Sand Springs Volleyball program seeing success from the ground up

The Lady Sandite Junior Varsity Volleyball team took second place at the Victory Christian Tournament. (Courtesy Photo).

The volleyball culture is changing in Sand Springs. Not too long ago, the Sandites were playing 3A and 4A tournaments and hoping for a break-even season record. Now they're scheduling the toughest competitors in the State and focusing more on the post-season than anything. 

While the Charles Page High School varsity team currently holds a losing record at 7-11, they're ranked No. 12 in Class 6A and are posing a legitimate threat to everyone they encounter. Thus far this season they have managed to upset the defending State Champions, placed third at a tough Broken Arrow Tournament, and won sets against powerhouse opponents like No. 8 Union, No. 4 Stillwater, and No. 5 Victory Christian. 

Head Coach Janna Green is in her fourth year at the helm of the Sand Springs program, meaning the current group of seniors is the first class to go through the program completely under Green's guidance. Last season the Sandites went 25-14, but peaked at the No. 13 ranking and saw their season come to a close at No. 4 Edmond Santa Fe, who hasn't lost a home Regional in a quarter-century. Green was recognized as the Frontier Valley Conference Coach of the Year.

The Sandites have been improving every week, most recently sweeping No. 14 Owasso in straight-sets, and doing so without their number two scorer in sophomore Devree Youngblood. They have ten matches left to improve their ranking before the Regional pairings are released. At least three of those matches are against ranked opponents that could earn the Sandites some points in the standings.

A major part of their success is that the whole team is developing the skill sets needed to compete at the top level. While the Sandites are anchored offensively by Division One recruit Gloria Mutiri, they have proven that every player on the court knows how to do her job and do it well. 

Sixteen players have seen varsity action this season and twelve have recorded kills. While the Sandites will graduate 69% of their scoring power this year, they'll retain their number-two hitter in Youngblood, their number-one setter in sophomore Madison Burris, and a whole mess of younger talent. 

Sophomores Gillian Wicker, Raylynn Mong, and Vanessa Wyrick have all seen varsity action this year. Cloe Campfield has proven herself as one of the most energetic players on the team. One freshman has even gotten in on the action in Madison Blaylock. A dozen other high-school athletes are seeing time on the JV and freshman teams, working hard to develop their potential and carry on the tradition in the years to come. 

The JV squad recently took on the B-teams from other top-level schools and placed second at the Victory Christian Tournament last week. The girls defeated the host school 2-1 with sets of 25-19, 15-17, and 15-11. They swept Catoosa (25-10, 25-19), topped Collinsville (25-16, 19-25, 15-12), then beat out Skiatook (12-25, 25-14, 15-11) in the semifinals before falling 17-25 and 19-25 to Lincoln Christian in the Championship round. The varsity programs from Victory Christian, Catoosa, Skiatook, and Lincoln Christian are all ranked top-ten in their classes.

While Sand Springs will no doubt miss the likes Mutiri, Madison and Makenzie Ward, libero Kylie Taylor, outside hitters Makenna Cypert and Kenzie Bradshaw, among others next year, the program will be more than capable of moving forward in their new tradition of competitiveness. 

With a dozen players seeing action on any given night, successful underclassman programs, a growing number of club athletes, and the dedicated coaching of Green, Alyssa Bargas, Brannon Scott, Lindsey Schwager, and Abby Harp, the Lady Sandite volleyball program is in good shape for years to come.

Varsity Mid-Season Stats

Sets Played
62 Madison Burris
62 Gloria Mutiri
61 Madison Ward
59 Chelsea Neely
58 Makenzie Ward
58 Kylie Taylor
52 Cloe Campfield
50 Makenna Cypert
47 Devree Youngblood
38 Kendall Wise
35 Kenzie Bradshaw
30 Kailie Johnson
25 Vanessa Wyrick
6 Raylynn Mong
3 Madison Blaylock
1 Gillian Wicker

52 Gloria Mutiri
19 Chelsea Neely
7 Madison Burris
7 Makenna Cypert
7 Vanessa Wyrick
4 Devree Youngblood
2 Kailie Johnson
1 Kenzie Bradshaw
1 Cloe Campfield

282 Gloria Mutiri
94 Devree Youngblood
43 Madison Burris
28 Makenna Cypert
18 Kenzie Bradshaw
18 Cloe Campfield
16 Chelsea Neely
6 Vanessa Wyrick
4 Kailie Johnson
3 Kylie Taylor
2 Madison Ward
1 Kendall Wise

74 Kylie Taylor
59 Gloria Mutiri
51 Madison Ward
28 Madison Burris
21 Cloe Campfield
17 Makenzie Ward
9 Kendall Wise
5 Devree Youngblood
1 Makenna Cypert
1 Raylynn Mong

294 Madison Burris
96 Makenzie Ward
9 Kenzie Bradshaw
7 Gloria Mutiri
5 Raylynn Mong
4 Makenna Cypert
3 Cloe Campfield
3 Kailie Johnson
3 Kylie Taylor
2 Chelsea Neely
1 Madison Ward
1 Devree Youngblood

18 Gloria Mutiri
13 Cloe Campfield
13 Makenzie Ward
11 Madison Burris
10 Madison Ward
9 Kylie Taylor
8 Kendall Wise
8 Devree Youngblood
1 Makenna Cypert
1 Vanessa Wyrick