Tuesday was a huge night for the Prosper volleyball team, and not just because it went on the road and beat nine-time state champion Lovejoy.
The season-opening victory gave Prosper coach Erin Kauffman her 300th career win. It was also a matchup of two of the top teams in the Dallas area, with Lovejoy ranked No. 1 in Class 5A-others and Prosper ranked No. 2 in 6A.
Prosper won 22-25, 27-25, 25-18, 25-22 against a Lovejoy team that has won the last three 5A state championships. Prosper was led by 25 kills from 6-4 junior Ayden Ames, who is committed to national runner-up Nebraska.
A big night from Ames wasn’t surprising. She was an all-state selection last year after moving in from California, and she is a part of the USA Volleyball Under 19 National Training Team.
Prosper lost only two starters from last year’s 29-13 team, and that talent was on display Tuesday. Ella Chaney (13 kills, 11 digs) and Callie Kieffer (44 assists, 12 digs) had double-doubles, Jayla Jackson added five kills and five blocks, and Brooklyn Bowman recorded 12 digs.
To see photos from Prosper’s win, go here.
Tradition continues: Every year since 1997, Highland Park and Red Oak have opened the season against each other, and that series continued Tuesday.
Highland Park won 25-13, 25-10, 25-18 as UCLA pledge Sydney Breon had 12 kills, Georgia Tech pledge Zoe Winford recorded a team-high 10 digs in her first varsity match for Highland Park, and Harper Hall added 22 assists. Michigan pledge Ceci Gooch, Alex Richter and Nicole Mauser each had a team-best three blocks, and Richter and Mauser combined for 13 kills for the area’s third-ranked 6A team.
The series started when Sandy Faussett was the coach at Highland Park and Arthur Stanfield was the coach at Red Oak. Highland Park’s Michael Dearman and Red Oak’s Hope Porter have continued the series, and they celebrated that Tuesday by having the two teams take a picture together and announced it and recognized it before the match.
“Highland Park and Red Oak, from about 2002 through about 2009, the series was really back and forth. The two teams would meet deep into the playoffs, both were very good programs at the time. It was a really competitive match,” Dearman said.
“[Porter] and I kind of made an agreement that we were going to keep that thing going since it had already been going, at that time, for a good 10 years or more. We wanted to make that an ongoing thing.”
Marquee matchups: In a clash of area-ranked teams, 5A-others No. 3 Frisco Wakeland beat 6A No. 9 Rockwall 25-15, 25-13, 25-22.
Oklahoma pledge Hannah Pfiffner led Wakeland with 10 kills and also had three blocks, Creighton pledge Audrey Clark had 21 assists and three aces, LSU pledge Jessica Jones had six blocks and four kills and Providence pledge Savannah Ivie had 12 digs and four aces. Oregon pledge Becca Kelley had eight kills for Rockwall, and Gabi Ashcraft added 28 assists.
In another matchup of top-10 teams, 6A No. 7 Plano West beat 5A-others No. 9 Bishop Lynch 25-20, 30-28, 25-13. Pittsburgh pledge Blaire Bayless led Plano West with 11 kills and four aces, Katelyn Ruhman had eight kills and four aces, and Kate Mansfield added six kills and five blocks.
A player to keep an eye on at Plano West is freshman Reese Poerner. She started at right-side hitter in her first high school match and had four kills and a block.
Colleyville Heritage, ranked No. 4 in Class 5A-others, beat Class 6A Southlake Carroll 25-23, 25-23, 26-24. Carroll was coming off a season in which it reached the third round of the playoffs.
Houston pledge Ella Busey led Colleyville Heritage with 14 kills, Suli Davis added 10 kills and three blocks and Air Force pledge Reagan Engler had seven kills and four blocks. Louisiana-Monroe pledge Morgan Howard had 30 assists for Heritage.