A bittersweet Senior Night for seniors Amber Eisha and Kaylie Prince ended in a 15-25, 25-20, 17-25, 19-25 loss against Monmouth, ending the Prairie Fire’s 2013 campaign. Eisha and Prince, both four-year starters, were honored before the match for their hard work and dedication to the program over the course of their careers.
After being dominated 25-15 in the first set, Knox rallied on the copious fan support, winning the second set 25-20 to even the match at 1-1.
Said Eisha of the atmosphere, “The energy was great and there was so much determination to end up on top. The fans, the team, the parents, everything was perfect. I could not have asked for a better way to end my college volleyball career than tonight.”
Monmouth grabbed the lead in the third set early and refused to let go, winning the set despite a late rally from the Prairie Fire to cut their lead from double digits to 25-17. The Fighting Scots, who built a comfortable 20-11 lead before putting the set and the match away, dominated the fourth set as well, in spite of a final Knox rally.
According to the Sports Information Department, Prince had a team-high 11 kills as well as 14 digs while Eisha tallied five kills, 12 digs and three assists. Sophomore Casey Stachelski had the best across-the-board performance for the Prairie Fire, posting 24 assists, five kills, two service aces, two solo blocks and 12 digs. Freshman Madison Pierro led the Prairie Fire with 16 digs.
Despite the loss, junior Katie White spoke to the team’s continued high morale, saying, “Our team chemistry has been really close over the past few weeks because we have been trying to turn our season around. We all know that our team has so much talent, but our record just does not show itÉMy team goal for next year is that we all come together at the beginning and have a strong start to the year like we all know we can, what with all the talent we have and the incoming talent we will be getting.”
The losses of Eisha and Prince will decimate the Prairie Fire’s front row hitters and cost Knox two of their biggest motivational leaders. Asked if she had any advice for next year’s team, Eisha said, “Enjoy every moment while you can. The four years go so fast and you really will miss it once it’s gone. Be proud of the name you wear on the jersey and when you step onto that court go out and give it everything you’ve got. You’ve only got four years here so make sure you have no regrets once it is over.”