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Trojan volleyball team unbeaten in league for second straight year

By: Matt Long
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For the second straight season, Oak Ridge High’s varsity boys’ volleyball team finished the Sierra Valley Conference with an undefeated record. The Trojans, 14-0 in league, 29-6 overall, will be the top-seeded team from the Sierra Valley Conference in the playoffs, which begin Thursday. With a first-round bye, the Trojans don’t play until Tuesday. “It’s great to finish league play undefeated two years in a row,” Oak Ridge coach Tom Van Der Wende said. Oak Ridge finished league play with wins over Ponderosa and Rio Americano last week. The Trojans swept both teams, beating the Bruins 25-19, 25-19 and 25-12 and getting by Rio Americano 27-25, 25-18 and 25-11. On Saturday the team played in the Foothill Tournament in Pleasanton and split four matches, picking up wins over El Cerrito and Deer Valley. “I thought we played pretty well,” Van Der Wende said. “We played some tough teams and didn’t get blown out.” Van Der Wende said he wanted his team to improve its blocking before the playoffs started and it appears it has done so. Van Der Wende said the team’s blocking against Ponderosa was the best this season. “That should help us in the playoffs when we need to stop teams,” Van Der Wende said. Van Der Wende figures the top competition in the playoffs will come from Rocklin, Granite Bay and Nevada Union. The section championship match is slated for May 27.