Ponderosa High’s varsity boys volleyball program enjoyed a stellar performance Thursday evening against Oak Ridge, defeating its intra-county rival, 3-1 in Delta River League action inside the Trojans’ gym.
“This was the best match they’ve played to date this season,” Bruin head coach Amy Stockett said. “Everyone played with a lot of heart, played together with great energy and maintained a high level tonight.”
Troy and the Bruins went back and forth in the first two games, with Ponderosa taking game one 25-22 and Oak Ridge edging out a 31-29 win in game two. Games three and four were nowhere near as close, with Oak Ridge suffering from miscues on a night where the players — as head coach Melanie DeMure summed it up — simply did not show up to play.
“We didn’t show up to play tonight,” DeMure said. “I’m disappointed in (the players’) lack of effort and their communication was non-existent.”
After a brilliant trading of points in game two that Troy finally claimed as a win, there was a whisper of a chance that Oak Ridge would begin to stand its ground on home turf against a nearby rival team — but Ponderosa dictated the mood, and took the loss with a grain of salt, seizing the third game 25-16 before shutting the door with a 25-13 final game to seal the match.
“Ponderosa controlled the momentum,” DeMure said. “They didn’t slow down and continued to play hard. We didn’t have any gas to keep up.”
Oak Ridge senior Brock Middleton had a team-high 10 kills on the evening and did so most efficiently for Troy, converting those kills out of 24 total attempts. Storm VanSoldt finished with eight kills while Michael Montejano and Chase Barri each tallied seven. VanSoldt had two serving aces, one behind teammate Sam Greenleaf who had three brilliant ones. Greenleaf’s 12 digs and two solo blocks complemented his serving prowess — and while it was not enough to turn the tide for his squad, the performance showed promise from a well-rounded sophomore player.
For Ponderosa, it was Tanner Charron’s night. With 17 kills, 17 digs, four aces and three block assists, the junior Bruin was a presence on both sides of the net, helping to lead a developing squad compete in constant forward progress throughout the night.
“Tanner played an incredible match tonight,” Stockett said. “His attacks were outstanding, he played great defense and was a wonderful leader for our team tonight.”
Sophomore Haward Gomes finished with 12 kills, two aces and a solo block as well as 10 digs on the evening for the Bruins. Davis Alexander finished with eight kills while Kellen Salue had six and sophomore Taylor Charron had four.
Going forward, Stockett and Co. will seek to keep this positive momentum alive as the Bruins progress through the Delta River League ranks. Oak Ridge will look to bounce back with a league game against Jesuit on Monday April 15. Ponderosa will face Folsom on Wednesday, April 10.