Grain Valley first-year volleyball coach Kelsey Carver could manage a smile after host Truman edged her Eagles 25-18, 24-26, 25-22 in the opening round of Class 4 District 14 action.

That’s because she loses just one senior off a 16-14-1 team that gave the Patriots all they could handle Monday night.

“I can take a lot of positives away from tonight,” Carver said as many of her young players dug into a goodie bag provided by parents after the match. “We are so young, and we made so many strides this season and we have 11 players back next year.

“Our team learned something every time we played this season and I saw a new level of play tonight. I’m already thinking about next season.”

Truman coach David Gardner is thinking about 5 p.m. today when his 6-23-2 Patriots take on top-seeded Blue Springs.

“We play a great team tomorrow night,” Gardner said, referring to area to the Wildcats, who bring a 20-10 mark into the district semifinal match. “Tonight we had to get out of our own heads and just play because we made quite a few errors in the second set. But the girls rebounded and played well to get that win in the third set.

“Grain Valley is young, but a very good team.”

Truman senior outside hitter Marlee Guenther said she’s not ready for her season to end, as she finished with 14 kills and three assists.

“None of our seniors wanted tonight to be our last match,” Guenther said. “Everything was on the line in the third set and we were able to get the win.”

The winning point came from another senior, setter Olivia Lundquist, who set off a wild celebration with a dramatic kill.

“I just felt like it needed to happen and I was in a position to get the kill and I put everything on the line and went for it,” Lundquist said. “It was such a great feeling.”