First Vol­ley­ball Match In Tiger Arena

FARM­ING­TON DE­FEATS LADY TIGERS 3-0

Washington County Enterprise-Leader - - SPORTS - By Mark Humphrey

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.”

MARK HUMPHREY ENTERPRISE-LEADER

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.

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