The Mission Prep and Arroyo Grande girls volleyball teams traded blows in the early sets, but the Eagles overpowered the Royals in the final two on the way to a four-set win Thursday night in Arroyo Grande.
Arroyo Grande outside hitter Ashlyn Herlihy had 24 kills and five blocks in the 25-18, 18-25, 25-21, 25-11 win in both teams' opening PAC 8 match.
The Eagles (9-2, 1-0 PAC 8) also had strong performances from Emily Sonny and Kate Empey. Sonny had 12 kills, 10 of which came in the final two games as the Eagles pulled away. Empey chipped in 14 kills and two aces.
"We kind of got out of our system a little bit," Arroyo Grande coach Ernie Santa Cruz said of his team's slow start. "Once we got back into it and started controlling the ball, I thought we played better. They did a good job taking us out of our system by serving tough."
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Mission Prep's Jennifer Laird had a strong second set and finished the match with 11 kills and four aces. The Royals Jena Kelly added nine digs and one ace.
"It was a very important game for all the individuals involved," said Santa Cruz. "I know (my team) wanted to play well, and they did."
Both teams continue league play next week. Mission Prep (8-3, 0-1 PAC 8) returns home Tuesday to host Pioneer Valley. Arroyo Grande goes on the road to Righetti on Tuesday.