By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief
The Charles Page High School varsity volleyball team is off to a great start this year, winning their first two matches by substantial margins. Entering their third year under Head Coach Janna Green, the two seniors on the team got to play against their former head coach in Caleb Horton Thursday night at their home debut against Catoosa.
The teams took to the road Tuesday for the season-opener and defeated Muskogee (1-1) three sets to one. Varsity won the first game 27-25, lost the second 19-25, but rebounded with solid and decisive wins of 25-19 and 25-21 to secure the win. The JV squad lost their match 2-1 with sets of 18-25, 25-19, and 10-15. The freshman team lost 21-25 and 19-25.
In their first home match the Lady Sandites took on Catoosa (0-1) and swept all sets at all divisions. The 4A State Quarterfinalists were little match for the vastly improved Sand Springs program that Green has been building. This time last year the Lady Sandites were 0-2 and were dominated 3-0 by both Catoosa and Muskogee.
Sand Springs got off to a fast 3-0 lead and doubled the Lady Indians throughout the game. The Sandites built up a 12-6 lead thanks to hard-hitting attacks from Gloria Mutiri and Lee Leslie. Freshman Tiffany Maxey scored an ace for the Indians but they were unable to capitalize on it and the Sandites surged forward for a 25-13 finish after a kill from Mutiri.
In game two the Indians were the ones to take the lead after a series of Sandite faults gave up the first four points to Catoosa. Devree Youngblood and MaKenzie Ward combined for a hard block to get the Sandites back on track and the competitive matchup continued till the teams were tied 8-8. Sand Springs took their first lead off a block from Mutiri, but Catoosa's Melissa Velazquez tied things right back up. Mutiri reclaimed the lead before Makenna Cypert's overserve put it at 10-10. From then on Sand Springs never trailed, but the Indians did tie things up four more times before the home team ultimately pulled in the 25-21 win with a kill from Youngblood.
The final set was another back-and-forth affair before Sand Springs blew ahead from a close 17-16 to a final score of 25-17.
Mutiri was the leading scorer for the evening with twenty-two total kills, including four blocks and two aces. Eleven of her kills came in the third game alone. Youngblood recorded seven kills and Leslie recorded six. Madison Burris and MaKenzie Ward were crucial in setting up the plays with seven and eleven assists, respectively.
The JV and freshman teams also won their matches with sweeps. JV won sets of 25-16 and 25-17. The freshmen won 25-10 and 28-26.
The Sandites will return to action Monday at Bishop Kelley (1-0) then will play a home match against Jenks (3-1) on Tuesday. Thursday they'll travel to Ponca City (1-1) before wrapping up the week at the Catoosa Tournament Friday and Saturday.