Just a day removed from having a season-opening quad at Pittsburg canceled because the host team is being quarantined, the Parsons Vikings stitched together an opening tri alongside Labette County and Independence on Thursday.

Labette County won both matches, beating Independence 2-1 (22-25, 25-23, 25-20) and Parsons 2-0 (25-21, 25-22). Parsons also fell to Independence 2-0 (25-13, 25-17).

The Grizzlies’ win over Independence was their first over the Bulldogs in four years. In that match, Anna Dean led with 11 kills and nine digs. Setter Shelbi Wilson paced with 27 hassists while Madison Brannin added seven kills. Karsyn Stewart also had six kills.

As for the showdown between archrivals that the Grizzlies took in two sets, Dean had 10 aces, seven kills, 10 digs and two blocks.

Shelbi Wilson led the Grizzlies with 27 assists, while Claire Carnahan added 10 digs and Madison Brannin chipped in six kills.

“It wasn’t necessarily the prettiest volleyball this team has ever played, but we definitely turned the corner on toughness in clutch situations,” Labette County Head Coach Heather Wilson said. “We dug ourselves some valleys where we really had knuckle down and persevere.”

As for Parsons, in its loss to Independence the Vikings were paced in kills by Brea Odom who had four. Ashlyn Brownewell had 10 assists. 

In a tight loss to Labette County, Iniya Hinman and Odom both paced the Vikings with three kills while Brownewell had 13 assists.

“We definitely saw some major improvements from last year,” Parsons Head Coach Brooke Hopper said. “We’re setting a foundation in practice. Now we know where the holes are. We’re disappointed we didn’t pull out a win. We can’t be handing out free points.” 

Thursday’s triangular was put together on a single day’s notice as all three teams were scheduled to travel to Pittsburg before the school shut its volleyball team down temporarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

All fans and players were temperature checked at Parsons High School.

“We knew it was a possibility going into the season,” Hopper said. “When I found out Pittsburg was quarantined, I got sick to my stomach. Our athletic director Rob Barcus kicked it into gear to make sure we got the opportunity to play. It wasn’t an hour before plans got made.” 

Parsons starts its season with an 0-2 record while Labette County starts 2-0.

“This whole team plays very unselfishly,” Wilson said. “I’m excited to continue to challenge ourselves daily. I hope we have a lot of season left.” 

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