As we wrap up the third week of the 2022 fall season, here are some headliners in the 2A/1A volleyball landscape…
St. Paul Gets Past 2A and 1A Tests To Win Their Own Tourney
As the old saying goes, iron sharpens iron. Faced so far with an underwhelming schedule, the St. Paul Buckaroos hosted a loaded tournament featuring names like Gaston, North Clackamas Christian, Monroe, Joseph, and more, an opportunity for them and others in the tournament to get better against other good programs.
St. Paul would send a strong message on Saturday, as the Buckaroos took home the entire tournament with a championship win over North Clackamas Christian in three sets (25-18, 22-25, 15-12). In the semifinals, St. Paul had to come from behind to beat 2A Gaston in three sets as well (22-25, 25-19, 15-7). It is a strong indicator that the Buckaroos are to be given the respect of a 1A contender, and they will be a problem for opponents come state time.
How Bout Them Panthers?
It appears that the peak time has arrived in Prairie City, as the Panthers took home their second tournament title of the season on Saturday at Condon High School. The journey started in the first weekend when the Panthers knocked off 2A Grant Union, a victory against the Prospectors that marked the end of playing second fiddle to their bigger counterpart. Out to prove it was no fluke, they did it again three days later, winning in a hotly contested five set battle.
Just a few days after their second win over Grant Union, the Panthers hosted and won their own tournament. Then on Saturday, the Panthers worked their magic again and won the Summit Springs Tournament by sweeping Mannahouse Academy (25-17, 25-18, 25-20). Combine that with their strong strength of schedule en route to an 8-2 record, and it’s the sign that Prairie City is here for the 1A party if all keeps going well.
Pilot Rock Snaps A 31-Game Conference Losing Streak
Finally, in a feel-good moment for a program without a lot of those in recent years, the Pilot Rock Rockets have finally won a conference game for the first time since 2018. On Friday, the Rockets defeated Elgin in four sets to snap a 31-game losing streak in conference play. In context, no member of the current roster has even been around to be part of a conference victory at Pilot Rock until Friday, marking a milestone of progress for Head Coach Jen Porter and for the program as a whole. Cheers to the Rockets and here is to more of these great moments in the future!