PITTSBURG — It was an up-and-down day for the Pittsburg High School volleyball team, as the Purple Dragons split a pair of games at home on Tuesday, bouncing back from a 2-0 loss against Independence to beat Labette County 2-1.
PURPLE DRAGONS BEAT GRIZZLIES IN THREE
After losing the first set 25-18, the Grizzlies got a 25-23 win to push a third set, but the Purple Dragons jumped out to a commanding lead and came out on top 25-16.
“We just stuck to our game plan,” PHS head coach Megan Mantooth said. “It took them a while to trust what we’ve been training, but they started hitting the spots in the last set.”
Labette County held a one-point edge in the early going of the first set, but seven consecutive points by the Purple Dragons — which included a pair of aces from Myla Turner — gave them the lead at 11-6.
The Grizzlies kept pace and pulled to within 20-17, but the Purple Dragons closed out the victory with a 5-1 run, winning the set on a kill by Kaydn Matlock.
A 25-23 win by the Grizzlies in the second set forced a deciding third set, which the Purple Dragons won 25-16.
With the match score tied up at 1-apiece, the PHS took control of the contest by outscoring the Grizzlies 7-1, forcing them into an early timeout.
The run was highlighted by an ace from Faith Turner and included a block by Zoe Pinamonti.
Pittsburg kept rolling after the break, as Kaitlyn Kidd recorded an ace with the first serve, which sparked a 6-1 run to increase the lead to 13-2.
The Grizzlies fought back to narrow the deficit to 17-8, but a 6-2 run by the Purple Dragons — with help the help of three kills from Kaydn Matlock — increased the lead to 23-10.
Labette County made a push at the end by outscoring PHS 6-1, but the Purple Dragons held on for the win, with the final point coming on an Grizzlies’ error.
BULLDOGS SWEEP PURPLE DRAGONS
It was a rough way to begin the day for the Purple Dragons, as they lost to Independence in two sets 27-25 and 25-11.
“We just had some miscommunication going on and people weren’t talking,” Mantooth said. “I tried to flip the rotation to get some more talking and communication, but we just couldn’t get it together.”
The Purple Dragons took command in the early going of the opening set, but the Bulldogs rallied back and earned the win with 27 points.
Abbie Casper got PHS going with a kill to begin the set, which sparked a 5-2 run.
In addition to Casper’s kill, the run included two kills apiece from Kidd and Matlock.
Independence rallied back to tak a one-point advantage, but a kill by Laken Robinson ended Pittsburg’s scoring drought, as the Purple Dragons went on to regaining the lead at 13-11.
A kill by Casper and three aces from Myla Turner started a 9-2 run to increase the PHS lead to 22-15, but eight consecutive points by the Bulldogs gave them a 23-22 advantage.
A kill by Matlock followed by an ace from Vanessa Yaghmour gave PHS a slight 24-23 edge, but a 5-1 run by Independence ended the set at 27-25.
Independence rode the momentum into the following set, as the Bulldogs were jump started with a 7-1 run, en route to winning 25-11.
— Jordan Buckamneer is the sports editor of the Pittsburg Morning Sun. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @jbuckamneer.