Grant Union has quite the collection of Blue Mountain Conference district championship trophies.
The Prospectors picked up their fourth consecutive title Saturday with a 25-19, 25-17, 25-23 victory over Weston-McEwen at Stanfield High School.
“It’s a pretty special team,” first-year coach Ali Abrego said. “It’s exciting to keep the tradition alive.”
Grant Union and Weston-McEwen advance to the 2A state tournament, and will host first-round games next Saturday.
Heppner, which finished third, and fourth-place Union, will play state play-in games this week.
Kaylee Wright had 18 kills and four digs for the defending state champions, who improved to 25-4 on the season. Hailie Wright handed out 14 assists, and had six kills.
After a 7-7 tie in the first set, the Prospectors slowly pulled away from the TigerScots (23-6). They held leads of 18-11, 20-14 and got a kill from Kaylee Wright to put the set away.
Grant Union got on a roll early in the second set, and a string of seven consecutive points by Sydney Brockway gave the Prospectors a 9-1 lead.
Trailing 17-7, Weston-McEwen went on a little run of its own, getting three points from Tyree Burke to make it 17-10. Carrie Hazen later dished up a pair of aces to pull the TigerScots within 19-15, but it was all Grant Union from there, with Kaylee Wright pounding down three kills in a row for a 23-16 lead.
Down two sets, the TigerScots were far from done.
The teams exchanged points from the start, with Weston-McEwen twice leading by two points — 15-13 and 16-14. The TigerScots led 20-19, but four unforced errors down the stretch, including a net serve on match point, helped Grant Union seal the win.
There were 18 ties in the third set, and despite never taking the lead for good until 24-23, the Prospectors never wavered.
“They did not let their emotions get the best of them,” Abrego said. “Weston-McEwen has a really good team. It makes it better when you have to earn it.”
W-M coach Shawn White was pleased with how his team competed.
“They are good, and we are getting closer,” he said. “In the third, we couldn’t quite get there. This is good experience for us. They are the defending state champs and one of the best teams in the state. The girls played well.”
Alcie Moore added 13 assists for Grant Union, while Trinity Hutchison had five kills and Sydney Brockway seven digs, four kills and three assists.
This article will be updated with Grant Union’s Saturday game time and opponent as soon as information is available.