By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief
The No. 15 ranked Charles Page High School varsity volleyball team (21-13) played a tough one against 5A No. 5 Collinsville (20-9) Thursday night, falling 3-1 in a match that at times felt like a slumber party for both teams.
The Sandites started out with a 4-0 lead in the first game thanks to back-to-back kills from Ohio State University commit Gloria Mutiri and a pair of errors from the Cardinals. They gave the points right back, however. The girls committed a pair of errors, 6'5" Arizona-basketball commit Mallory Vaughn blocked a shot from Mutiri, and Shea Thomas set up Katlynn Wheeler for the game-tying shot.
SS Kills: Mutiri 19, Kersgieter 8, Youngblood 6, Leslie 3, MaKenzie Ward 1.
CV Kills: Flanagan 14, Wheeler 7, Vaughn 6, Haught 6.
SS Assists: Makenzie Ward 23, Burris 3, Kersgeiter 2, Leslie 1.
CV Assists: Thomas 30.
SS Blocks: Mutiri 5, Burris 1, Cypert 1, Kersgieter 1.
CV Blocks: Vaughn 5, Haught 2, Thomas 1, Wheeler 1, Flanagan 1.
SS Aces: Youngblood 2, Leslie 1, MaKenzie Ward 1.
CV Aces: Flanagan 6, Haught 1.
SS Digs: Leslie 7, Mudd 6, Youngblood 4, Mutiri 4, Kersgieter 4, Taylor 3, MaKenzie Ward 3, Madison Ward 1, Cypert 1, Burris 1.
Sophomore Holly Kersgieter set up Lee Leslie for a kill to regain the lead, but Vaughn blocked and Megan Rice hit the go-ahead kill. Sand Springs tried to hang tight with another Kersgieter/Leslie combo, but back-to-back kills from Rice and a slew of errors led to an insurmountable lead for the Cardinals who won the set 25-16.
The home team got off to a huge 7-0 advantage in set two thanks to a block and kill from Vaughn with four aces from Ashley Flanagan. The Sandites played catch-up with blocks from Mutiri and Madison Burris, a series of Cardinal errors, and an ace from Leslie to close the gap to 9-7. Rice went on a four-kill run from there, broken up only by a Cardinal error, before the Sandites found another kill from Kersgieter.
Collinsville surged ahead to 19-12 with kills from Flanagan and Wheeler and four Sandite errors. The girls never stopped fighting, however, and once more closed up to 19-16 thanks to a pair of errors, a block from Mutiri and Makenna Cypert, and a kill from Mutiri. The two teams exchanged three-point runs from there and ultimately the home team won 25-19 with a kill from Flanagan.
The third set went to the Sandites who built their own 7-0 lead this time. An error from Flanagan put the girls on a run with a pair of aces from freshman Devree Youngblood and kills from Mutiri off sets by Leslie and MaKenzie Ward.
The Cardinals battled back to 7-4 with a pair of kills and a pair of errors, but the Sandites continued to hold their own, playing their most awake and competitive set of the match. The Cardinals never once led or tied in the duration of the game, though they came close at 21-19. The Sandites won 25-20 led by seven kills from the Mutiri and three by Kersgieter.
The fourth set saw both teams step up their game, though the Sandites lead from the start till 14-14. An error from Youngblood gave Collinsville the ball and Flanagan served up fifth and sixth aces of the night. An error from Leslie and kills from Vaughn and Wheeler gave the Cardinals a six-straight run for a 16-14 lead that they held to the end. Ward set up a pair of kills for Kersgieter and served an ace late in the game to pull close at 23-21 and an error by Vaughn put the girls within a point, but Flanagan scored on a hard spike and Vaughn scored on a tipped ball for the 25-22 win.
The Sandites were outperformed in both kills and errors by the Cardinals, who committed only 36 faults through the whole match compared to the Sandites' 44. Mutiri led both teams in kills with 19, in addition to 5 blocks. Flanagan was the leading scorer for Collinsville with 14 kills, followed by Vaughn with 11 and Rice with 10. Ward did the bulk of the setting for the Sandites with 23 assists, while Thomas did all of the setting for Collinsville and registered 30 assists. Leslie had 7 digs for the Sandites, followed by Baylee Mudd with 6.