They didn’t know it at the time, but the crowd dressed in pink at the Beaver Dome Tuesday night was cheering for the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Region VI tournament.


With Pratt’s three-set win over Cloud County, 25-14, 25-19, 25-18, and Dodge City’s narrow five-set loss to Seward County, Pratt locked up the No. 1 seed in the tournament and won’t have to play a first-round game.


They didn’t know it at the time, but the crowd dressed in pink at the Beaver Dome Tuesday night was cheering for the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Region VI tournament.

With Pratt’s three-set win over Cloud County, 25-14, 25-19, 25-18, and Dodge City’s narrow five-set loss to Seward County, Pratt locked up the No. 1 seed in the tournament and won’t have to play a first-round game.

“Once again, we’re just happy to come away with that win,” said head coach Patrick Hall. “I think Cloud’s a far better team than they showed tonight. We were, frankly, kind of worried about them. We thought they’d come in here and be loose and ready to go. We have a little bit on the line here needing to win every time, but we got it done.”

The match didn’t have the lopsided feel that the score indicated, with Pratt seeming to get take a few points off here and there. In the first set, Pratt led 24-10, but let Cloud score four-straight meaningless points before finally putting it away.

In the second set, Pratt played with a 3-5 point lead for most of the game, eventually turning a 21-18 score into the 25-19 final.

In the third set, things went back and forth until Pratt rattled off a 6-1 run to take a 22-14 lead that Cloud couldn’t bounce back from.

Nohely Perez and Natali Jones were the bright spots on the evening, each logging 11 kills. As of yesterday, Hall wasn’t even sure Perez would get to play.

“I’m sure (Nohely) had really good numbers,” Hall said. “We didn’t push the middle much tonight, and Nohely was sick yesterday and missed school, so we were happy that she was even able to play today, and she did a nice job. Thank goodness, because we were just in a very conservative mode, just jacking the ball up outside and she was hitting away. So it worked well for us.”

The Beavers made a small change to the rotation, with Hannah Melichar playing some middle hitter to limit her swings.

“We’re trying to limit her swings a little bit and take a little pressure off of her back,” Hall said. “And that worked okay, we didn’t have to go to her very much, and we were able to get some production on the outside.”

Regardless of how they did it, the sweep of Cloud and the continued dominance against Jayhawk West opponents made the crowd happy, which was mostly dressed in pink as part of the Beavers’ Dig Pink night, with all the proceeds going to the Dig Pink Foundation. Hall said he was happy with the turnout, but knows that in future years, it can be bigger and better.

“It’s nice to see everyone in pink in the stands,” Hall said. “This is our first year to do it, so we hope that in the future we can promote this a lot more and do it a lot bigger. Of course, we don’t want to do it on a high school volleyball night, but unfortunately, every year during this week, we’ll be playing Tuesday/Thursday in our conference because of the sub-states.

“In the future we’ll pick a Wednesday night and really make the whole place look pink. It’s certainly a worthy cause, and Dig Pink Foundation has been doing this for many years and it’s just become huge across the country. They do a really nice job.”

Pratt travels to Barton Co. (20-6, 7-4 Jayhawk) Thursday in a second rematch on the season for the two teams. Barton beat Pratt in a non-league match at a Texas tournament, while Pratt won their first league meeting at the Beaver Dome. Barton has won five straight heading into Thursday’s match, and represents a possible pitfall for a team that has already locked up its postseason top seed.