Oak Ridge High School’s girls varsity volleyball team celebrated coach Becky Potter’s birthday with a 3-0 win against the Nevada Union Miners Tuesday night.
With cake and balloons waiting for her after the match, Potter couldn’t contain her happiness, saying, “Thank you to my girls for the best birthday present ever.”
The hard-fought third game made the win that much sweeter for the coach and her team. The Lady Trojans battled back from a 21-24 deficit to win 27-25. The winning kill came from senior Haley Simmons, who showed off great moves all evening. Simmons was quick to credit her teammates for the victory.
“We meshed together really well for (this being) one of our first games,” she explained.
The Trojans and Miners traded the lead the first game of the evening until Simmons’ swift kills added momentum to Oak Ridge’s side of the net. Tough serves and returns had the Miners nearly hitting the Oak Ridge gym’s roof ; one bump almost sent the ball into the basketball hoop.
Junior Amelia Crye spent a lot of time serving as the Lady Trojan’s lead jumped 16-10. The Miners finally got the ball back but lost it right away on a bad serve. After trading a few more points Oak Ridge took over and won 25-18, with the last two points courtesy of Miners’ mistakes.
The Lady Trojans swiftly took control in the second game, forcing the Miners to take an early timeout after the score jumped 8-3 in Oak Ridge’s favor. A brief rally got the Miners within one point but a heavy hit from Crye forced a Miner into a lost-cause dig and the Lady Trojans began racking up the points.
A late-game Miner rally tied things up at 22 but a timeout helped Oak Ridge’s girls get their game straight and they played to win, 25-23.
Coach Potter noted after the game that Nevada Union’s girls have the ability to step up “when their backs are to the wall” and that’s exactly what happened in the third game. Again, the teams traded points at the beginning but this time the Miners didn’t let a one- or two-point deficit deter them. Even three sharp, back-to-back kills from junior Rachel McVicar couldn’t keep the Lady Trojans in the lead.
This is where the Lady Trojans depth came in. “We can put anybody in and we play great,” Potter said.
And that’s how the girls rallied to win. With the game tied up at 25 the players at the net stepped up and blocked a would-be kill coming their way, making it 26-25. Simmons then sealed the deal with a decisive kill.
“We stayed composed,” Potter said, explaining the comeback. “We are mentally tough.”
Toughness will come in handy this Thursday when the Lady Trojans travel to Granite Bay. This weekend they’re scheduled to play at the Chris Craft Tournament.