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Friday, October 5, 2018

PHS Volleyball Team wins Homecoming match, third MBC win in four matches

The Prescott High School Volleyball Team had a successful Homecoming match Thursday evening as they downed Baldwin-Woodville 3-1.

After losing Game 1 25-21 to the Blackhawks, Prescott leaped to a 16-8 advantage in Game 2 and held on for the 26-24 win thanks to two critical kills by senior Kaelyn Lewis, one to stop a scoring run by B-W which put them ahead 23-22 and the other to win the game.

Lewis was one of six PHS seniors honored before the match in Senior Night ceremonies. The others were Mackenzie Carey, Allie Murphy, Sydney Benck, Avery Goehring and Morgan Severson. Both Carey and Lewis were team leaders in kills, Murphy in assists and Benck, Goehring and Severson made key plays as well.

Prescott dominated Game 3, winning 25-13 and Game 4, the Cardinal rallied from an 8-2 deficit, outscoring B-W 18-5 to lead 20-13 and eventually win 25-18, playing some of their best volleyball of the season.

The win was the third in the last four Middle Border Conference matches for Prescott which evens their league record at 3-3. PHS lost Tuesday at Osceola 3-1 but won twice last week over Somerset 3-0 and New Richmond 3-1.

Prescott rallied from a Game 1 loss and several times throughout Thursday night's match vs. New Richmond to beat the Tigers 3-1.

The Cardinals won Games 2-4 by scores of 25-17, 25-23 and 27-25. Prescott was led by junior libero Ashley Rieken's seven aces, eight kills each for junior middle hitter McKenna Johnson and Carey and three blocks by sophomore middle hitter Payton Sanford.

PHS head coach Sami Martell was not at the match as she was recovering at home from a concussion suffered from being hit in the head by a ball during warm-ups of the Cardinals' match vs. Somerset on Tuesday, Sept. 25. Prescott players they said were inspired and motivated to beat New Richmond for their head coach.

“We played for Coach Martell tonight,” Rieken said. “She planned out what we needed to do to win so we weren’t caught off-guard when we found out she wasn’t going to be at the match”

JV Coach Libby Syverson coached the team against New Richmond. She said the team found out that afternoon Martell would not be there.

“They adjusted well and played some of the best team volleyball we’ve seen from them all season,” Syverson said. “We had multiple players get kills, our serving was excellent and we blocked well too.”

Good serving was crucial in the Cardinals’ victory. In Game 2, with PHS ahead only 19-17, junior setter Savanna Murphy came to the line and served out the Tigers on a 6-0 run punctuated by a kill from Carey. Rieken’s serving helped Prescott rally from a 7-1 deficit in Game 3. The Cards’ tied the score at 23-23 and pulled out the win with a kill from Lewis (one of seven for her in the match) plus a Rieken ace.

“When you can serve up aces and get easy point in a run its great way to have momentum and have it carry you,” Rieken said.

Prescott was down 11-6 in Game 4 but serving from Murphy and Rieken and Allie Murphy put PHS back in the game. A pair of kills by Johnson gave the home team its first lead at 20-19. New Richmond senior middle hitter Lauren Johnson had a match-best 18 kills and did her best to keep the Tigers in it. But with the score tied at 24-24, Prescott surged in front with a kill from junior Aliyah Adrian and a point off a ball hit out-of-bounds.

“We work on pressure situation in practice where we have to come from behind to win,” Johnson said. “We knew how to play in that situation and really came together as an inspired team tonight.”

The win over New Richmond completed a sweep of Middle Border Conference foes last week. PHS took down Somerset 3-0 Tuesday, Sept. 25 at Prescott.  Sophomore hitter Tori Benck led Prescott in kills with seven while Johnson finished with five. Savanna Murphy finished with three aces and eight assists. Sydney Benck finished with three blocks while Allie Murphy had 12 assists and three digs.

PHS's overall record is 15-18. The Cards finished fourth at the Amery Invitational last weekend. PHS went 4-2 in pool play, going 2-0 vs. Chetek-Weyerhaeuser and splitting vs. Unity and Siren before dropping a pair of matches in the championship round to the host Warriors and Webster. 

Prescott's next and final regular season home match is Tuesday vs. St. Croix Central at 7 p.m.

Prescott's McKenna Johnson (13) and Isabella Lenz (5) put the block on B-W's Brooke Evenson (11) during Thursday's mactch at Prescott.

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