The 2A Grant Union volleyball team took second at their home tournament, falling to the Weston-McEwen TigerScots in the Prospectors’ first competition of the season Aug. 31.
The tournament was an opportunity for Grant Union and two other local teams, the 1A Prairie City Panthers and 1A Dayville/Monument Tigers, to battle early with some of the opponents they’ll face later this season.
The Prospectors are in the Blue Mountain Conference, and the Panthers and Tigers are in the High Desert League.
Also joining the competition from Blue Mountain were the 2A Heppner Mustangs and 2A Enterprise Outlaws, all competing in the nonconference/nonleague matches at Prairie City School as Grant Union’s gym undergoes floor work.
After pool play, the Prospectors were seeded No. 1 in the bracket and fell 2-1 to the TigerScots.
Weston-McEwen came away with a 25-11 win in the first set, then Grant Union fought back 25-22 to take the second. Weston-McEwen overcame in the third with a score of 15-9.
“Standouts from this weekend were Taylor Allen and Kaytlyn Wells,” said Grant Union head coach Ali Abrego. “Both played awesome and led the team with kills.”
Abrego said the team will be working on court awareness and blocking for their upcoming games, including Saturday’s Heppner Tournament.
The Dayville/Monument Tigers had a 2-1 win over Enterprise with scores of 20-25, 25-22 and 15-12.
Tiger head coach Treila Osborne said her girls showed great teamwork.
“Being invited to that tournament with 2A schools was an honor, and our Lady Tigers worked very hard,” she said. “Having a win over Enterprise was a great achievement and boosted our confidence.”
Osborne said her team never gave up and played “one rally at a time.”
“We had great hits and very consistent serving all day,” she said.
The Prairie City Panthers fell to Weston-McEwen 2-0. The TigerScots won the first set 25-20, then the Panthers pushed back to within 2 points in the second set but lost 31-29.
Prairie City also tied Enterprise 1-1 in their next match, with the Outlaws winning the first set 25-18 and the Panthers turning the tables to win 25-19 in the second.
“The team had a slow start to the day, but improved throughout the tournament,” said Prairie City head coach Jordan Bass. “It was exciting to see the girls split with Enterprise. They worked hard to win that second set, and it was well deserved.”
She said Weston-McEwen was competitive.
“It was great to see this team battle to a 29-31 loss in the second set,” Bass said. “It didn’t go our way, but those matches take a lot of mental toughness. It was good to highlight some things to work on this week before our Prairie City Invitational on (Sept. 7).”
Heppner had a 0-2 loss to Weston-McEwen and a 2-0 win over Enterprise at the tournament.
Grant Union hosted the 4A La Grande Tigers on Tuesday, La Grande taking a 3-1 win in the match played at the Humbolt Elementary School gym in Canyon City.
While Grant Union is young after losing nine seniors to graduation, Abrego said her team has a lot of talent and determination.
The Prospectors will host the 3A Burns Hilanders at the Humbolt Elementary gym in Canyon City for a home game at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12.