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Lady Pirates fall to NCA

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Pleasant Hope volleyball looked to be on the right track Thursday, Sept. 5. 

The Lady Pirates battled to take a 25-19 win in the first set of an early season match against New Covenant Academy, jumping out to the lead in front of a home crowd. 


Mirabella Haney gets up above her teammates to return a ball during the Lady Pirates’ loss to NCA Thursday, Sept. 5.

That lead didn’t last, though, as NCA earned wins in the next two sets to leave the gym with a 2-1 victory in the match. 

NCA won the second set 25-19 and the third 25-18. 

“We came out firing and excited and the crowd was excited, and then we kind of lost that momentum in the second game,” Pleasant Hope coach Crystal Turner said.  “After you lose that second game, it’s pretty tough.”

Setter Taylor Burns had an impressive performance for the team, Turner said.

Burns served at 100% with the team scoring 8 points during her serve rotations. 

The sophomore also recorded six digs and seven assists. 

Ashanti Price

Libero Ashanti Price returns a ball during the game. 

“She played so solid,” Turner said. “She didn’t miss any serves. She talked the whole time and covered well. If there was a player of the game, it would have been her.”

Turner said sophomore Jianna Halbrook also stepped up for the team. Halbrook had eight kills, eight digs and 14 service receptions. 

Senior Janae Shirk also lent a hand, clocking eight kills over the course of the match. 

Senior libero Ashanti Price struggled in the second set but came up big for the Lady Pirates in the third, Turner said. Price had 21 digs and 14 service receptions over the course of the match. The team as a whole recorded 55 digs. 

“She’s a solid offensive threat and a pretty good defender,” Turner said. “She’s got some knee problems right now, so she’s not moving as fast as she usually would.” 

Karleigh Lane

Karleigh Lane receives a warm welcome during the team’s court entrance.

The issue was present across the team, Turner said. 

“I think that was part of our passing woes,” Turner said. “We just weren’t moving as well as we usually do,” she said. 

Pleasant Hope competed in the School of the Ozarks Invitational tournament Saturday, Sept. 7, finishing with a 4-2 record. The Lady Pirates next faced Golden City Tuesday, Sept. 10. The score wasn’t available by press time Tuesday. 

Pleasant Hope will play a triangular against Greenfield and Sheldon starting at 5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 16, in Pleasant Hope. 

Keighlyn Johnson

Keighlyn Johnson sets up a ball for the Lady Pirates. 

Set 1

After surrendering an early lead while the game remained in single digits, Pleasant Hope struck hard, running to an 11-10 lead before NCA scored to tie 11-11. 

The Lady Pirates later took an 18-16 advantage on a set of snappy defensive work, adding three more unanswered points to hit 21-16 before NCA started catching up. Halbrook threw down a kill to end the set 25-19. 

Set 2

Price got the team on a tying run before the Lady Pirates struggled on returns, surrendering the set 25-19. 

Set 3

Pleasant Hope put together a good run with Abby Swearengin serving to take a 4-2 lead. The Lady Pirates later earned a 9-4 advantage on a tipped ball by Halbrook, but a series of lead changes saw NCA hit its stride, scoring to take a 21-16 lead. The visiting team outscored Pleasant Hope 4-2 in the closing action to win 25-18.  

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