Trojans volleyball team looks to make another run at section title

By: Nick Pecoraro, Telegraph Correspondent
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Last year Oak Ridge High’s varsity girls’ volleyball team was just one win shy of claiming the Division I Northern California title. A 3-1 defeat at the hands of Salinas High left quite the bitter taste in the mouths of the Lady Trojans. So how does this year’s squad look to have the same kind of success that has brought them back-to-back Sac-Joaquin Section banners? For starters, Oak Ridge returns seven players from a year ago, including seniors Katie Vaughn and Kirsten Burkland, juniors Nikki Haggard, Haley Simmons, Alexa Becker and Arden Zuber (brought up for the playoffs last season), and sophomores Maddie Chambliss and Mysha Davies. “We are a very young team, but we have great team chemistry,” said coach Becky Potter, who will be taking the reigns at Oak Ridge for her third consecutive season. “It’s going to be a slow process, but after seeing what we’ve done in practice and in a few scrimmages, I think we have a shot at winning league.” Should the Lady Trojans, in fact, win league, they will be doing so in a completely new conference. They are the newest members of the Delta River League after defecting from the Sierra Valley Conference last season. “We definitely have goals to repeat our success of last year,” said Vaughn, the outside hitter that was a key cog in Oak Ridge’s lineup last year. “Our team gets along really well and I think that’s going to make it easy for us to be successful.” The Lady Trojans have added depth to make another run for the section title, provided by varsity newcomers Hayley Corell, a freshman middle blocker that will patrol attacks on the net, and a trio of sophomores in Amelia Crye, Tara McDermott and Rachael McVicar. “The majority of our team is sophomores and juniors, so anyone can step up and be a leader on this team,” said Chambliss, the sophomore libero. “We work really hard in every practice and want to win every game.”