Oak Ridge opens playoffs with Grizzlies

By: Matt Long
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Oak Ridge failed in its goal to claim a Delta River League Championship, but is still alive in its quest for a section championship. The Trojans (25-8) open the section volleyball playoffs at Granite Bay (25-11) on Thursday at 7 p.m. The teams have met twice this season and the Grizzlies beat them both times. Oak Ridge coach Tom Van Der Wende, however, feels his team can beat Granite Bay. “It’s a matter of us staying focused and not letting little things hurt us,” Van Der Wende said. “We have to play our ‘A’ game and stay focused. We had a bad call the first point of the match against Jesuit and didn’t recover until five points later. We can’t do that in the playoffs. We have to improve our serve and our serve-receive. We’ve been spending a lot of time during practice in these areas and hopefully that will help us out.” Oak Ridge needed to beat Jesuit on May 3 to earn a piece of the league title, but instead lost in three straight, 25-17, 26-24 and 25-17. Jonathan Tuttle had 10 kills for the Trojans, while Jack Hoisington added six. Connor Dunham finished with 19 assists, while Nate Lambert made 13 digs. Storm Van Soldt led the team with three blocks, while Tuttle added two and also had an ace. Two days later the Trojans wrapped up the regular season with a 25-18, 23-25, 25-15 and 25-23 win over Folsom. Jack Hoisington had an amazing 24 kills, while Tuttle and Michael Montejano followed with 11 and 10, respectively. Hoisington also did the job in the back row as well, leading the team with 17 digs, while Montejano added 14. Dunham led with 47 assists and also had a pair of aces. Tim Spykerman and Tuttle both had four blocks.