By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief
The Charles Page High School varsity volleyball team (6-3) won four straight matches Friday at the Coweta Tournament. Heritage Hall (1-9) fell 2-0 with sets of 25-20 and 25-19. Catoosa (1-4) fell 2-1 with sets of 25-19, 23-25, and 15-9.
The Sandites took on the home team in their third match of the day and defeated the Coweta Tigers 2-1 in an edge-of-your-seat thriller. The first game was hotly contested in the beginning, but the tide steadily turned in the Sandites' favor.
Lee Leslie drew first blood with an assist from Madison Burris, then MaKenzie Ward set up kills for Leslie and Gloria Mutiri to make it 4-2. Coweta scored a pair of kills and profited from a Sandite error to take the lead back at 5-4, but Mutiri got in on four straight kills to put the Sandites on top once and for all. Sand Springs went on a run at the end of the game, winning six straight rallies for a 25-13 victory.
The second game's outcome was nearly just as lopsided in Coweta's favor. The back-and-forth battle for the lead continued till Ward set up kills for Mutiri and Devree Youngblood to tie things up at 14-14. From there Coweta ran away with a long list of faults on the Sandites. Five straight errors and a handful of kills gave the Tigers the 25-16 win.
In the final set the Sandites regained their footing and left Coweta behind after Mutiri nailed a pair of back-to-back kills for the 5-3 advantage. The Tigers grabbed one point on an error, but Mutiri and Holly Kersgieter added another pair of kills before giving up a point on a service error. Coweta handed up a fault of their own and Youngblood got back in on the action with a shot off Ward, then combined on a block with Kersgieter to double down 10-5. Leslie got back in the fray and Ward scored a solo shot. Youngblood and Leslie blocked a shot to make it 14-6 and the Sandites had plenty of wiggle room. Coweta won the next four rallies somewhat due to defensive indifference on the part of the Sandites, who already had the win in the bag, but ultimately Youngblood smacked a kill off Ward for the 15-10 win.
Sand Springs breezed through their final match of the day in a 2-0 victory over Edison (2-6).
Kersgieter scored back-to-back aces to start the match. Kylie Taylor scored a kill off a Mutiri assist, Youngblood took a solo shot, and an Eagle fault gave Sand Springs the 5-0 advantage. Edison picked up their first point on an error from Taylor, but the next seven rallies went to the Sandites. Sand Springs continued to pile on the points until Mutiri wrapped things up with an ace for the 25-6 win.
In the second game it was Edison who started things off with an ace, but it didn't take the Sandites long to get back in the lead once and for all with an ace from Youngblood. Madison Ward got in the game and served up a pair of back-to-back aces and MaKenzie Ward scored three-straight aces soon-after.
The Sandites gave up five errors from there before tightening back up. Youngblood made it 22-11 on an assist from MaKenzie Ward. Kersgieter served, dug the return and scored on the dig, then followed it up with an ace. She gave up one point with an error, but followed it up with a kill for the 25-12 win.
The Lady Sandites will return to action bright and early Saturday morning with a 10:00 a.m. match against East Central (5-6). The Cardinals went 1-3 on day one of the tournament with losses to Tahlequah, Claremore, and Catoosa, and a win over Edison. Immediately following that match the Sandites will take on Tahlequah (2-2). Tahlequah started their season Friday with wins over Edison and East Central, but lost to Claremore and Heritage Hall.
At 1:00 p.m. the Sandites will take on Claremore (5-3) in the final round of pool play. Claremore went 3-1 in day one of the tournament, defeating Edison, Tahlequah, and East Central, but lost to Coweta.
All eight teams will compete in bracket competition. The Sandites have already earned their way into the gold bracket and if they can finish undefeated they'll play at 3:00 p.m. against the number four seed. The second and third-seeded teams will meet at 4:00 p.m. and the Championship match will be at 5:00 p.m.