by Michael Smith
Grain Valley senior wide receiver Logan Pratt was expected to be one of the football team's biggest weapons this season.
However, an ankle injury against Truman in Week 4 has slowed him down some the past few games and caused him to miss a Week 5 game against Kearney entirely.
In Friday’s Suburban White Conference contest against Raytown, the ankle didn’t appear to be bothering Pratt that much. He caught six passes from quarterback Caleb Larson for 120 yards and two touchdowns to help Grain Valley earn a 21-14 victory at Moody Murray Memorial Field.
“It feels good to finally connect with the QB and feel healthy again,” Pratt said. “After the game last Friday, the pain started to go away and I was thinking, ‘Alright, I can push through this.’ This week, it felt good.”
Larson, who completed 6 of 7 passes for 120 yards, targeted Pratt on all of his attempts. There was a reason for that. The senior runs a 40-yard dash time of 4.4 seconds and is a threat to beat any defense deep.
With the Eagles trailing Raytown 14-13 midway through the fourth period, Pratt beat a Raytown cornerback by a step and caught a 41-yard TD pass from Larson, which ended up being the game-winner. Wide receiver Brek Sloan ran it in on a reverse for a two-point conversion to make it 21-14.
“The struggle he has been through the last few weeks with his ankle being hurt, and not being able to play the full season last year, this game was one where he showed out,” Larson said. “He came in here with heart and passion even with his ankle hurting a little bit.”
Pratt also got wide open on a 25-yard TD pass in the second quarter, which was sandwiched between field goals of 40 and 47 yards from kicker Austin Schmitt, which helped the Eagles take a 13-0 lead in the first half.
A healthy Pratt is a game changer for the Eagles, said head coach David Allie. On Friday, he accounted for 120 of the Eagles 179 yards of offense.
“It’s good to have him back close to 100 percent,” Allie said. “That outside threat is very hard to cover. Teams are going to have to account for that and they might have to double team him. That takes one of the guys who try to stop the run, to help out on Logan. That can open up some running lanes or passing lanes for us.”
Meanwhile, the defense continued to play well. This was the sixth time in eight games that Grain Valley (5-3, 3-1 conference) held an opponent to 14 points or less. It also held the Blue Jays to just 219 total yards.
“Coming into the season, we knew we had some experience coming back up front and in the secondary,” Allie said, “but the linebackers were inexperienced. “They’ve really shined and helped put our defense in the right position. They got some big tackles for loss when we needed them.”
Forkner is one of those linebackers as he led the defense with 8.5 tackles, two for a loss and one sack. His sack came at a big time in the game when Raytown was ahead 14-13 early in the fourth period. The Blue Jays had a chance to extend the lead as it got a first down on third-and-18 and got the ball to the Grain Valley 32-yard line.
The Eagles defense tightened up and was aided by a pair of Raytown penalties. Forkner sacked quarterback Nate Whitebear for a 12-yard loss. On third-and-30, defensive end Rhylan Alcanter brought down Whitebear in the backfield for another 7-yard loss, forcing a punt of fourth down.
“We had a heck of a night and played smash mouth football,” junior defensive end Jake Allen said, who had 6.5 tackles, two of which went for a loss.
”It’s not about the size of the dog but the size of the fight in the dog.”
After Grain Valley got the touchdown and two-point conversion on the ensuing drive, the defense got its most important stop of the game. Raytown had fourth-and-2 at its own 30-yard line and Allen and linebacker Brody Baker read the option run by Whitebear and stopped him before he could reach the first-down marker to get a turnover on downs with 2 minutes left.
“I saw their back roll out and I read the guard,” said Baker, who had five tackles. “The defensive tackles did a great job up front which allowed us linebackers to roam free.”
“Jake has a lot of energy. In the locker room, he’s a different animal.”
The Grain Valley offense ran the clock down to 55 seconds on offense before punting the ball back to the Blue Jays. Raytown didn’t cross midfield as time expired.
Raytown got a touchdown with 26 seconds left on an 18-yard screen pass from Whitebear to running back Zhamari Gary.The Blue Jays took the lead with 1:30 left in the third period following a 1-yard run from Gary out of the Wildcat formation.
Grain Valley will have a chance to clinch the No. 1 seed in the Class 5 District 7 tournament with a win over Belton, which is currently the two-seed, next Friday. That would assure the Eagles home field advantage throughout the district bracket and a first-round bye.
