Panthers top Irish in District match

Asotin's five-set victory sets DeSales up against Dayton in the loser's bracket Saturday, with the Panthers taking on fellow victors Waitsburg-Prescott.

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CLARKSTON - In a battle between two volleyball teams tied for second place in the Southeast 2B, Asotin and DeSales, Asotin proved to be the better club.

But just barely.

The Panthers took sets one and two 25-19 and 25-20 before the Irish rallied back for 25-18 and 26-24 wins in the third and fourth sets to force a fifth. DeSales and Asotin traded points through the set, but ultimately the Panthers prevailed in 15-11 victory.

"After losing the first two, easily the third game could have gone the same way," DeSales coach Lori Blanc said. "They just kept rallying and fighting back.

"Had we gotten a better start in the first match or the second match to get started - if we hadn't waited to start until the third match - it could have been different," she said.

The loss means DeSales faces league-champion Dayton at 1 p.m. Saturday in the first round of the loser's bracket.

The match was almost not even played. The gymnasium lost power when Asotin was leading 12-10 in the first set and there was discussion of delaying the match until Thursday. However the match was moved to Clarkston Wednesday night instead. Blanc did not know the cause of the outage, however she did say that it was windy.

Play did not resume until after 8 p.m., more than two hours after the scheduled 6 p.m. start. Due to the delay and the Irish's furious rally, the match did not end until after 10 p.m.

Abby Larreau led the Irish with 19 kills, seven blocks and was 17-of-17 in service; Claire Conley had 11 kills and three blocks; Annie Higgins had 10 kills and 38 digs; Stephanie Ferrel had 9 kills, 33 digs and was 13-of-13 in from the service line; and Chantel Blanc racked up 40 assists.

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