Written by SportsDayDFW.com
First-year head coach Erin McClanahan leads Prosper to 4A state tournament
RICHARDSON — Erin McClanahan entered her first season as Prosper volleyball coach this year with moderate expectations: Just make the playoffs.
Even she could not have predicted the incredible turnaround that would send her team to the Class 4A state semifinals.
Prosper defeated Frisco Centennial in five sets, 25-18, 23-25, 25-20, 20-25, 15-12, on Saturday at Richardson Berkner to claim the 4A Region II title. Prosper will find out its opponent in the state semifinals Sunday.
“They’ve really taken the approach of playing poised and gutting it out,” McClanahan said of her players. “We don’t have one amazing player that can take over the game. They have to play as a team to win.”
After the teams split the first four sets, Prosper (34-11) led 12-11 in the fifth. That’s when Centennial (37-8) called a timeout — one it did not have. A one-point penalty was awarded to Prosper for the error, and junior outside hitter Abby Jameson made the match’s final kill minutes later to seal the victory.
It marked the second consecutive five-set win for Prosper in the playoffs, after it defeated District 15-4A champion Waxahachie in five on Friday. McClanahan said Prosper didn’t win a single match last season that went to a tiebreaking set.
“I have to hand it to my seniors. Meredith Bramer and Kaylee Cole are the glue that keeps this team together,” McClanahan said. “We play poised, emotional when we have to, but we don’t let it get in our heads.”
Bramer finished with a team-high 18 kills along with 12 digs and two aces. Cole added three aces and 15 digs. Centennial junior Micaya White, a University of Texas pledge, finished with a team-high 22 kills.
McClanahan and her team celebrated at midcourt with the Region II championship trophy, accompanied by tears of joy from Prosper players. McClanahan hopes it’s not the last time she gets to experience that kind of jubilation this season.
“With every win, they’re getting more fired up,” McClanahan said. “A lot of teams deep into the season, they get burnt out. My girls aren’t ready to hang it up.”