Hard work and talent has paid off for Pleasant Hill this season.
The same team that worked to a fourth place finish in last year’s Class 3 state volleyball tournament has earned another spot to the state championships this weekend at Show Me Center, Cape Girardeau.
First, the Chicks, 33-1-2, had to get through Carl Junction in the Class 3, District 12 championship Oct. 24 at Clinton. Pleasant Hill won in two sets, 25-22 and 25-18.
“We are pretty excited,” Pleasant Hill senior middle hitter Anna Prewitt said. “We worked really hard. We take it game by game. That was just a game we had to get through first.”
The first set went back and forth until the score was tied at 19-19. Prewitt hit a kill, followed by two kill errors on Carl Junction to give the Chicks a 22-19 advantage.
After a spike from senior middle hitter Shannon Haws, Carl Junction got a kill to keep Pleasant Hill just three points ahead. But the Chicks got a final spike from senior outside hitter Codi Winslow to seal the victory.
“I think we stayed really tough,” Prewitt said. “We always try to stay on a consistent level, stay level headed and I think that was what carried us through this game.”
Pleasant Hill started out stronger in the second set, taking a quick 10-4 advantage and keep ahead to lead 22-15 later in the set.
A kill and a block by Carl Junction made the score 22-17, but an error on Carl Junction and a kill by sophomore outside hitter Kai Wesemann put the Chicks ahead at 24-17. Another kill by Carl Junction was followed with a spike by Kai Wesemann to end the set.
“We tried not to expect anything,” Pleasant Hill senior setter Mallory Miller said. “We respected them and knew they were a good team coming in, but we just all wanted it so bad. We were not going to go down easy.”
Prewitt had 11 kills and two blocks and Kai Wesemann had six kills, seven digs and one ace. Winslow had six kills, one assist, nine digs and one ace. Haws had three kills and two blocks and Haley Cash had one assist, two kills and one block. Miller had 19 assists and one dig and Brook Crotty had five assists. Kindred Wesemann had 15 digs and one ace and Rachel Schick had two blocks and two digs.
Pleasant Hill took down Mt. Vernon 25-20 and 25-17 in the semifinals of districts.
The Chicks were led in kills by Prewitt with seven. She also had two blocks. Haws had six kills and Kai Wesemann had four kills, seven digs and two aces. Winslow had four kills, six digs, one ace and one assist, Miller had six assists, one kill and one ace, Cash had two assists and one block, Crotty had 10 assists and one dig, Schick had one assist, three kills, two blocks, one dig and one ace and Kindred Wesemann had one kill and 10 digs.
Kindred Wesemann, Prewitt and Miller were all named to the all-district first team. Kai Wesemann was honored on second team along with Harrisonville’s Madyson Berkenpas.
The Chicks went on to sectionals, defeating Reeds Spring 25-16 and 25-11, then beat Logan-Rogersville in quarterfinals 28-26, 21-25 and 26-24.
“This would have been a fun match to be involved in if the stakes weren’t so high,” Pleasant Hill head coach George Creason said. “The girls really gritted it out and made the big plays when we needed them to. After beating three state-ranked teams in a row, the girls have definitely earned their trip back to the final four.”
In those two matches, Winslow had 18 kills and 17 digs. Prewitt had 17 kills and two blocks, Kai Wesemann had 12 kills, one block, 20 digs and two aces and Haws had 11 kills and three blocks. Schick had four kills, two blocks, one assist and one ace, Cash had one assist, two kills and four blocks, Miller had 35 assists, four digs and one ace, Crotty had 19 assists, two digs and one ace and Kindred Wesemann had one assist, one kill and 30 digs.
“We just have to keep doing what we are doing,” Miller said. “We have to stay focused and practice and get ready.”
In Class 1 sectionals Santa Fe defeated Midway 25-18, 25-27 and 25-9. The Vikings end their season with a 29-3-1 record.