Lady Trojans come from behind to beat Falcons in five

By: Matt Long
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Trailing Christian Brothers two games to one on Thursday night, Oak Ridge High’s varsity girls’ volleyball team came back to win the last two games for a big victory for the team. More than the win, however, the comeback victory was a big hurdle for the team to clear, a team that has struggled in the face of adversity in the past. “Had we won this match in three games I probably wouldn’t be saying this is a big win,” Oak Ridge coach Becky Potter said. “But since we won it by coming from behind and in five games, this was a huge win for us. I think two weeks ago we probably lose this match. I kept stressing to the girls having a heart of a champion. I kept driving that home and they pulled it out. This was a very important win for us.” Some of the players agreed with their coach. “We needed to prove to ourselves that we can come back when we’re down two games to one,” team co-captain Katie Vaughn said. “After being down, we just got really fired up and everyone wanted to win so badly.” Maddie Chambliss agreed. “I thought it was very important for us to win,” Chambliss said. “Being down was a wake-up call for us and it was good for us to come back and win in five. We realized how much we wanted to win and we knew how important it was for us to come back and do it.” Though only a sophomore, Chambliss is solid in the back row as the team’s libero and also provides some leadership on the side. “Maddie is very vocal even though she’s a sophomore and players look up to her,” Vaughn said. “If someone’s having a hard time in the back, Maddie always encourages them and tells them that they’ll get the next one and helps them get their confidence back.” Chambliss isn’t shy about her being a vocal player. “I try to be the loudest one on the court,” Chambliss admitted. “I just try to cheer and get everyone pumped up, excited and wanting to keep fighting.” Oak Ridge looked great in winning game one, 25-20. The team was near perfect in working up a 24-14 lead before allowing the Falcons to win six straight points before finishing off the match. In the second game, however, Oak Ridge wasn’t the same team and struggled to even stay with the Falcons. The Lady Trojans’ only lead came at 11-10 and they just couldn’t put anything together until it was too late. Trailing 24-18, Oak Ridge rattled off five straight points behind the serving of Mysha Davies and inspired play from Haley Simmons, but Davies’ final serve went long and the Falcons took the game. Game three was even worse for Oak Ridge, as it fell behind 6-1 and never led in a 25-19 defeat. The Lady Trojans showed some heart in the fourth game. With their backs to the wall and the game tied at 12, Oak Ridge outscored the Falcons 13-4 the rest of the game on its way to a 25-16 win. Katie Vaughn, hitting the ball as well as she has all season, according to Potter, led the team to victory, hitting winners as much from the back row as from the front. Davies and Vaughn also contributed a big block, while Arden Zuber was also big at the net Oak Ridge jumped out to a commanding 11-2 lead in the fifth and final game, and held on for a 15-11 victory. Oak Ridge’s next game is at 5:30 p.m. at Sheldon on Thursday.