KENNEWICK — With a good portion of their team returning this season, the Prairie Falcons were looking to bring home some shiny hardware from the Class 3A state volleyball tournament in Kennewick.
A trophy still is on the horizon, but after a 25-21, 25-21, 25-23 loss to Mt. Spokane in the quarterfinals Friday night, it won’t be the one the Falcons really wanted.
“We fell apart mentally,” first-year Falcons coach Jen Palmer said. “That’s where I’m disappointed. We played a talented team and had a tough time coming back from emotional swings that weren’t in our favor.”
Prairie will be back on the court at 9 a.m. Saturday against Stanwood in a loser-out game. A win over the Spartans would put the Falcons in the fifth-place match at 3 p.m.
After dropping the first two sets, Prairie put itself in position to win the third, forging ties at 17, 18, 21 and 22. But the Wildcats controlled the net at the end, getting the match-winning kill from Miahna Waters.
“We didn’t give up easy points,” Palmer said. “I’m proud of the heart they have.”
Zoe McBride, the two-time 3A Greater St. Helens League MVP led the Falcons with 16 kills. The 6-foot senior, who has several Division I offers, also had 10 digs and one block.
Lainne Wilkins handed out 31 assists, while Abby Brotherton had eight kills and Megan Hammes 15 digs.
Waters led the Wildcats with 16 kills and 17 digs, while Malina Ama added 14 kills and five aces.
The Falcons opened play Friday with a 26-24, 25-20, 25-23 victory over Roosevelt.
“We felt really good after this morning’s win,” Palmer said. “We were in a good mental space. We capitalized at times when we needed to.”
McBride led the way with 16 kills and 11 digs, while Wilkins added 29 assists and Hammes 13 digs.