“The last four games have been really physical for us, so that bye is really important for us,” Grain Valley head coach David Allie said. “Having that No. 1 seed is important, but we have to take care of business against Belton.”
Senior wide receiver Logan Pratt caught six passes from quarterback Caleb Larson for 120 yards and two touchdowns to help Grain Valley earn a 21-14 victory. Photo credit: John Overstreet
by Michael Smith
The Grain Valley boys and girls teams hadn’t run the cross country course at Grain Valley North Middle School all season.
Junior Carson Hill has never run on the course even though it’s located in his hometown.
That didn’t stop him or his boys team from having a strong showing at the eighth annual Sock It To Cancer Grain Valley Invitational Saturday. In fact, Hill won the individual title, while his team also finished atop the podium with 22 points.
The girls team took second with 48 points. Blue Springs won with 32.
Hill easily took first with a time of 16:39. He finished ahead of teammate Mason McCain, who was a second-place finisher at 17:05.8. It was Hill’s third first-place finish of the year.
“I always aim for first, but I undoubtedly knew I’d get it today,” Hill said.
Grain Valley head coach Nick Small said Hill has been a leader for the team and has displayed a team-first mentality.
“We’re excited about his progression,” Small said of Hill. “He broke the course record today and that was cool to see happen. He has his head on straight and he’s a humble kind of guy. I am excited to see what he can do moving forward.”
The course was a difficult one for some runs as it featured many hills during the final mile. But it was something McCain was used to.
“I live about a mile from here,” McCain said. “I run here often. I am pretty used to this course, and I think it was pretty fun.”
“We came out pretty hard and tried to hang on for as long as possible. It’s pretty fun to be able to run with Carson for a little bit.”
Small said he’s been impressed with how much McCain has improved since the beginning of the season.
“He has improved his mindset and his approach,” Small said of McCain. “Being teammates with Carson has helped him a lot and has helped him realize that he can run with those top guys.”
Rounding out the times for Grain Valley were sophomore Adrian Bobzien (fourth, 18:00.5), senior Jackson Williams (seventh, 18:38.4), sophomore Chris Fossinger (eighth, 18:45), freshman David Roberson (13th, 19:06.9) and freshman Landon Barnes (15th, 19:06.9).
“I think our team has a legitimate shot to make state as a team,” McCain said. “We were all right at the beginning of the season. Now everyone is focused.
For the girls team, Ella Casey led the way for the Eagles as she took third with a time of 20:58.1. While it’s a strong finish, the senior wasn’t satisfied with the result.
“I wasn’t super happy with it,” Casey said of her final time, but it’s not bad considering the conditions of this course.
“Right at the 2K mark, it’s really hilly. My time was a lot slower than usual but that’s taking into account all of the hills.”
Like Hill and McCain, Small has noticed improvement from Casey.
“She’s kind of turned the corner, too,” Small said. “She has made a lot of progress this season. Ella has ups and downs, but this season, she has really decided to get after it since it’s her senior year. I have been excited about her season.”
Finishing second on the team and seventh overall was freshman Amyah Grayball, who finished at 21:24.
“I felt good. It was a nice day,” Graybill said. “There’s a lot of incline on this course. You really have to lean into it.
“I wasn’t really expecting a (personal record) because of all the hills on this course.”
Rounding out the times for Grain Valley were sophomore Kayley Bell (10th, 21:37.9), junior Lexie Nicholson (12th, 22:00.3), freshman Jordan Gossage (16th, 22:12.7) and senior Gabby Valverde (17th, 22:21.6).
“Our last race, we were almost back-to-back finishing,” Graybill said. “We stayed pretty close together. That’s something we are good at.”
After shutting out Raytown 10-0 on Monday, October 4th, the Grain Valley Softball team continued its winning streak with a 12-1 win against Truman on Tuesday, October 5th.
Pitcher Hailey Hemme struck out 9 in 5 innings against Raytown on Monday, and Cameryn Bown racked up 3 RBIs.
The Eagles continue faced conference opponent Belton on October 6th..
Grain Valley Boys soccer won 6-2 vs. Raytown on October 5th, improving their record to 7-5 for the season. Austin Schmitt scored 3 goals for the Eagles, with Micah Siems, Owen White, and Carter Compton each contributing a goal to the win.
The Eagles face Ladue at home at 2:00pm on October 9th.
by Michael Smith
A week after forcing three turnovers in a strong defensive effort against Kearney, the Grain Valley defense showed once again that it’s one of the strongest units in the Kansas City area.
