By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief
The Charles Page High School varsity volleyball team (10-5) gave the 4A No. 4 Victory Christian Conquerors (9-3) a run for their money Thursday night at Victory. The Conquerors likely thought the match would be a breeze after winning the first set 25-14, but Sand Springs surged to victory in the next two games.
The Lady Sandites managed a mere six kills in the first game. Gloria Mutiri got the girls on the board with an assist from MaKenzie Ward, but Victory held the lead at 3-1. Senior Lee Leslie picked up a point on a solo block, but Senior Andrea Redmond responded with a tipped ball for the kill. Mutiri scored one of her signature spikes, but Redmond got in another tipped ball and the Conquerors gained a point from a Mutiri error for the 8-3 advantage.
The Lady Sandites briefly closed the gap to 16-13 thanks to a pair of Victory errors and a kill from Mutiri off MaKenzie Ward, but the Conquerors surged ahead with four straight rally wins and an ace from Redmond. Mutiri added one more kill before Victory won the next five rallies to end things 25-14.
In the second game the Conquerors started 2-0 once again with an error from Leslie and a blocked shot by Redmond, but the Sandites battled neck-and-neck and tied things up at 3-3 with a block from Makenna Cypert, and 4-4 as Mutiri blocked a spike from Redmond. Redmond committed an error to give the Sandites the lead and Cypert added an ace to push it to 6-4.
Sand Springs held the lead for seventeen-straight rallies before committing three straight faults to tie it at 13-13. Redmond scored a pair of kills to make it 16-14, but another Cypert ace gave Sand Springs the upper hand at 18-17. The game tied twice more at 23-23 and 24-24 before Lee Leslie got the go-ahead kill and Mutiri added a block for the 26-24 win.
In game three the two teams exchanged errors till Mutiri scored the first kill for the Sandites to make it 3-2. The teams traded the lead three more times before Victory finally started to build ground on the Sandites and push the advantage to 17-12. A timeout for the Sandites made for a scoring catalyst and the girls won four straight rallies to force the Conquerors to use a timeout of their own.
Freshman Devree Youngblood scored a pair of back-to-back kills and Mutiri tied things up at 22-22. A consecutive touching call gave Sand Springs the lead, Madison Ward served up an ace, and Holly Kersgieter scored the winning kill off an assist from Madison Burris. The Sandites led the match 2-1.
The fourth game was decidedly Victory's from the get-go. Youngblood scored an early kill to make it 1-1, but Victory won the next eight straight rallies. Mutiri and Redmond exchanged kills, but Redmond managed to block a pair of Mutiri's spikes and the Conquerors furthered their lead to 14-3.
Mutiri picked up a solo block and the Sandites added another point on a waffle. Kersgieter added a block and MaKenzie Ward scored an ace, then Mutiri tipped a kill into a campfire. Ultimately the early errors were insurmountable and the Sandites lost the set 25-13.
It came down to the final set. Sand Springs scored first on an error, but gave the point right back and allowed an ace. Redmond added three more kills for an 8-5 advantage, but Sand Springs won three straight rallies with kills from Kersgieter and Youngblood to tie it up.
Victory used a timeout to break up the Sandite momentum and the girls were unable to score again for the duration, save for a service error by the Conquerors. Victory narrowly grabbed the 15-9 win for the match.
Mutiri led her team in scoring by a landslide with 22 kills, including five blocks. MaKenzie Ward registered fifteen assists as well as two aces. Redmond led the scoring for both teams with 23 total kills including three blocks and an ace.
The Lady Sandites will return to action Friday morning at 10:30 a.m. in round one of the Broken Arrow Tournament against Tulsa NOAH Home School. Immediately after that match they will play No. 3 Norman North (7-2) and at 3:00 p.m. they will take on Moore (1-8).