WALLA WALLA - Waitsburg-Prescott opened strongly and took a three-set win from DeSales Thursday.
The W-P team took its first win, 25-13, 26-24 and 25-12, to improve to 1-4 on the season. The Irish dropped to 1-3.
"It was a really good win," said W-P coach Jessie Buehler. "We showed up to play, and I think that was the first time we've won the first set in a match all year and didn't have to play from behind."
Genesis Pearson led W-P with 14 kills, eight digs and four blocks. She was 13-for-15 from the serving line with five aces.
Ronnie Hulce had six kills and Megan Withers had five, Kayla Huxoll had 22 assists and Iris Batalla had seven digs. Batall was also 24-of-24 in serving.
Stephanie Ferrell and Abby Larreay led the Irish with seven kills. Annie Higgins had six kills, Megan Moberg had three and Chantel Blanc had 20 assists.
"They showed moments of greatness but we need to back it up with another, and we just need to know how to finish," said DeSales coach Lori Blanc.
The Irish led by five points going into game point in the second set - but W-P caught up.
"We let them back in," Blanc said.
For W-P, the win signaled a change in energy.
"They had a lot of energy and showed up ready to play, and that's always a good feeling," Buehler said. "Our offense was on, and so was our defense, all night. We hit the ball hard from all over and swung hard all the time."
Buehler was pleased with the consistency she saw from the team.
"We've been working on passing and serving all week and it paid off," she said.
She was also able to move players into different positions.
"There are things I've been wanting to try, but when you're playing from behind you can't do," she said. "We had a really good time out there, they had fun and that made a huge difference.
"It was a combination of preparing for the game and being tired of losing. It was almost like we hit a new gear last night."
W-P plays at Tri-Cities Prep Tuesday and then hosts Liberty Christian Wednesday. DeSales travels to Dayton Tuesday.