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Oak Ridge's season comes to an end with loss to Granite Bay

By: Brett Ransford/Telegraph Correspondent
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The Oak Ridge volleyball season came to an end against Granite Bay, as the team lost three straight games to the Grizzlies last Thursday in the second round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoffs. Try as they might, Oak Ridge couldn?t muster together a rally long enough to do any damage. Simply put, they lost to a better team. ?We hung in there in the beginning of the match, but we just couldn?t keep up stamina-wise to the level Granite Bay played at,? Oak Ridge coach Melanie DeMure said. ?Some of my players just weren?t completely on during this match. A lot of pieces need to be dialed in at the same time and they weren?t. At least we hung in there and kept fighting.? Despite the loss following an up and down season, there were some high points. ?It?s been an interesting season, but at least we made the playoffs,? De Mure said. ?There are some really good things that came out of this season, including winning the Nor Cal tournament. Storm (Van Soldt) made All-City honor and two more were honorable mention. Trent (Stigerts) made the Optimist All-Star team.? Oak Ridge opened the playoffs with a four-game win against Laguna Creek on May 8, 25-16, 23-25, 25-11, 25-16. The man with the name, Storm Van Soldt, led the onslaught with 20 kills. 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. 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.