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Lady Trojan volleyball squad preparing for playoffs

By: Matt Long
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Unlike past years, Oak Ridge will enter the playoffs not as a favorite but as an underdog. It’s an unfamiliar role for the Lady Trojans, but maybe it suits the team just fine. After all, they enter the playoffs with a 17-16 record, not counting yesterday’s result against Folsom. After back-to-back section titles, first at the Division II level and then at Division I, the Lady Trojans have their work cut out for them this year. Coming off a huge win in five games against Ponderosa on Oct. 21, the Lady Trojans have hit the skids. They dropped all four games at the Mitty Tournament before taking three games from Pleasant Grove on Oct. 26. Oak Ridge then lost in three straight to St. Francis before losing three of five matches at the tournament in St. Francis on Saturday. There’s no shame in losing to St. Francis, even in three games. Oak Ridge coach Becky Potter was even feeling pretty good about her team following the match. “We were losing the third game 22-14 and I called timeout and asked the team if that’s how they wanted to lose, getting blown out like that,” Potter said. “They responded to that and we ended up losing 27-25 so I was really proud how they came back. I don’t mind losing to St. Francis since they’re bigger and more physical than us, but at least we showed some heart. I was feeling pretty good at the end of that match.” At St. Francis’ tournament over the weekend, Oak Ridge struggled at times, losing three of five matches. The Lady Trojans opened with a loss in three games to Campolindo before falling in two straight to El Camino. The team rebounded to beat Christian Brothers and Napa, both in three games, before losing to Nevada Union In three games. It’s that loss that left a sour taste in Potter’s mouth. “We should not have lost to them,” Potter said. “I think the girls were tired of losing and were frustrated with their play and were down on their self-confidence. That’s just the inconsistency of this team.” Potter said after playing Folsom this week the team will work on serving, blocking and serve-receive in preparation for the playoffs.