Leading the attack

Eastside's Mataya Bireley, right, goes up for a spike against Prairie Heights during Thursday's match at Butler.

BUTLER — Prairie Heights captured a Northeast Corner Conference match Thursday, but not without a fight from Eastside.

The Panthers won 25-22, 25-16 and 25-22.

“Eastside came out with great fire. They’re a very scrappy team,” said Prairie Heights coach Tina Sailor. “We’re working at becoming a great team.

“It was three tough matches,” she said. “Every game, we try to get better.

“Eastside has some great serving. We had a lot more errors than we wanted, and it was because of their serving,” Sailor said.

Eastside coach Kent Mitchell said, “We get really, really close, but we just can’t get it at the end. We have a run and then we have a critical error that ends the run.

“If we can get past those little mistakes, then we can be super competitive.

“This was a competitive match,” he said. “We’ve just got to keep working in practice and clean up some stuff.”

Prairie Heights (9-8) got 13 kills from senior Grace Levitz and 11 from sophomore Kalli Aaron.

Sophomore Chloe Riehl served three aces and was a perfect 14-of-14 behind the line on the night.

Senior Amy German had 21 digs and classmate Morgan Bachelor contributed 33 assists.

Eastside got seven kills from freshman Eleanor Neumann and four from senior Erika Brock.

Brock, sophomore Haleigh Liberty and freshman Zoe McBride had one block each.

Senior Jessi Gerke, junior McKenna Elzey, sophomore Skyelar Kessler and freshman Paige Franz served one ace each. Gerke had seven assists and Kessler added six.

Prairie Heights jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the first set but Eastside fought back to even the score.

The Panthers grabbed another lead but the Blazers evened the score again at 10.

An ace by senior Maddie Harmes put the visitors on top 17-12. Eastside fought back once more before the Panthers closed out the first game 25-22.

Aces by Harmes and Riehl gave Prairie Heights a 21-13 lead in the second set. An Aaron kill pushed the advantage to 23-13.

The third set followed the pattern of the first before the Panthers wound up winning 25-22.

Prairie Heights won the reserve match 25-9, 25-21.

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