By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief
The No. 18 ranked Charles Page High School varsity volleyball team (10-7) dropped their opening match at the Broken Arrow Tournament Friday morning to the Northeast Oklahoma Association of Homeschools (3-2).
The Lady Sandites dominated the first game 25-16. The Jaguars took an early 8-5 lead, but four straight aces from junior Gloria Mutiri put the Sandites up 10-8. Marysia Erb broke up the streak and Hannah Williams served an ace to tie it up 10-10.
The Sandites won the next five rallies with three errors, a kill from Holly Kersgieter, and an ace from Mackenzie Ward. Malia Leatherland got in a kill, but Kendall Wise scored back-to-back aces to push the lead to 19-12. Ward set up kills for Lee Leslie, Mutiri, and Kersgieter and the Sandites surged to a 25-16 finish.
The second set featured far fewer Jaguar errors and far more kills from Leatherland. The heavy-hitting senior daughter of Coach Mike Leatherland was all over the place throughout the set.
Mutiri was an ever-present threat, scoring the first three kills of the game for the Sandites and joining with Ward for a block. Leatherland scored on a tipped ball and followed it up with an ace. A series of Sandite errors and another kill from Leatherland gave NOAH the 10-7 advantage before they gave it up with six errors of their own and Devree Youngblood and Madison Burris joined for a block to make it 13-11.
NOAH pulled briefly ahead before a Mutiri ace tied it at 16-16, but the Jags tried to run away with it and pushed their lead to 22-17 before the Sandites found their feet and tied it up at 23-23 with a pair of blocks from Mutiri and Burris, and Mutiri and Leslie.
The game tied at 24-24 after a kill from Leatherland, Kersgieter tipped a kill for the lead, but Leatherland tied it right back up at 25-25. Both teams exchanged errors and NOAH took the lead on a blocked tip from Mutiri. The Sandites got the side out on a service error and Burris set up Kersgieter for the 28-27 kill. A Jaguar fault sealed the victory at 29-27 and the match was solidly in the hands of Sand Springs 2-0.
The third set was a mess of errors and NOAH took a 4-1 lead before either team scored a single kill. Makenna Cypert scored the opening kill for the Sandites, Leatherland retaliated, and Mutiri spiked in another to make it 5-3. The teams exchanged service errors, Mutiri and Leslie combined on a block, and Youngblood scored a kill to make it 8-6. A kill from Kersgieter followed by three-straight Jaguar errors gave the Sandites the lead at 11-10. Leatherland scored back-to-back kills, then Mutiri did the same.
The back-and-forth affair continued all the way into extra points where the game tied for the final time at 27-27 on a block from Mutiri. Leatherland and Erb both scored kills for the 29-27 victory.
In game four the Jags took the lead early on with back-to-back kills from Leatherland. Sand Springs pulled close at 7-5 with a kill from Mutiri, but Leatherland scored a kill followed by four-straight aces. The lead was comfortably NOAH’s till Mutiri scored three-straight to close it to 19-16. Mutiri scored off a Ward setup and a pair of errors put the Sandites within a point, 20-19. They would only win one rally from there and NOAH prevailed 25-20 to tie the match.
NOAH pulled a quick 4-1 lead in the final set and didn’t give up the lead till 13-13. Leslie scored an ace, but Leatherland scored two. Ward served one of her own and Mutiri followed with a block, but the girls still trailed 11-8. They got within a point on a kill from Leslie to make it 12-11, then scored a block from Burris and Mutiri to tie it up. Leatherland scored a kill from there, then put up an impressive block on one of Mutiri’s infamous spikes for the 15-13 win.
Mutiri and Leatherland tied in scoring with 31 kills each. Mutiri scored seven blocks to Leatherland’s four, but Leatherland scored seven aces to Mutiri’s five. Kersgieter added another twelve kills and Leslie scored seven. Ward led in assists with twenty-four and Burris added another twelve.