

McClellan: 4 digs

Kaylee Wright: 10 kills, 1 ace, 2 block assist, 1 dig























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