Blues Wrap Up Volleyball Campaign With 3-18 Record

Third-seeded Narrows secured a 3-1 home win over sixth-seeded Parry McCluer High School in the quarterfinals of the Pioneer District volleyball tournament on Monday of last week.

Mya Robertson recorded 18 kills to lead the Green Wave to a 25-14, 25-22, 22-25, 25-19 victory. Audrey Riddle and Halee Kast tallied 16 kills apiece for Narrows, and Cristin Blaker totaled 44 assists.

Chloe Persinger paced the Fighting Blues (3-18) with seven kills, five digs and four service aces. Kennedi Burton notched four kills and three blocks for PM, while Grayson Shields finished with six assists, five digs and two aces.

After a tough opener, the Blues battled back, narrowly losing in the second frame before claiming a tight third set.

“The Blues came out ready to play,” PM head coach Shannon Stiltner said. “They were focused and wanted to win. They went after every ball and played every point.”

Ultimately, though, the Green Wave – who overcame an upset bid from the Blues in a 3-2 win in Buena Vista back on Oct. 3 – held off the Blues to advance to the district semifinals and qualify for the Region 1C tournament.

Narrows lost to district champion Craig County 3-2 in the semifinals before defeating Eastern Montgomery 3-0 in the third-place match to determine the regional qualifier.

“Narrows is a good team, and they hung in there and didn’t give up,” Stiltner said. “In the end, it came down to a few mistakes that we made and they didn’t. Their girls up front are hard to control at the net, and that came into play.”

PM’s season didn’t go quite as planned. But Stiltner, who just wrapped up her second year as the varsity coach after a long stint with the Blues’ junior varsity squad, praised her players’ positive mindset even when things weren’t going well on the court.

“We were able to stay focused as a group and see the bigger picture,” the PM coach said. “I have to say in the hard times, when we were losing, the girls kept their heads up and tried to fix what was wrong. They would be reassuring to each other, and they learned to trust one another on the floor.”

There were also plenty of signs of improvement for the Blues this season, from the emergence of the junior middle blocker pair of Burton and Jordan Dawson to the development of several young players on the back row.

PM also put everything together in its final regular-season match, producing a convincing 3-0 win over Eastern Montgomery on Senior Night for Persinger, Shields, Shana Carter and Kayleigh Jennings on Oct. 24. The Blues will head into the offseason hoping that kind of effort is a sign of things to come in 2020.

“The girls who will be coming back have improved a lot and know what they need to do to be a part of the team,” Stiltner said. “Each one of them will do what it takes to help the team succeed.”

The News-Gazette

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