The Grant Union Prospector volleyball team came up big in their road trip to Enterprise Saturday, sweeping both the Enterprise Outlaws and the Pilot Rock Rockets, wrapping up Grant Union’s regular conference season.
The wins move Grant Union up from fifth in the Blue Mountain Conference standings to third, as of Monday evening. There were still other teams in the conference with games on Tuesday, Oct. 22, past press time.
The top four teams in the conference will advance to the district tournament.
Grant Union Principal/Athletic Director Ryan Gerry said they expect to know who the Prospectors will face and when, on Wednesday, Oct. 23.
Grant Union defeated Enterprise in close sets: 27-25, 25-22 and 25-19.
“The first set especially was a battle for us,” said Prospector head coach Ali Abrego. “There was a point where we were down by 8 points and came back to win it in three.”
Abrego said Enterprise has improved since Oct. 5, the first time they faced the Outlaws.
“That was huge for our girls, especially since we’ve been focusing on being mentally tough for long rallies,” she said, adding, “We had several missed serves this weekend, which was abnormal for us. However, we placed the ball tastefully on offense and learned to use the empty spots on the court to our advantage.”
Grant Union had a decisive win over Pilot Rock with scores of 25-13, 25-15 and 25-10.
“We ended the third set playing with all the sophomores,” Abrego said. “We focused on subbing everyone in and allowing all athletes to demonstrate their skills and responsibility.”
The Prospectors fell in three sets to the undefeated Union Bobcats on Oct. 15 in John Day. The Bobcats won with scores of 25-17, 25-16 and 25-14.
Abrego said her team lost focus on the end goal.
“We came here to put up a fight,” she said after the game with Union. “I don’t think it was a team we should have lost to.”
She said her team’s errors outweighed the positives in the match.
“I would say that Union definitely knows where to place the ball,” she said, adding her team had trouble reading the tips and working together to come back from a deficit.
Tuesday’s loss was a heartbreaker, especially due to senior night.
“The senior class is a fun group. They’re really lively,” Abrego said.
She said, after having them for two years, it will be hard to see them go at the close of the season.
“They’re great kids, and I love being their coach,” she said.
Grant Union traveled to Burns to face the Hilanders for a nonconference game Tuesday, Oct. 22, past press time.