Following two tough losses to Menlo-Atherton and Vista del Lago, the host Oak Ridge girls volleyball team rebounded in a huge way last Tuesday by upsetting area powerhouse Rocklin in four sets, 20-25, 25-23, 25-14, 25-17.
“We needed this win. It’s really going to give us confidence to go against some bigger teams knowing we can beat them,” coach Becky Potter said.
The Trojans, ranked No. 10 in the area, played the 5th-ranked Thunder tough from the beginning. After falling behind early, Troy tied the game at 6-6 thanks to a kill from senior Mysha Davies that caught the back corner.
The teams traded points until Megan Richwine went on a streak of serves to give Rocklin a 16-11 lead. Oak Ridge worked its way back to within three on a well-placed tip by Tara McDermott, but the visitors pulled away for the 25-20 set win.
The Trojans came out scalding in the second set as some great serves by Davies and McDermott staked the hosts to an 8-1 lead. Led by Maddie Haynes and Shannon Garvella, the Thunder chipped away to get within two but a Rachael McVicar kill and a series of serves from Marisa McConnell bolstered the Trojan lead back to 18-11.
The Thunder stormed back to lead 22-21 but Oak Ridge wasn’t rattled. After an Emily DeMure block re-tied the game, Troy pulled ahead and took the 25-23 victory.
With one set win under its belt, Oak Ridge took an early lead in the third set. Up 10-8, Davies then sent a powerful shot that hit the back corner, and the Trojans took control. A Hayley Corell block and several aces from Davies gave the hosts a 17-10 cushion and led by Maddie Chambliss, Oak Ridge closed out for the 25-14 win.
“We’ve panicked in the past, but this time we settled down, had composure, and the seniors led really well to maintain that calm,” Potter said.
Both teams came into the fourth set hungry, the Trojans hoping to pull off the major upset and Rocklin looking to mount a comeback. The two squads traded blows, with the largest lead by either two points.
Davies ignited her team once again with a booming kill, and Corell and Amelia Crye both contributed kill shots to give Oak Ridge a 16-12 advantage. Rocklin, led by Haynes, kept the Trojans close and stole momentum after its mini-run. But when an Oak Ridge penalty was reversed and Rocklin’s coach was assessed a red card for arguing, the Trojans were rewarded a point to give them a 23-17 lead. Oak Ridge then closed out the match with another Davies kill to stun the Thunder.
“(Rocklin is) such a powerhouse team that I’m so proud that my team had the composure to finish,” Potter said.
Oak Ridge also defeated Christian Brothers on Thursday — 25-19, 13-25, 31-29, 19-25, 15-13.