Pratt Splits at Dodge City Triangular

Pratt Splits at Dodge City Triangular

PRATT, Kans.- Coach Zac Rambo nervously paced around the Beaver Dome this afternoon. Upon hearing successive confirmations that four of his players were feeling under the weather and no longer capable of contributing at today's Dodge City Triangular, he had good reason.

The Beavers went into today's Triangular short-handed, with many players fighting through sickness themselves. The result was a split, as Rambo's girls claimed the early match over Dodge City in straight sets. As the earlier portion of the day was filled with angst and unknown, he couldn't have been prouder of his team. 

"It was the best they could have done," Rambo said.

Without All-Conference setter Olivia Hessman, who missed today's games with an illness, Rambo tasked freshman Kylie Fletcher to spark the Pratt offense. Suffice to say, she was up to the challenge.

"She came in and hadn't recorded a single set so far this year, and she came in and ran a 5-1," Rambo explained. "She connected with my middles, she connected with my outsides and did an absolutely great job. She stepped up huge for us."

Whether it be injury or illness, there were other Beavers who stepped in at a time when they were needed most.

"Haley Gleason came in and did a great job," Rambo said. "She's dealing with a little bit of a knee injury so that's why she only played against Dodge City. Haylee parker sucked it up. She was feeling crappy and she wanted to sacrifice for her team and play uncomfortable. She did a great job."

The win over Dodge City gives the Beavers a 1-0 conference record to start the 2019 season, and Rambo talked about how much a young roster has matured, even with Pratt not even a week into its schedule.

"Confidence and composure," Rambo said. "They are growing up really fast and some of the returners that hadn't had a ton of playing time have a lot more confience when they walk in the door."

A pressure-filled day compounded on a number of players feeling less-than 100 percent, and it wore on the Beavers. An ailing roster followed a 3-0 win with a 3-0 loss to Neosho, and Rambo was entirely understanding of the result. 

"We ran out of gas," Rambo said. "Kylie Fletcher was sick last night, Haylee Parker was doing her best in the libero jersey but she was a little out of it, and we have a couple of other girls who aren't feeling great."

The Beavers return to action on Saturday against Independence Community College, a home tilt scheduled for a 2 pm start.