After dropping two of three matches during pool play on the first day Oct. 27, Pleasant Hill knew it wouldn’t go home with the trophy for which it was hoping.
But the Chick didn’t go home empty-handed.
Relegated to the consolation match Oct. 28 during the Class 3 state volleyball tournament, Pleasant Hill rebounded to snag some hardware for the school trophy case.
The Chicks pulled out a 25-22, 28-26 win against Incarnate Word Academy in the third-place match at the Show Me Center with the help of 12 blocks and 16 Red Knights attack errors.
Pleasant Hill made it to the state championship game last season, but the Chicks fell short this time in pool play.
After beating Incarnate Word 31-29, 25-23, the Chicks lost to eventual champion Helias Catholic 25-21, 25-21 and Lutheran South 25-16, 25-17.
“Every team that comes here should be hoping to win a state title,” Pleasant Hill coach George Creason said. “We were a little bit disappointed after (the first day), but the girls did a really good job refocusing. They knew our season wasn’t over. They were excited to play for third, and they were happy to get it.
“It would’ve been nice to finish a little higher, but I’m very pleased with how they did. And I’m thankful for how they played this weekend.”
The Chicks (30-8-1) hit .229 as a team in the consolation match led by Logan Gish, who finished with six kills, seven assists and five digs. Kylee Reeves had a team-leading 12 assists for Pleasant Hill, while Brooke Cash led the way defensively with 10 digs.
For Incarnate Word (18-18-1), Anna Wilkison had 10 kills, while Grace Bene hit .562 and added nine kills. Abigail Schnell had 16 assists for Incarnate Word, and Ally Reichart contributed 11 digs.
It was Pleasant Hill’s third straight trip to the state semifinals and the final accomplishment for a senior class, which won four district championships and compiled a 40-0 record in winning four straight Missouri River Valley Conference West titles.
“This group of seniors has done some great things,” Creason said. “... We graduated a lot last year, so I had numerous seniors that didn’t play much varsity for me. Getting those girls on the varsity team and building some chemistry and watching them max out their potential along with some of the returning players, it’s just been great to watch them all jell.”