By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief
The Charles Page High School varsity volleyball team (6-3) won their first two matches at the Coweta Volleyball Tournament Friday.
The girls started things off with a 2-0 win over last year’s 5A State Runners-Up from Heritage Hall (1-9) with sets of 25-20 and 25-19. The first game belonged to the Sandites hands-down, but the Chargers battled hard in the second set and the girls had to play from a deficit early-on.
After falling behind 7-2, the Sandites finally got back on track behind the hard-hitting combo of MaKenzie Ward and Gloria Mutiri. Mutiri scored five kills off Ward’s setups in the second game and finished the set with ten kills total.
The Sandites took the final lead of the game 13-12 on a consecutive contact and Mutiri scored an ace on the side-out. Sophomore Holly Kersgieter also added an ace in the game.
From there they got a rematch against Catoosa (1-4) whom they defeated in straight sets a week ago. This time the Indians battled neck-and-neck with the Sandites and gave them a run for their money.
Sand Springs worked up an early lead thanks to several faults and Mutiri scored the first kill with an assist from Madison Burris. Madison Chalupa and Shannon May scored several kills for the Indians, but Mutiri served back-to-back aces to make it 14-7.
The Sandites had Catoosa more than doubled at 20-9 before Chalupa added another kill and a series of errors closed the gap to 20-13. Catoosa handed two points back on faults and Devree Youngblood scored an ace to make it 22-14, but the Indians kept on fighting with back-to-back aces from Chalupa.
Makenna Cypert set up Mutiri for a kill and Ward served an ace before Catoosa got the side-out on a service error, but quickly gave up the win with a block from Cypert.
In game two the Sandites emerged to an early lead thanks to three-straight kills from Kersgieter, including an ace. Youngblood added a solo shot to make it 6-3 before Chalupa broke the streak up. The next seven rallies were decided by errors before Catoosa added a pair of kills. Another error-streak gave Catoosa the 21-12 advantage and it looked like the underdogs would put the game in the bag.
Ward set up Kersgieter for a kill to get the Sandites back in the game and Kylie Taylor added an ace on the side out. The next four rallies were decided by error before the Sandites went on a killing spree behind Kersgieter, Taylor, and Mutiri. The Sandites battled back to a close 22-24 and dug out of six hard spikes before Taylor won the rally to make it 23-24. But Catoosa found the final point and forced a third game.
In the final set the Sandites took the lead to start with an error and an ace from Kersgieter, but committed a pair of faults to tie it back up. A kill from Paige Hardman gave Catoosa a brief lead, but a consecutive contact gave it right back. Ward set up Mutiri for back-to-back kills, Baylee Mudd hit an ace, and Mutiri scored a kill off a dig from Kersgeiter to make it 7-4.
Catoosa tied things back up at 8-8 with an ace from Melissa Velazquez. The Ward-Mutiri combo reclaimed the lead, then Catoosa took it right back on a Sandite error. Finally the Sandites emerged to a definitive advantage off another Ward-Mutiri kill. A pair of errors pushed the lead to 12-9. Ward put up a shot for Kersgeiter, Youngblood scored on a block, and Mutiri sent in an ace to secure the win.