The Eagles were able to hold a Fort Osage team in check that came into Friday’s game at Moody Murray Memorial Field averaging 39 points per game. However, costly mistakes and a little bit of bad luck doomed the Eagles in a 9-8 loss in a Suburban White Conference game.
“We unfortunately couldn’t get out of our own way offensively,” Grain Valley head coach David Allie said, whose team had eight penalties for 50 yards.
“We’d get some yardage then get a penalty. It’s stuff we can control but we didn’t tonight. We can’t beat ourselves”
It was a defensive battle early on as the game was tied at 0 going into the second quarter. The Eagles finally broke through with 4:34 left in the third when senior Tristin Pouncil blocked a punt from Greg Menne which was kicked out of bounds for a safety and a 2-0 Grain Valley lead.
On Fort Osage’s ensuing drive, junior linebacker Cole Elliott jumped a route from wide receiver Lorezo Fenner and intercepted a pass from Menne and returned it to the Indians 24-yard line. On third down, quarterback Caleb Larson fit a pass between two Fort Osage defense backs as sophomore wide receiver Anthony Greco made a leaping catch for a touchdown at the 1:09 mark to make it 8-0.
Larson, who was holding the ball for an extra point attempt from kicker Austin Schmidt pulled the ball and tried to find a receiver in the end zone. His pass fell incomplete as the 2-point attempt failed.
The 8-0 lead held until halftime, but when the third quarter started, that’s when the bad luck hit the Eagles. Schmidt, who is normally automatic in terms of kicking touchbacks, had a short kick that landed around the Fort Osage 19-yard line.
Indians wide receiver Lorenzo Fenner turned the kick into a big return and made it to the Eagles 2-yard line. Fort Osage almost gave the ball away on a muffed snap on the first play, but the senior running back Javon Hall leaped over the Eagles defensive line for a 3-yard touchdown run that narrowed the gap to 8-6 after a failed two-point conversion at the 11:24 mark in the third period.
“He slipped,” Allie said of Schmidt’s kickoff. “The turf was wet. That was bad luck. We obviously don’t want to kick it to that dude.”
On Grain Valley’s next drive, it made it into Fort Osage territory for the fourth time. Early in the drive, Grain Valley starting running back Jaxon Wyatt injured his ankle and did not come back into the game.
That left the Eagles (3-3, 1-1 conference) with just one-half of their dynamic running back duo in freshman DJ Harris. On fourth-and-1 from the Fort Osage 33, he was tackled behind the line of scrimmage for a turnover on downs.
That was the story for the Grain Valley rushing attack which only accumulated 77 yards, with 55 of those coming from Larson. The Eagles had a hard time blocking Fort Osage nose tackle Brock Bransteitter, who helped stuff Eagle runs up the middle.
“They had a big ol’ nose (tackle) that we didn’t do a good job against,” Allie said. “He gave us fits inside.”
After the Indians (5-1, 3-0 conference) got the ball back, they made it to the Grain Valley 14 before the Eagles forced a fourth down. Kicker Xander Shepherd was able to sneak a 31-yard field goal inside the right post to give his team the lead for good with 1:52 remaining in the third.
Late in the fourth quarter, Grain Valley had one last chance to score. On third-and-1, Harris, who has been a productive player for the Eagles all season, got enough yards for a first down. A subsequent fumble was recovered by junior outside linebacker Ryan Thorpe at the Fort 37.
With just a little more than 3 minutes remaining, Fort Osage ran out the rest of the clock.
The Eagles defense was a bright spot. They held Fort Osage to just 148 total yards. The effort was led by senior linebacker Gage Forkner, who had 10 tackles and junior defensive end Jake Allen who had a team-high 1.5 sacks.
“Our defense stepped up,” Allie said. “To hold that offense to (nine) points is pretty phenomenal.”
The Eagles defense was a bright spot. They held Fort Osage to just 148 total yards. The effort was led by senior linebacker Gage Forkner (#7 right foreground), who had 10 tackles and junior defensive end Jake Allen (#20) who had a team-high 1.5 sacks.
Photo credit: John Overstreet
The Grain Valley school board set the overall property tax levy rate at $4.9263 for 2021. The rate reflects a decrease of 17.96 cents compared with the year prior. In a release, the district noted the change was made to offset an increase in assessed valuation of property by $46,855,425 in 2021. The district also noted the rate is the second lowest in Jackson County.
by Michael Smith
Bend but don’t break.
