Oak Ridge defeats Laguna Creek, faces Granite Bay on Thursday

By: Brett Ransford/Telegraph Correspondent
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Oak Ridge will face Granite Bay in the second round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoffs, after defeating Laguna Creek in four games on Monday in El Dorado Hills. The Trojans quite literally rode the storm through the final two games, beating Laguna Creek 25-16, 23-25, 25-11, 25-16. The man with the name, Storm Van Soldt, led the onslaught with 20 kills. Oak Ridge plays No.40 nationally-ranked Granite Bay on Thursday. It wasn?t a one-man effort against Laguna Creek, but scoring nearly enough kills to win an entire game by his self put Van Soldt on a pedestal. Laguna Creek evened the match in the second game, forcing Oak Ridge away from an early lead and into 10 tie scores. Van Soldt delivered his team from a number of those ties, but eventually lost the game despite his six kills. Van Soldt laid it on a bit thicker in response, putting down another six kills in the third game and seven more in the fourth. The final two games went back-and-forth through the first 10 or 12 points, but the Trojans spread it around for the win. ?Our team kind of has our ups and downs,? Van Soldt said. ?It was definitely an important win and stepping stone to facing Granite Bay. If we play our best the whole way through I definitely think we can beat them.? Setter Sam Greenleaf added an ace, a kill and a block to another busy night finding his hitters. Outside hitter Michael Montejano contributed six kills and an ace. Brock Middleton was a force at the net, with six blocks and two kills. Trent Stigerts killed five and blocked a couple, while Tim Smolarski killed three with an ace and a couple more blocks. Coach Melanie De Mure shared Van Soldt?s concern about which Oak Ridge team will show up against Granite Bay ? the team which won the Nor Cal tournament, or a team which lost three games to Granite Bay earlier this season. The Nor Cal champions showed up for the third and fourth games against Laguna Creek. Their first three points of the third game were kills from three different players. In the fourth, Van Soldt made five kills over a six-point streak and Ben Kopania had two aces in the final five points. ?It?s just a matter of how they?re going to show up,? De Mure said. ?We?ve beaten Granite Bay in at least one game and we played well. They?re capable, but they?re going to have to hunker down and play some defense and be ready to move their feet.? Thursday?s game is at 7 p.m. at Granite Bay.