PITTSBURG — Breast cancer awareness was the theme of Tuesday night inside Pittsburg High School, where the Purple Dragons’ volleyball team earned a pair of wins after sweeping both Parsons and Fort Scott in two sets.
“Our new rotation is getting a little stronger,” PHS head coach Megan Mantooth said. “Both Pinamonti girls and Laken Robinson are hitting better from the middle and the right side, which is helping us. We also have more girls playing all the way around. Unfortunately, Vanessa Yaghmour suffered a season-ending injury, so we had to change some things, but the girls are making it work. It was a nice night for us.”
In addition to the pink-out night, the Purple Dragons also took time to recognize their seniors.
The PHS seniors are Myla Turner, Abbie Casper and Kaitlyn Kidd.
“Abbie Casper is a four-year varsity starter, so she’s definitely going to be hard to replace,” Mantooth said. “For Myla, this is her first year starting at varsity and she plays like a veteran. She does a fabulous job. For Kaitlyn, this is her first year to play all the way around. She doubted me, but she’s doing a wonderful job of believing in herself. I’m very proud of all three of them.”
PHS SWEEPS VIKINGS
The Purple Dragons hit the ground running, as they began the night with a two-set sweep over Parsons, winning 25-22 and 25-21.
“The girls made some adjustments in their blocks and they’re learning to adjust more quickly,” Mantooth said. “Abbie Casper, as always, was setting the ball nicely and giving us good balls to hit.”
After taking the opening set 25-22, Pittsburg ended the match with a 25-21 win in set two.
Both teams were matching each other point for point in the early going of the second set, but the Purple Dragons took the momentum with a 6-2 run to take the lead at 21-19.
The run began with a kill by Robinson and included a pair of kills from Zoe Pinamonti and Kidd.
Back-to-back points for the Vikings tied the score at 21-all, but the Purple Dragons went on to take the win with four consecutive points, ending the set on a kill by Casper.
DRAGONS TOP TIGERS
PHS carried the momentum over into the second game, defeating Fort Scott in two sets 25-19 and 25-15.
“It was a nice ending for our seniors at home,” Mantooth said. “Myla was covering everything, Abbie was showing great leadership and Kaitlin had some good hits.”
The Purple Dragons drew first blood in the opening set on a kill by Kaydn Matlock, en route to jumping out to a 9-5 lead.
Fort Scott came back to within one point of tying the set, but a 4-1 run by PHS extended the lead to 15-11.
The Purple Dragons went on to close out the win with help from a pair of kills from Matlock and Kidd.
The Tigers took a three-point lead to begin the second set, but the Purple Dragons responded with five unanswered points to take a 5-3 advantage.
PHS was lifted to the five points on an ace from Matlock and kills from Robinson and Zoe Pinamonti.
Pittsburg went on to increase the lead to 14-7 on the strength of a 7-1 run, which included a trio of kills from Kidd, Matlock and Sophia Pinamonti.
Fort Scott cut the deficit to 17-12, but the Purple Dragons outscored the Tigers 8-3 down the stretch.
The 8-3 run began with a kill and an ace from Matlock and included kills by Robinson, Sophia Pinamonti and Matlock.
— 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.