Oak Ridge volleyball team's season comes to an end
The Oak Ridge volleyball team had the tough task of traveling to Stockton as an 11-seed to play the sixth-seeded Lincoln High Trojans in their home gym.
Lincoln showed why they went undefeated in the San-Joaquin Athletic Conference in a three-game sweep of the Lady Trojans from El Dorado Hills in the first round of the playoffs.
Oak Ridge coach Becky Potter knew that the Lady Trojans of Lincoln would be good but was still somewhat perplexed by the results of the early postseason exit.
“I’m shocked,” she said after the game.
Lincoln took a commanding lead in the first set. Oak Ridge errors and a shaky serve receive put them in an early hole. Lincoln outside hitter Jessica Oneto provided a pair of aces and three kills along a 14-5 stretch to finish out game one, 25-12.
The momentum of the match would be decided in the second game. Three consecutive aces from Hayley Corell and a block-point from Mysha Davies allowed Oak Ridge to take its first lead of the match at 8-5. Lincoln’s top outside hitter, Hailey Bethume, responded by contributing with a dig, two blocks and three kills on six consecutive Lincoln points.
Corell, Davies and Emily DeMure landed big swings to keep Oak Ridge within striking distance, but Lincoln eventually pulled away with a 25-17 game two win.
The third set was close midway through the game, as Oak Ridge only trailed by two at 12-10 before Lincoln went on the first of two five-point runs that would prove fatal for Oak Ridge. The Lady Trojans had great scoring opportunities and hit the ball hard, but Lincoln’s back-row defense seemed impenetrable towards the end of the match. Lincoln’s rigid two-way play allowed them to walk away with a 25-14 third set victory.
Bethume led all players with 12 kills and three blocks. Davies and Marissa McConnell each had five kills, while Maddie Chambliss had 28 digs. Potter had to just tip her cap to her Stockton Trojan counterparts.
“Lincoln dug everything. Their blocking and defense was phenomenal,” said Potter, whose Lady Trojans conclude their season at 21-16.
“Those scores are not indicative of how good we’ve been all season. I was just trying to make sure that our girls knew what it meant to have no regrets. Not things like, ‘I should have hit that in or made that serve,’ but things like talking and being positive and shaking off mistakes quickly. We thought we would have figured it out, but it just didn’t happen tonight.”