That seemed to be the motto for the defense for the Grain Valley football team Friday at Kearney.
It appeared it might break late in the fourth quarter when the Eagles had a 14-7 lead. Kearney ahd the ball on its own 9-yard line and after three incomplete passes, it was fourth-and-10. It seemed like Grain Valley was poised to end it there.
However, Kearney quarterback Casey Rooney kept on making big-time throws and got his Bulldogs all the way to the Eagles 11 yard line with a chance to tie it.
That’s when the Eagles needed someone to step up. That someone was junior defensive back Keagan Hart. He intercepted a pass in the middle of the end zone with 1:06 remaining in the game and that play ended up being the difference in a 14-7 non-conference victory.
“I knew I needed to stay with my man, (Grace),” Hart said. “My lineman and linebackers were able to get in the backfield and that helped me get my pick. They made (Rooney) scramble.”
Hart jumped the route when Rooney tried to get the ball to wide receiver Zach Grace, who had eight catches for 11 yards. That was one of three times the Grain Valley defense stopped a Kearney drive when the ball was kept in its own territory.
After the interception, the Eagles offense was able to run the clock down to 9 seconds. After a Kearney punt return that netted 0 yards, they tried a hook and ladder play, but it failed as multiple Grain Valley players leaped up and down and patted each other following the win.
Senior linebacker Gage Forkner credited the success of the defense to the work it puts in after practices. In their three wins, the Eagles (3-2) have held opponents to just 11.3 points per game compared to 30 per game in their two losses.
“We come out every day after practice and we have black shirt runs,” said Grain Valley linebacker Gage Forkner, who had four tackles and one for a loss. “Those help us not break at the end.
“All the defensive players get on the line after practice, and we get extra runs with the whole defense.”
The Grain Valley defense gave up 361 yards to Kearney, with 132 coming on the ground from running back KJ Smith. He scored the first touchdown of the game at the 3:53 mark when he scampered 55-yards for a score after breaking a tackle and making a cut to get around the defense, making it 7-0.
The Eagles (3-2), who were missing their No. 1 wide receiver Logan Pratt because of an ankle contusion, responded on the ensuing drive. They marched 90 yards on a drive that was capped by quarterback Caleb Larson lobbing one up for wide receiver Anthony Greco in the front left corner of the end zone for a 20-yard TD to tie the game at 7-all.
Both teams went into halftime tied before Grain Valley senior defensive back Jordan Jones made the first interception of the day in the third period.
Rooney tried a deep pass along the left sideline early in the third quarter, but defensive back Jordan Jones was able to get under it and get his first interception of the season at the Eagle 13.
“We have been watching film all week on that route,” Jones said of the interception. “I read it perfectly and turned my head and saw the ball come to me and I did my thing.”
Jones has been a lead-by-example type of player for Grain Valley.
“He’s kind of the silent assassin for us,” Allie said. “He’s a kid who played last year and got to start a few games. He came back with some experience. He works hard and doesn’t say much at all. He lets his play do the talking and it talks pretty loudly.”
That interception led to a go-ahead touchdown from Grain Valley senior running back Jaxon Wyatt. His offensive line opened a huge hole up the middle and he had to make just one cut to score from 30 yards out and give his team a 14-7 lead.
“We were able to seal the edge and get outside on runs, which helped us,” Allie said.
Midway through the fourth period, Kearney had the ball at the Eagles 13-yard line on fourth-and-7, but Rooney made a bad read and threw the ball right to linebacker Brody Baker for another pick.
That interception and the two others were made possible because of the pressure Grain Valley’s front seven had on Rooney. Players like defensive linemen Rhylan Alcanter and Jake Allen along with Forker were in the back field frequently.
“Their quarterback was hurried quite a bit,” Allie said. “That affected their passing game. Gage ran downhill and he read the plays well and got tackles for loss.”
Eagles defensive back Gabe Storment led the team with seven tackles and Allen had a team-high tow tackles for loss.
On offense, Larson was 5 of 7 passing for 65 yards and rushed the ball 14 times for 81 yards. DJ Harris also carried the ball 11 times for 77 yards.
From left, senior Gage Forkner, junior Keegan Hart and senior Jordan Jones helped Grain Valley get three takeaways during a 14-7 win Friday at Kearney.
