Warriors on the hunt for second straight championship

November 2 - Last Wednesday, Oct. 26, the North Douglas Warriors volleyball team began their hunt for a second 1A state championship when they hosted the Lost River Raiders, who made the 3 ½ hour road trip for the first round of the playoffs.

The Raiders looked competitive early, building a 4-1 lead in set one. But the Warriors would have little trouble coming back. Warriors senior Brooklyn Williams would get a kill to make it a 5-4 Raider lead, then after Lost River hit it out of bounds the game was tied. The teams would trade blows for a few possessions and the set would be tied at 9-9. That’s the closest the Raiders would get the remainder of the set.

Senior Savannah Harkins would score at the net to give the Warriors a 10-9 lead. North Douglas would display their dominance offensively, defensively, and on severs to build an 18-10 lead before the Raiders called a timeout. Senior Makayla Murphy helped the Warriors on the run, as North Douglas scored on five consecutive serves with her up, several of the serves being an ace for Murphy. North Douglas would take set one 25-14. Makayla Murphy led the Warriors on the day with 8 aces, 6 kills, 14 assists, and 7 digs.

Set two would see a similar result, the Raiders again built an early 3-1 lead. But North Douglas made it 4-3, and with junior Brooke McHaffie up to serve, the Warriors would score 13 consecutive unanswered points to build a 16-4 lead. During the run Harkins and senior Brooklyn Williams would each contribute kills for North Douglas. Lost River would make it 20-9, but another kill from Murphy sealed another set win for the Warriors, winning 25-9.

Set three would see about as perfect of a stretch that Warriors coach Emily Reed could hope for. Using more solid serving and defense, North Douglas built a 18-1 lead. The Warriors would win the set 25-2, earning them the playoff win over the Raiders with 3-0 set sweep.

“When asked what she thinks will carry the Warriors in the playoffs, coach Emily Reed responded “Serving defiantly, strong hitting, and our passing has been really well as of late. I think that being at home is a huge advantage to us. You heard the crowd, they are crazy. That really helps carry us.”

The Warriors finished the regular season with a 21-10 record [10-1 in league play] with their only league loss coming on a forfeit after a player was deemed inedible to play. Five of those losses counted against them came in the Nike Tournament of Champions held in Arizona earlier this month. 

Brooke McHaffie had 8 aces, 5 kills, 2 blocks for the Warriors while Brooklyn Cyr ended the evening with 2 aces and 11 digs. Brooklyn Williams had 2 aces with 11 kills, and Savannah Harkins had 4 kills.

The school hosted Prairie City on Saturday and won in three sets. They play Crane tomorrow, Nov.4, at 3:15 p.m.