The Grant Union volleyball team moved to the top of the standings this week, and the honor is much deserved.
The defending state champion Prospectors (20-4, 9-0) swept Weston-McEwen and Stanfield on Saturday in Blue Mountain Conference play.
“Grant Union is pretty exciting to watch,” said Stanfield coach Blaine Ganvoa, whose team hosted the matches. “They are rolling right now.”
The feature match of the day was between the Prospectors and TigerScots, who are ranked No. 3.
Senior Kaylee Wright had 14 kills, and her twin sister Hailie Wright handed out 18 assists as Grant Union rolled to a 29-9, 25-17, 25-14 victory.
“That is the best they have ever played,” Grant Union coach Ali Abrego said. “It’s hard to describe. Being a new coach, it’s a blessing to have that much athleticism on your team.”
Hailey Weaver had five kills and Bryce Thul handed out 11 assists and had nine digs for the TigerScots (19-4, 6-2), whose two league losses are to the Prospectors.
“Grant Union is the real deal,” Weston-McEwen coach Shawn White said. “They are outstanding athletes, but we didn’t play particularly well today.”
Hailie Wright had 11 points in the opening set against Weston-McEwen, and as a team, the Prospectors had seven aces. They finished the set with a kill by Sydney Brockway.
Brockway then turned around and reeled off seven consecutive points in the second set to give her team a 12-3 lead. Weston-McEwen would get as close as 16-9 and 21-15, but unforced errors down the stretch helped Grant Union pick up the win.
Kaylee Wright, who also is the reigning 2A state champion in the high jump, 100 meters and javelin, had six of her 14 kills in the third set.
“She hammers it down, and her sister is a hustler and a selfless player,” Abrego said of Kaylee Wright.
Emma Olson added 10 digs for Weston-McEwen, while Jesse Manning had nine digs and four kills, and Keree Graves six digs and two kills.
For Grant Union, Brockway had eight kills, while Trinity Hutchinson had five blocks and Alcie Moore 8 assists.
Weston-McEwen 3, Stanfield 0: Tyree Burke had 11 kills and Thul had 16 assists and eight kills in a 25-20, 25-17, 25-16 victory over the Tigers.
“Stanfield played hard and gave us a good battle,” White said.
After winning the first two sets, the TigerScots found themselves in a battle in the third. The set was tied 1o times, the last being 11-11 before Weston-McEwen started to pull away.
Burke served three points for a 14-11 lead, and Manning served out the match with three consecutive points and a kill by Burke on match point.
Olson had 15 digs for Weston-McEwen, while Ellie Scheibner had 12 assists, Hailey Weaver six kills and Graves seven digs and three kills.
Kendra Hart led Stanfield with four kills and nine digs, while Vivianna Odell had three kills and nine digs, and Megan Wampler 14 digs.
“Compared to the first time we played them at Weston-McEwen, the girls came out with a better mindset,” Ganvoa said. “It starts with us giving ourselves an opportunity mentally. We are trying to create a culture where they believe they deserve to win. I appreciate their effort.”
Grant Union 3, Stanfield 0: Kaylee Wright had 12 kills and eight digs, and Hailie Wright had 16 assists and four aces in the 25-3, 25-14, 25-12 victory over the Tigers (11-12, 1-8).
Vivianna Odell had five kills to lead Stanfield, while Allison Griffin had eight digs and two kills, and Savannah Sharp six digs and seven assists.