Photo credit: Michael Smith
Grain Valley junior defensive end Rhylan Alcanter chases after Kearney quarterback Casey Rooney.
Photo credit: Michael Smith
Grain Valley quarterback Caleb Larson escapes the pocket and tries to find an open teammate.
Photo credit: Michael Smith
A viral video trend on the social media app TikTok has made its way to the metro area, and this trend has nothing to do with a catchy dance or goofy prank. Tens of thousands of videos have been posted in recent weeks with hashtags such as #deviouslicks and #diabolicallicks, showing serious acts of vandalism to school and park restrooms, teachers’ desks, school lockers, and other school facilities.
Metro area districts have experienced similar acts of vandalism and are taking a variety of measures, including removing access to most restrooms in schools, in an effort to stop the damage. According to Deputy Superintendent, Student and Community Services, Dr. Brad Welle, Grain Valley Schools have not been immune to the issue.
“We are experiencing a significant increase in vandalism this fall, especially in our school restrooms. This is happening at every level - elementary, middle school, and high school. (The TikTok challenge) appears to be the driving reason behind this behavior. We are repairing toilets and stalls, and are having to replace soap and towel dispensers. It is getting expensive,” Welle said.
“There are consequences, including paying for damages, for anyone determined to have vandalized or stolen school property,” Welle said.
Wednesday evening, Grain Valley High School principal Dr. Jeremy Plowman sent an email to students and parents, asking for cooperation in discouraging and reporting these acts.
"Over the past two weeks, we have had multiple instances of stolen or damaged bathroom items, food stuffed down toilets, defacing of stalls, mirrors, etc. While we have encountered vandalism in our bathrooms in the past, it has become a daily occurrence at the high school. We have zero tolerance for this. Those that are caught committing vandalism or theft will receive school discipline and will have to reimburse the school for damages or theft. The disrespect these acts show our hard-working and short-staffed custodians and the stellar students and staff in this building does not sit well with me," Plowman said.
Oak Grove Parks and Recreation recently posted a photo of damage to a park restroom on their Facebook page, asking anyone with information on the vandalism to contact the parks department or police department with tips.
Shannon Davies, Grain Valley Parks and Recreation Director, said Grain Valley park facilities have been spared so far, but his crews and the police department have been vigilant in keeping an eye out for potential problems.
“This recent Tik Tok trend has area park departments on notice. Several have closed their park restrooms in response to this. We have kept our restrooms open. Within the past couple of weeks, we have had no vandalism in our parks that would relate to this. Park Maintenance is making routine checks at our restrooms and any other park related amenities several times a day to try and stay ahead of this. If we do start seeing this vandalism, we will entertain the idea of restroom closures. GVPD is also aware and keeping an eye out for us,” Davies said.
by Michael Smith
When Grain Valley freshman DJ Harris took a right-side toss to the end zone from 28-yards out, the Grain Valley student section started a chant.
“He’s a freshman! He’s a freshman!” the crowd chanted.
That’s a chant that is common when a freshman does well in any high school sport. While the chant can sometimes be a knock on the other team for letting a freshman do something productive in their sport, it likely was meant more as a compliment for the talented ball carrier.
That touchdown was one of three for Harris on the night as he helped power his Eagles to a 48-13 rout of Truman Friday at Moody Murray Memorial Field.
Harris, who serves as the No. 2 running back behind senior starter Jaxon Wyatt, has proven to be a strong complementary piece. He has four rushing touchdowns on the season and that’s second most on the team behind quarterback Caleb Larson.
On Friday, he finished with 59 yards on eight carries.
“He had a fumble last time, but tonight he came back strong and got three touchdowns and didn’t fumble,” Grain Valley head coach David Allie said. “That shows maturity and growth.”
Allie isn’t the only one who has been impressed with Harris. Wyatt had high praise for the freshman after the game.
“He’s going to the NFL,” Wyatt said.
So, what did Harris think about Wyatt’s comments?
“I have to keep working for that. There is still a lot more to come and a lot to learn,” Harris said with a chuckle.
He will have his opportunity to potentially be the lead running back next season. For now, that honor belongs to Wyatt, who also had a big game. He finished with 72 yards on 12 carries and his first two touchdowns of the season.
“Jaxon is just a dog,” Harris said. “The running back duo we have is amazing.”
Grain Valley quarterback Caleb Larson added 58 yards on eight carries and a score. He also completed 4 of 11 passes for 117 yards. The Eagles (2-2) totaled 324 yards of offense.
