WAITSBURG - Dayton came away the winner of the volleyball opener against Waitsburg-Prescott Wednesday.
The Bulldogs won in four (25-23, 25-16, 17-25, 25-12) to open all play for the season.
"Our defense, teamwork and heart won that game," said Dayton coach Shannon Turner. "They were definitely bigger and hit the ball harder."
Dayton played with one senior, Turner said. Waitsburg-Prescott had six on the roster, and five juniors.
"We were outsized and a younger group by far," she said. "We have a lot of team spirit. These girls play with heart. We're small, we're a small team this year - but our will definitely will help us win matches."
Waitsburg-Prescott tried to do too much, said coach Jessie Buehler.
"We didn't stick to basics," Buehler said. "We made too many errors and tried to do too much."
That meant trick plays and hard serves at the wrong times, she said.
"We got a little ahead of ourselves," she said. "They know all these things ... but at the wrong time, it's a combination of ‘a little of that' everywhere, instead of just ‘bump, set, spike, get the ball over the net.'"
Kayla Turner led the Bulldogs with 13 kills, two blocks, eight assists and nine aces. She also served for Dayton through the winning set four.
"She was the difference in the game," Buehler said. "So that's a credit to her. She went on a run with us and we couldn't recover."
McKayla Bickelhaupt had eight kills and three serving aces, and was 14-of-16 from the serving line.
Shelby Smith had five kills and two blocks, Jessica Tate had nine assists and Nicole Lambert had 13 digs.
Genesis Pearson led W-P with 15 kills and five blocks. Ronnie Hulce had eight. Iris Batalla had 15 digs and Megan Withers had eight. Kayla Huxoll had 20 assists.
Pearson's numbers for W-P, while good, left Buehler wondering how to move the rest of the team up.
"We relied on Genesis all night," she said. "She had a good night, but we couldn't spread out offense and we're usually pretty good at that. Last night, no one but Genesis could hit it."
W-P hosts Pilot Rock Friday and plays in a tournament Saturday.
"That's a good time to get a lot of games in and try different things," Buehler said.
The Bulldogs travel to Asotin Tuesday.
"I was really happy with the way the girls played, and it was a good start to the season," Turner said.