Trojan volleyball team struggles at tourney

By: Matt Long
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A slow start temporarily cooled a hot Oak Ridge High’s varsity volleyball team at the Granite Bay Tournament on Saturday. The Trojans dropped matches against De La Salle and Granite Bay to start the tournament, doubling the team’s loss total for the season. Oak Ridge, however, rebounded to win its next three games to win the silver division. The team enters this week with matches against Rio Americano on Tuesday and Union Mine on Thursday with a 19-4 record. “We didn’t play as well as I hoped,” coach Tom Van Der Wende said. “We got off to a slow start and even the games we won, we didn’t play at the level that I hoped we would play.” Oak Ridge was supposed to open the tournament with a match against Elk Grove, but when the Herd dropped out of the tournament, the Trojans had a bye in the first round and when a warmed up and ready-to-play De La Salle team walked on the court, Oak Ridge wasn’t ready. After losing to Granite Bay, Oak Ridge then won its next three matches against Laguna Creek, Franklin and Heritage. The one highlight for the day came when outside hitter Sean Bassemier was named to the all-tournament team. Oak Ridge entered the tournament coming off a 3-0 win over Ponderosa on Thursday, 25-20, 25-19 and 25-13. “We played well and were happy to win,” Van Der Wende said.