First Volleyball Match In Tiger Arena
FARMINGTON DEFEATS LADY TIGERS 3-0
PRAIRIE GROVE — An Aug. 30 rivalry match against Farmington precipitated a change of venue for host Prairie Grove, which played its first volleyball match in the Tiger basketball arena.
The Lady Tigers competed well in the first set before falling, 25-23, but weren’t nearly as good in the next two dropping the match three games to none in the debut of volleyball in the swank basketball arena.
“At times it felt like we were the visiting team because we’re not used to playing in this gym,” said Prairie Grove coach Mat Stewart. “It’s nice of the administration and of the basketball coaches to open it up for us,” Stewart said. “We’re too small in the volleyball gym whenever we play Farmington. It’s standing-room only when we do that. So, it took some time to adjust, but I think we’ll go back to our house from now on next door and see if we can do a little bit better over there.”
A violation brought Farmington to game-point leading 24-21 in the first set. Prairie Grove fought to stay alive with senior Sophia Nunziato smashing a kill. A Farmington hitting error allowed Prairie Grove to pull within, 24-23, but with game-point still on the line Farmington’s Brittany Pittman settled the matter with a block-kill giving Farmington gameone, 25-23.
“We knew they were going to be good, they’re a veteran team, they’re a bunch of juniors and their seniors can play; and we’re a bunch of sophomores and we’re trying to grow up in a hurry,” Stewart said. “We knew we had our work cut out for us. They’re well-coached. Marshall (Ward) did a good job before Mike (Howard) got there and Mike’s taken over and doing a good job with them as well. We didn’t play like we’re capable of but Farmington had a lot to do with that.”
Prairie Grove jumped out to a 7-2 lead in game-two highlighted by Samantha Blosser’s ace. Farmington countered with a 9-3 run to seize the lead, which they held for the duration winning game-two, 25-16.
In the third set, the game was tied at every point from six all the way to 11 before Farmington pulled away with a 14-3 run to finish the match.
“It was back and forth not just the last set, but a lot of them,” said Farmington coach Mike Howard. “We knew it was going to be intense and loud in here. It’s a great, beautiful gym. We knew both sides were going to bring the noise. I told the girls, ‘hey, we got to play up to our capabilities. We don’t want to play over the top of them. We got to play a little bit tight.’ That’s what caused the back and forth. Once we calmed down and settled down we scored points in bunches which is what we’re capable of doing.”
Farmington works offense to set up a hit while Prairie Grove’s front line tries to anticipate where to counter with a block Thursday, Aug. 30. The Lady Cardinals prevailed in three sets, 25-23, 25-16, 25-14.