Prairiland High School volleyball

Prairiland senior Madison Clark (4) sets the ball to junior middle blocker Reese Parris (5) during the Lady Patriots recent victory at Chisum.

PATTONVILLE — The Prairiland Lady Patriots volleyball team won its third district match in a row, this time defeating Mt. Vernon at home in straight sets. Prairiland won in convincing fashion by a final score of 25-19, 25-14 and 25-14.

“I think they’ve done a good job of keeping it going,” Prairiland head volleyball coach Emily Vanderburg said. “Sometimes in a match like that, you might get down and you might let the team of getting on some unnecessary runs and we’ve done a good job of keeping their runs really short if there have been any runs. We’ve been taking care of business like we are supposed to.”

Prairiland has been working hard since the five-set loss at Commerce to sharpen their skills and continue to ascend in crunch time.

“We’ve been working on our game and not dropping to anyone else’s level,” Prairiland senior Madison Clark said. “We’ve been pushing to finish on game point when we have it and not letting anyone take it from us. We’re just trying to raise our level of play.”

The Lady Patriots (29-6, 3-1) were in a close battle with Mt. Vernon in the beginning of the first set, but senior Baylor Sessums broke a 9-9 tie with a kill, and senior Audrey Gray followed with back-to-back aces to create a 12-9 lead. The Lady Patriots gradually pulled away behind kills from T.J. Folse, Madison Clark, Sessums and stellar defense and passing to claim the first set.

The Lady Patriots’ service game took over in the next set. As a team, Prairiland recorded six aces en route to a dominant 25-14 win in the frame.

“I think the serves helped them get out of sync,” Gray said. “Their passes were off, and if they don’t have good passes, they won’t have good sets and possibly not good hits.”

“We worked a little bit on being better with our serving because ultimately we have to face Commerce again, strong serving is what is going to help us out and I feel like that was lacking the last time we played them,” Vanderburg said, “Anything we can do to prepare us for that rematch, we’re going to do.”

Mt. Vernon trailed 20-14 in the final set, but a tip from Sessums made it 21-14, and Clark added back-to-back kills before a Mt. Vernon hit out of bounds to end the third set.

Gray and Clark led the charge for Prairiland in the win. Gray finished with 7 digs and 6 aces, while Clark had 7 kills, 22 assists and 8 digs. Sessums totaled 15 kills, 16 assists and 8 digs, while Folse had 7 kills, 3 blocks and 2 aces. Reese Parris finished strong with 7 kills and 2 blocks, while Brook Tuck recorded 7 digs, 2 blocks and 1 ace. Trynity Chapman had 5 digs and 1 ace, while Ali Sessums finished with 5 digs and a pair of kills. Abi Farmer contributed 1 kill, 1 block and 1 dig.

The Lady Patriots will play again at 6 p.m. Tuesday at home against Commerce.


                     S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 F

Mt. Vernon: 19 14 14 N/A N/A 0

Prairiland: 25 25 25 N/A N/A 3

Mt. Vernon statistics unavailable

Prairiland kill leaders: B. Sessums, 15; M. Clark, 7; T. Folse, 7; R. Parris, 7; A. Sessums, 2; A. Farmer, 1

Prairiland dig leaders: M. Clark, 8; B. Sessums, 8; A. Gray, 7; B. Tuck, 7; T. Chapman, 5; A. Sessums, 5; A. Farmer, 1

Prairiland assist leaders: M. Clark, 22; B. Sessums, 16

Prairiland blocks: T. Folse, 3; R. Parris, 2; B. Tuck, 2; A. Farmer, 1

Prairiland service aces: A. Gray, 6; T. Chapman, 1; T. Folse, 1; B. Tuck, 1

Geoff Heppes is sports editor for The Paris News. He can be reached at 903-785-6967 or at

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