BICKLETON - Bickleton lost its league opener in three straight against Klickitat this past Friday night, falling to the Vandals 25-12, 25-11, 25-22.
"We spent the whole first game setting them," said Bickleton Coach Kim Clinton, adding that Klickitat sophomore Samantha Brewer almost proved to be too much for the Pirates. "She just hit on us the first game, probably eight to 10 times."
Clinton said that by the time the Pirates shook it off, "It was a little too late."
In Saturday's Tri-Cities Prep tournament in Pasco, the Lady Pirates fared much better, finishing in second place after competing against Sunnyside Christian, Tri-Cities Prep and Waitsburg-Prescott.
The Lady Pirates fell to Tri-Cities Prep in the first match in two, 25-8, 25-18. "They are a phenomenal team. Wow, they are good," said Clinton.
The Lady Pirates did rally in the second game. "We decided were weren't just going to give it to them," Clinton said.
That's a philosophy the Lady Pirates clung to for the remainder of tournament play.
They next took on Sunnyside Christian, defeating them in two, 27-25, 25-19.
"We got a good lead on them and they actually battled back and made it really close. But we took the win," said Clinton.
Bickleton's Katelynn Clinton dominated the net. "She was just an animal," said Clinton. Clinton had four kills and six blocks against the Knights.
In the two games against Sunnyside Christian, Bickleton's Morgan McBride was 27-for-28 from the service line and Bickleton only had four service errors overall. Teammate Star Kibby was 10-for-10.
"My girls played mentally tough," Clinton said. "But we didn't set as close to the net as we would've liked."
Clinton said this is the first time in Bickleton's history that the Lady Pirates have defeated the Knights.
The energy of the triumphant win carried over into the next match-up against Waitsburg-Prescott, who the Lady Pirates defeated in two, 26-24, 25-21.
"We've had a lot of close (games) this year that we've come out on top. I think that shows our tenacity," said Clinton.
Clinton said that physical conditioning is paying off, too. Where other teams appeared worn out later in the day, the Lady Pirates did not.
Against Waitsburg-Prescott, there were two instances in which Johanna Jensen and Kibby saw the ball heading for the stands and hustled it back into play.
"They hustled late in the day, they could've been lagging and they weren't. They really wanted (a win) and they played for it."
Ultimately, Tri-Cities Prep were champions of the tourney. "In their 10 years of hosting (the tourney), this is their first win," said Clinton.
The Lady Pirates next square off against the Lady Knights at Sunnyside Christian this coming Tuesday night.