PROPHETSTOWN — The Princeton Tigresses cruised to an 11-1 lead to start the third and final set Thursday, looking to put the Three Rivers East Conference opener in the win column. Then they hit a stand still as the Lady Prophets fought back within 14-8.
At that time, the Tigresses’ sisters in blue and white took a stand in support. The Princeton F/S girls, who already won both of their matches, rose in unison in the stands right behind Prophetstown’s end of the court and made their presence loudly known. Their cheers seemed to give the PHS varsity the spark they were needing and perhaps flustered the Lady Prophets just a bit.
They also took the Prophetstown boys out of the game, who met their match when it came to cheering against the PHS girls. Tigress dad Bill Smith observed the Prophetstown just gave up.
It proved to be game over for both the Prophetstown boys and girls as the Tigresses outscored their hosts 11-5 the rest of the way to finish off a 25-20, 15-25, 25-13 victory.
“They were awesome. So much energy to help us pull through,” PHS coach Andy Puck said.
“Yeah, it got us pretty pumped,” PHS senior Anna Murray said.
An ace by senior Kate Vigars lifted the Tigresses to a 19-10 lead after a sideout. A block by Sarah Grieff and a kill by Kaylee Hammerich lifted PHS to a 21-12 edge.
Olivia Vergamini hit for the sideout at 22-13. Corine Peterson served up an ace and scored the game-winner two points later on Katelyn Ross’ cross off the Lady Prophets mid row.
“We showed patience, trust and mental toughness in a very athletic match with a very good Prophetstown team,” Puck said.
PHS gained a 12-11 lead in the first set on a block by Olivia Vergamini.
The Tigresses turned to their soft side to gain control. A push to the left by Murray gave PHS a 16-12 lead. Lydia Smallwood floated an ace serve for a 19-13 lead and another push by Murray made it 20-14.
PHS scored the game-winner on a four-hit violation on Prophetstown.
The Lady Prophets opened up a close second set by taking a 15-11 lead. Maddie Fouts ended the Lady Prophets’ 25-15 winner on a big hit.
Murray finished with a match-high 13 kills and Vergamini and Hammerich split 10 more. Vigars tallied 11 points with an ace and 13 assists.
• Tiger tales: PHS won the sophomore match 25-18 and 25-9 while the freshmen dug up a 25-21, 25-17 win in their conference debut.
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