DEPUE — Area volleyball teams faired well on the opening night of the Tri-County Conference Tournament in DePue.
In first-round matches Monday, No. 9-seeded Hall beat No. 8-seeded Lowpoint-Washburn 25-14, 23-25, 25-12, while No. 7-seeded Henry defeated No. 10-seeded DePue 25-17, 25-15.
In quarterfinal action, No. 4-seeded Putnam County outlasted No. 5-seeded Peoria Christian 25-12, 23-25, 25-22 to advance to the semifinals.
Hall returns to action at 6 tonight as it plays top-seeded Woodland, while Henry will meet No. 2-seeded Midland at 7 tonight.
The action starts at 5 p.m. when No. 3-seeded Marquette plays No. 6-seeded Roanoke-Benson.
Putnam County def. Peoria Christian
After Putnam County won the first set but dropped the second set, the Lady Panthers fell behind 11-6, 13-8 and 14-9 in the third set before they came back.
Putnam County pulled to 14-13 after a kill from Elizabeth Rice, a Peoria Christian hitting error, an Annie Miller ace and a kill from Paige Griffith.
Peoria Christian pushed the lead to 17-13 with a 3-0 run, but behind the serve of Ali Loiselle the Lady Panthers went on a 9-0 rally to turn a four-point deficit into a 22-17 lead.
However, Peoria Christian wasn’t finished as it cut the deficit to 22-20 before a service error gave Putnam County a 23-20 lead.
A Lady Panthers service error made it 23-21 before Peoria Christian was called for four hits.
After a Lady Panther error, Taylor Pettit ended the suspense and the match with a kill.
“The girls are going to fight and they are going to fight until the last point,” PC coach Amy Kreiser said of her team’s third-set rally. “I have a group of girls who want it so badly. They are young but are working really hard to come together.”
Griffith had 20 assists and six points, while Miller had 14 digs and 12 points. Loiselle finished with a match-high 14 points.
Putnam County (9-10) will play at 7 p.m. Wednesday in a semifinal against the winner of Tuesday’s quarterfinal between Hall and Woodland.
“We are so excited to play in the semis,” said Kreiser, whose team at worst will play for third-place on Saturday. “They are excited to play on Saturday and they want to be in the championship. That is their goal and something they set from the beginning of the season.”
Hall def. Lowpoint-Washburn
After the Lady Red Devils cruised in the first set, they were unable to hold a 17-9 lead in the second set as the Lady Wildcats closed the game on a 14-6 surge to force the third set.
However, despite its struggles to end the second set, Hall came out firing in the decisive third game.
Behind the serve of Vanessa Olivares, the Lady Red Devils scored the set’s first nine points and built leads of 13-2, 16-5 and 22-11.
Back-to-back aces by Olivares pulled Hall to 24-11 and a Lowpoint-Washburn service error two points later closed out the Lady Red Devils victory.
“I am ecstatic,” Hall coach Amanda Coutts said. “The girls were out there having fun and were playing hard. Our passing was better tonight and our hitting was better tonight.”
Hall was led by 20 points and 18 assists from Olivares, while Brooke Keegan had 13 assists, eight points, eight kills and three aces.
Hall (4-21) lost to Woodland earlier this season.
“We are ready,” Coutts said. “It’s going to be a tough match, but the girls know that and we are going to go in and hopefully play like we did tonight.”
Henry def. DePue
The Lady Mallards had little trouble advancing to the quarterfinals as Henry never trailed in the match.
The Lady Mallards led by as many as eight in the first set but held only an 18-16 lead midway through before finishing on a 7-1 run.
In the second set, DePue again hung close before Henry turned a 17-13 lead into an 8-2 closing surge.
“It was good that we were able to push ahead and finish, although we did have too many service errors,” Henry coach Albana Smith said. “In the last game, we had eight alone so I tried to stress to the girls that a lot of times it’s our mistakes.”
Henry was led by Erica Briner, who had 12 kills, while Amber Kereta added nine kills and Amanda Kereta had four aces.
Alicia Marquez had two digs and two blocks for DePue, while Celia Villagomez had two kills.
DePue will play at 6 p.m. Wednesday against the loser of the match between Hall-Woodland, while Henry plays Midland, which it lost to earlier this season.
“It’ll be very competitive,” Smith said. “We lost to them in three in the regular season. It was good to play in this atmosphere to get ready.”
Jared Bell can be reached at 220-6938, or at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsJared.