Contributed photo/Emily Kokesh
Prairie City attacks Harper in home volleyball match
Prairie City battled at the net with the Harper Hornets Friday, the Panthers sweeping 3-0 with scores of 25-7, 25-15 and 25-20.
“The girls stayed high energy in the first match and didn’t let anything Harper did throw them off,” Panther head coach Jordan Bass said.
Panther sophomore Aries Bice stepped in for senior Samantha Workman, who was out due to illness, and performed well, Bass said.
Sophomores Caitlyn Willet and Jessi Nolan also played two sets each. Panther junior Rilee Emmel served at 96 percent in the match, and sophomore Katie Hire served for 100 percent.
“We had a drop of energy in the last set but powered through to the finish,” Bass said.
Prairie City traveled to the Summit Springs Tournament in Condon Saturday.
Bass said the team handled their close loss to Stanfield, 24-26 and 23-25, at the start well.
“We identified some things we needed to fix on defense and went on to beat Condon Wheeler (25-14, 25-9) and Ione (25-14, 25-21),” Bass said.
The Panthers finished third after a loss to Union (17-25, 13-25).
Hire, Willet, Bice and Nolan served over 90 percent overall for the tournament, and Shaine Madden hit at 96 percent for the day with just one error and 15 kills.
“Overall, I was really happy with how we were able to adjust after the loss to Stanfield and keep playing hard throughout the day,” Bass said.
Grant Union nets win in La Grande
The 2A Grant Union Prospector volleyball team started last week with a 3-2 victory over the 4A La Grande Tigers.
Grant Union started off with a 25-23 win in the first set on Sept. 4. They followed it with two close losses, 26-28 and 22-25, but came back for the win, 25-18 and 15-9.
Prospector head coach Ali Abrego said she knew going in it would be a tough match, as she coached in La Grande previously for two years.
“Our team played to a higher level against La Grande,” she said. “They were able to come together and really spark their drive in order to come back and win the fourth and fifth set.”
The coach said she was pleased with the leadership shown by the older players and how they clicked with freshman Grace Taylor who joined a set.
“This group of girls is such a privilege to coach, and to knock off a 4A school is a good win for us going into the season,” Abrego said. “The girls played very well. I can’t say enough good things about them.”
At Saturday’s Reedsport Tournament, Grant Union had a 0-2 loss to Oakridge in their first match.
In the consolation bracket, Abrego said that instead of facing Weston-McEwen, they opted to compete with Reedsport and St. Mary’s, winning both 2-0.
“The girls absolutely came out on fire against St. Mary’s and ended up winning the first set by 12 points,” the coach said. “Everyone saw court time in that game.”
The weekend went well overall with the girls working on controlling the momentum of the game and playing a faster paced game, she said.
She said Hailie Wright showed strength of character and athletic ability, Alcie Moore helped with setting and had good serving runs, Sydney Brockway was solid defensively and “was one of our most utilized hitters,” adding Trinity Hutchison made some crucial blocks and kills to swing the momentum in Grant Union’s favor.
“The girls all played well this weekend,” Abrego said.
Grant Union’s junior varsity and junior varsity II teams will compete with the Prairie City Panthers at 5 p.m. Sept. 12 in Prairie City.
The Prospectors host Heppner at 5 p.m. Thursday then travel to the Baker Tournament which starts at 9 a.m. Friday.
Grant Union cross country works to shave off time
The Grant Union Prospector cross country team competed in Saturday’s Runner Soul XC Fest in Hermiston, racing against 15 teams.
Competitors included the top 2A team in Oregon, Union/Cove, and a top Washington team.
“We had rookie racers compete along with 15 veterans,” said Grant Union head coach Sonna Smith.
Prospector Erika Dickens, a junior, ran with a time of 26:00.4, cutting her time by 50 seconds compared with her race in Hermiston last year. She was the only varsity girl competing for Grant Union.
The Prospector boys team was led by rookie Mason Gerry, a junior, who had a time of 21:07.
Eighth-grader Amelia Hall was the top middle school placer for Grant Union, finishing 19th, and the middle school boys team moved up one place from last year, coach Smith said.
“There were over 600 competitors at the meet, and coach Brandon Smith and I are proud of the efforts we received from our athletes,” Sonna Smith said. “We have a lot of improvements we can make, and we are right back to training this week to continue shaving seconds off runners’ times.”
Grant Union will travel to the 42nd Annual Catherine Creek Scamper near Union on Friday.
Smith said it’s an authentic cross country race.
“We run across rivers, up mountains and through mud pits,” she said. “Both coaches and the team are prepping for the challenging races ahead.”
Prairie City football falls 6-49 to Harper
The Prairie City football team fell 6-49 to the Harper Hornets in the Panthers’ home opener.
Prairie City’s sole touchdown was a long pass from sophomore quarterback Jayden Winegar to Connor Jones.
“Six-man football demands that players be disciplined and play with intelligence and heart,” said head coach Nate Barber. “It seemed that some of our players were trying to do too much, and it hurt us a few times.”