As the Oak Ridge and El Dorado boys volleyball teams seek their identity, they met up Thursday with the host Trojans getting the better of the Cougars, winning 25-19, 25-6, 25-16.
The first set was competitive as Oak Ridge led 4-3 after a Chase Barri kill. The Trojans took an 8-4 advantage after a Storm Van Soldt smash followed by another kill but El Dorado roared back. Following an Elijah Magat tip, Tait Miller stuffed an Oak Ridge hit and had a kill of his own to pull the Cougars within 8-7. Oak Ridge went ahead 12-9 lead after a Michael Montejano kill and took control from there as a Chase Meilback block extended the lead and a Montejano tip iced the set for the Trojans for the win.
In the second set, Oak Ridge took early control behind Sam Greenleaf’s three aces and Van Soldt’s hitting to lead 9-0 before El Dorado got on the board. Kellian Evans added to lead with a high-flying kill. Though Miller carried the Cougars in the second set, the Trojans were too much as Kellian Evans’ high-flying kill, multiple aces and Van Soldt kills paced the hosts to the set victory.
The Cougars came right back in the third set, taking an early 4-2 lead after a Miller kill. El Dorado led 5-3 when Brock Middleton’s hit fell and Greenleaf followed with a block to knot the game up at five apiece. After taking a 6-5 lead, server Ben Kopania served a pair of aces to put Oak Ridge up three. A Greenleaf ace extended the lead to 11-7, but El Dorado hung tough.
After the two teams traded off points, Dom Moran served an ace for the Cougars and they won the next point to pull within 19-16. Van Soldt answered with yet another pair of kills, and Greenleaf added two aces before Van Soldt’s soft hit fell to clinch the game and match for Oak Ridge.
“We had great energy and good connections. I’m looking forward to next week where we’re trying to develop more team chemistry so that we can be ready for when we play Rocklin and Granite Bay,” Trojan coach Melanie DeMure said.
As for the Cougars, coach Alan Magat said “We have a very young team and the boys are still trying to figure out fundamentals and basics. We don’t have a lot of experience on our team, so we’re trying to get better quick. I told them in between the second and third set to not focus on the scoreboard and to just try to improve, which they did, so I’m proud of them for that.”