They led 17-0 at the end of the first quarter, held a 34-0 advantage at halftime and had its biggest lead in the fourth quarter of 48-0 before Truman scored two touchdowns against Grain Valley’s backups on defense.
The Grain Valley varsity defense created eight quarterback pressures and the team overall held the Patriots (0-4) to just 170 total yards of offense, with 136 yards of those coming against the Eagles’ backups when the game was already out of reach.
The defense was put into a good position for success largely because of kicker Austin Schmitt. The junior got eight touchbacks on 10 kickoff attempts. The other two were perfectly executed onside kicks. One was recovered and the other was dropped out of bounds.
Schmitt, who is also a two-time all-state selection for the soccer team, easily made two field goals from 32 and 34 yards out.
“He’s a dude,” Allie said. “He’s worked really hard over the summer, and he’s taken to coaching really well and he has a special leg.”
In practice, Schmitt can make field goals from 50-plus yards out. His strong leg is a reason why he’s debating between playing football or soccer in college.
“It feels good that I can kick them that far now,” Schmitt said. “My freshman year, I could maybe kick it 35 yards. Now I can kick it 55. I just put in the work over the summer.”
Anthony Greco led the Eagles in receiving with three catches for 60 yards. Linebacker Gage Forkner led the defense with five tackles and 1.5 coming by loss.
Freshman DJ Harris, who serves as the No. 2 running back behind senior starter Jaxon Wyatt, has proven to be a strong complementary piece. He has four rushing touchdowns on the season and that’s second most on the team behind quarterback Caleb Larson. On Friday, he finished with 59 yards on eight carries. Photo credit: John Overstreet
Jaxon Wyatt finished with 72 yards on 12 carries and his first two touchdowns of the season.
Photo credit: John Overstreet
by Michael Smith
The Grain Valley volleyball team has looked really strong so far in the 2021 season.
That was no different in its Tuesday night game against Oak Park.
The Eagles easily won the first two sets, but got an unexpected challenge from the Oakies in the third. The visitors jumped out to a 6-0 lead and looked like they might have a chance to win at least one set.
However, because of the serving of junior Dru Iles and the clutch play of senior outside hitter Olivia Williams, the Eagles withstood Oak Park’s late push to get back in the game and came away with a 25-14, 25-9, 25-19 victory to improve to 5-0 on the season.
So what’s been the key to the Eagles fast start?
“The girls work well together and they want to win,” Squires said. “It’s showing. I think we just need to keep the positivity on the court and the want to win. It will pay off.”
Grain Valley made it look easy in the first two sets. After winning the first set by 11 points, the Eagles ran away with the second set. Behind the serving of Williams, Grain Valley went on a big run that was aided by miscues from the Oakies.
Just when it appeared Grain Valley was going to coast to a three-set victory, Oak Park put up a challenge, going up 6-0 as the Eagles looked like it had some communication errors at times. After Oak Park went ahead 12-6 after a serve that went out of bounds for Grain Valley, a Williams kill sparked an 8-0 run.
“I think we had it in our minds that we were going to win that third set, and we didn’t come out as strong as we should have,” Iles said. ”It’s all about playing your best at all times and I don’t think we did that in the third set.”
During that span, Williams had a pair of kills that are called Tonya tips. It’s a short shot that lands just over the net on the opposite side. She did that pair of times to catch the Oakies off guard.
“Our passing and our serving got better, and moving more,” Williams said of what the team did differently during the 8-0 run. “Honestly, we actually started trying. We weren’t before.”
Added Squires: “Olivia is a real athlete. She hustles for every ball and works hard in every single practice. She just loves the game and it shows.”
Meanwhile Iles helped get the team back on track in the third set as the Eagles went ahead 14-12 that was capped by an ace on a serve that found open space in the middle of the Oak Pak defense. Grain Valley never trailed after the run.
“I think my serving is getting better and a lot more consistent,” Iles said. “It felt really good to get all those serves.”
Although the Eagles had some mistakes on their end during the third game, Squires had to give credit to the Oakies for putting up a strong fight despite losing the first two sets by a big margin.
“Oak Park came out to play in that third set. They wanted to get a win under their belt,” Squires said. “They weren’t quitting. That says a lot about their team.”
Junior Adeyn Bybee led Grain Valley with 11 kills, Addison Baumgartner and Iles were tied for the team lead in aces with five each and senior Kellie Overturf led with nine blocks.