There were some highly regarded teams in the Skyline T-Bird volleyball tournament on Saturday. The host T-Birds were ranked #4 in 2A and St. John came in at #2 in division 1AI. However, it was the Pratt High School Lady Greenbacks who were still standing at the end of the day, going 5-0 in the event to claim the tournament championship.
PHS had a tough draw right off the bat, having to face off against St. John first thing on Saturday morning at PCC (the site of pool 2). The Tigers won the first game against the Frogs 24-26 in OT, but it was the only set Pratt would drop the rest of the day.
“We started off really slow,” observed PHS head coach Shelby Nesbit. “We have to get better at minimizing errors. We gave our opponents too many free points.”
Things turned around quickly for the Lady Greenbacks, however, as they took the next two games 25-17 and 25-18 to finish off the St. Johns.
The other two matches of pool play were almost anticlimactic after the day’s barn-burner of an opener. The Frogs next dispatched Stafford in straight sets 25-15; 25-13. Pretty Prairie didn’t pose much of a threat either as the Greenbacks won easily 25-11; 25-13.
That moved Pratt into bracket play against the 2nd place team in pool 1 (played at Skyline). Hodgeman County had gone 2-1 in their pool to earn the right to face Pratt in the semi-finals. Pratt prevailed 25-15; 25-21.
That set up a rematch in the finals between Pratt and St. John. The Lady Tigers had advanced by downing the host T-Birds in the semi-finals.
In the rematch, Pratt showed none of the sluggishness they had displayed earlier in the morning. They came out smoking and pounded the Tigers 25-8 in the first game in what was their most dominating win of the entire tournament. In the concluding set, Pratt took care of business 25-17 to seal the deal and claim the tournament title.
“I was very impressed with the way the girls played against St. John in the championship,” Coach Nesbit remarked. “They were very relaxed and had control the entire match.”
“This was the best volleyball we’ve played yet,” Nesbit continued. “Our hitters were connecting with our setter, Jaci Kolm. Serve receivers were delivering great passes and we were able to shut down their main hitter, Hailey Falk, with our blocks.”
After starting the season strongly with a 2nd place in the preseason CKL tournament and a win in the Skyline tournament, Lady Green has a bit of a lull in the schedule. They will be off until Tuesday September 17 when they will travel to Lindsborg for a triangular with Halstead and Smoky Valley.
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