The Cougars improved their record to 3-0 in The Valley 10 League and 12-5 overall

PMG PHOTO: DEREK WILEY - Country Christian sophomore Elizabeth Grandle blocks the ball at the net Thursday against Open Door Christian Academy.

Country Christian has been working on finishing games, and last Thursday against Open Door Christian, that work paid off.

The Cougars won 3-0 (25-20, 25-10, 25-21) in The Valley 10 League matchup.

"When we get up into those upper teens or lower 20s, we are struggling a little bit to stay focused and finish all the way through," Country Christian coach Janin McGrath said. "We've been doing some things in practice to address that and try to put some end of game pressure on us and work on our decision making."

The Huskies played four freshmen in the match.

They're a good team. They're extremely young," McGrath said. They have a new coaching staff, so they're really an up and coming team. They played us very, very well, and I was thankful we were at full strength because if I had not been at full strength, I think we would have had a hard time in that match. We had to play well and we had to earn the win."

Outside hitters Sophia Griffith and Madison Halverson both had big nights for the Cougars.

"I was real impressed with my outsides," McGrath said. "I thought they hit the ball very well, and I need them to be consistent so that we're not always going to our middles. We are able to distribute the ball, and my setters (Jera Warrington and Lanie Barden) did a good job of that, setting outside the middle and our right sides. We have been working really hard to get our right sides active and hitting and I thought we went to that successfully.

Country Christian's second match Thursday was not as big of a test as the Cougars cruised past Portland Waldorf 3-0 (25-5, 25-3, 25-10).

"I was able to get some good playing time in for my other kids and allow my other hitters to work on different types of hits," McGrath said.

Derek Wiley
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