The Pratt High volleyball team defeated Halstead in the Championship match during the pre-season CKL tournament.

The Pratt High volleyball team won the pre-season tournament on August 25 with a 5-1 record, defeating Halstead in the championship match 21-25, 25-23, and 25-22.

All of the Central Kansas League teams participated in the pre-season tournament, including Halstead, Hesston, Hoisington, Hillsboro, Haven, Smoky Valley, Lyons, Nickerson, Larned and Pratt.

Head coach, Summer Younie, said the main highlight of the tournament for the Lady Greenbacks was defense, with Kierson Maydew, Rheagan Hoover and Kaitlyn Rasmussen leading the team in blocking and Kyra Johnson playing as the primary serve receiver.

“Kyra Johnson was the only player to play all around--she never came out,” Younie said.

“She led us on digs for the weekend and was in the top three for kills as well.”

Allisan McGowan and Jenna Fincham excelled in setting for the team, Younie said, making sure to run offense and deliver the ball to the hitters consistently throughout the tournament.

“We played some crazy defense this past weekend,” Younie said. “We never gave up on the ball--Our serve receive was better than I hoped it would be for the first day out, and I felt we were pretty aggressive at the net as well.”

One factor the team needs to work on, Younie said, is getting more consistent with serves.

“We missed a lot of serves,” Younie said. “We also need to transition off the block faster so we have three hitters at all times.”

The Lady Greenbacks rounded out the tournament with a 5-1 record after losing to Hesston in pool play but defeating Hillsboro, Hoisington and Haven; They went on to beat Nickerson in the semi-finals and Halstead in the championship match.

“I was very pleased with how we played over the weekend--not just because we won the pre-season tournament,” Younie said. “I was concerned about how we would serve receive--we hadn't been passing very well in practice. I was concerned with how we would handle out- of-system balls, but I felt we did a great job of making plays out of system.”

Younie said she was impressed with how the girls rose to the challenge, never giving up or getting too discouraged in the face of a challenging match.

“We never gave up on a ball,” Younie said. “We had a lot of scramble-volleys that last well over a minute, and in volleyball, that is a long rally.”

Pratt plays next in the Skyline tournament this week at Pratt Community College’s Lesh Arena.