WALLA WALLA — Co-captain Caitlin Duncan put down 10 kills and rose for five blocks Tuesday night to lead DeSales to a 25-17, 25-23, 26-24 victory over Waitsburg-Prescott in a Southeast B District Southern Division volleyball match at the Irish gym.
DeSales improved its league record to 2-1 while W-P slipped to 1-2.
Compared with the latter two sets of the contest, the Irish had relatively easy time of it in game one behind three kills from Duncan and 10-for-10 serving by Amanda Warnick — including four aces.
Both teams battled in a tight second game. DeSales held a four-point margin late, 21-17, and appeared to be cruising to a two-game edge.
But Waitsburg-Prescott pulled within one, 21-20, on an Alyssa Hafen kill, and tied the game at 23-all on an Irish hitting error.
Moments later, though, DeSales benefitted from a W-P hitting snafu and Duncan contributed a kill to end the set.
"That’s what we’ve been needing — somebody that would step forward and be in control," DeSales coach Lori Blanc said.
No less than four W-P miscues and a Jamie Majerus ace early in game three helped lift the Irish to a 6-1 lead.
But back came Waitsburg-Prescott. It tallied the next seven points and claimed an 8-6 edge on a Rachelle Oseth kill.
After that surge, the teams would forge ties at 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15 before Waitsburg-Prescott broke out in front 18-15.
But eight of the next 10 points went to the Irish. An Abby Larreau block gave DeSales a three-point spread, 23-20.
Earlier in the game, Larreau earned solo blocks for Irish points 19 and 21.
"She started as a freshman and has continued to improve," Blanc said. "She stepped up big."
W-P tied the third stanza at 24-24 following a Rocio Escalante ace.
But Duncan proved to be too tough at the end. She ended the match with a block and kill.
Larreau ended up with five kills and four blocks. Majerus and Annie Higgins slugged two kills apiece for the Irish. Other individual contributors were Chantel Blanc and Warnick with 11 and six assists, respectively.
As a team, the Irish served at a 97-percent clip (71-for-73).
Genesis Pearson and Ronnie Hulce had nine kills apiece for Waitsburg-Prescott. Kyla Harris and Angie Paniagua were team leaders with 13 and 11 digs, respectively. Amanda Weis set 15 assists and was 19-of-20 from the serving line.
"We came out slow and never warmed up to our game speed," W-P coach Jessie Buehler said. "I’m disappointed. It should have been a longer night than that."
Both teams are back in action on Thursday. The Irish host Liberty Christian and Waitsburg-Prescott travels to Walla Walla Valley Academy.