Drummond rides Rasors edge to beat Granite in Challenge Game
DRUMMOND – With emotions high and the season on the line, county rivals Granite and Drummond battled one final time for a chance at a spot in the Divisional Tournament. When the final volley hit the floor, the Lady Trojans survived the fracas to claim a 21-25, 25-23, 25-23, 25-22 victory Monday night to place second in the District 13C tournament.
The win puts Drummond on the road Tuesday at Manhattan Christian in the first round of the Divisional Tournament. The match will be start at 6 p.m. and be broadcast on the NFHS Network.
The Lady Prospectors claimed the opening set after trailing for most of it. Down by as many as six points when Drummond held a 17-11 lead, Granite battled back to eventually knot the set at 21 and move on to take it by four.
As the second set opened, Drummond appeared to be struggling and trailing 6-2 when sophomore setter Jessie Struna hit the floor going after a ball. She hit her elbow and was replaced by reserve setter Paytn Rasor. The Lady Prospectors extended their lead to 9-2 before the new-look Lady Trojans got settled and use to Rasor passing them the ball. Once that happened Drummond got into a rhythm that eventually forced a 10-10. The two teams exchanged a number of service opportunities until Granite got out to a 19-17 margin and the teams stayed that way to 23-21.
But the hosts were not willing to go gently into that good night, scoring the next four points to claim the win and even the match 1-1.
When asked what concerns she had going into the match, Rasor focused on her defensive responsibilities. “(The) JV covers different than varsity so I don’t see that a lot,” she said.
Drummond head Coach Brooks Phillips not only saw Rasor respond to the situation she was thrust into, but also recognized that the team started to rally around her and get in sync with each other.
“I asked if (Jessie) she’d be ready and she said yes,” explained Phillips, “but Paytn did a great job. So I thought ‘Why change a good thing if it’s working?’
“She’s been at practice and she’s been watching. I tell the girls all the time, ‘I don’t care who you are or where you play, you need to pay attention at practice so you know where your position is playing. And when you go in, you’re ready.”
Drummond ran out to another lead in the third set, again leading 17-11 before Granite started to rally. The Lady Trojans held fast and leading 24-23, Senior Sydney Phillips sent a dink over the net that the Lady Prospector defenders couldn’t handle. The point gave the hosts the set and a 2-1 lead.
Set four like the three that preceded it. Granite ran out to a 5-0 lead before Drummond could reverse its slump and get back into the game. The Lady Trojans eventually tied the game at 17 before starting a slow march to 25 that gave them the set and the playoff date in Manhattan.
Rasor finished with a team-best 21 assists for Drummond, most of which went to Phillips who had 17 kills. Deana Parke and Hannah Bradshaw dished up six and service aces, respectively, with the former also adding 14 defensive digs.
Granite was led at the net by Senior Amelia Hill with 11 kills and tied Lucia Lee with 5-1/2 blocks each. Reece Pitcher had four aces, Rachel Ward 23 assists and Summer Phillips closed out her career with 10 digs.
“We faced a lot of adversity this year, especially with the up and downs of Covid,” said GHS Jennifer Graham of her team. “I'm proud of the girls, Summer and Amelia will be greatly missed. It's always heartbreaking to end a season.”