Oak Ridge volleyball takes down Franklin

After an initial stumble out of the gates, host Oak Ridge High righted itself and cruised past Franklin 25-19, 25-9, 25-17 to open the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I volleyball playoffs Tuesday night.

The victory advanced the Trojans to Thursday’s quarterfinals at Lincoln of Stockton.

“I think we were too confident to start. We heard some things about Franklin and they came out on fire,” Oak Ridge coach Becky Potter said. “It does show the girls that any team can beat another. Right now we’re working out a lot of the little things and just worrying about ourselves.”

Tuesday’s match turned after setter Nikki Haggard entered the fray early in the first game. Troy had fallen back 8-3 but quickly reversed course on a 5-0 run with Haggard at serve. She landed an ace, fed Katie Vaughn for a kill and Mysha Davies set Vaughn up for another. The score was tight in the middle until Haggard set Davies from her knees as Oak Ridge ripped off a 7-1 spurt behind the play of Vaughn, Haley Simmons and Haggard. Vaughn finished with 17 kills and Simmons had eight thanks to Haggard’s passing.

“We don’t always have good connection (setter-hitter) but we work on it in practice and tonight it finally clicked,” Simmons said. “Considering we didn’t know much about Franklin I thought we worked well as a team and played hard. We had some jitters to start being it’s the playoffs but after the first few points we pulled it together.”

Alexa Becker served the Trojans to a 7-0 advantage in the second game and Arden Zuber’s kill off the block made it 10-1 as the hosts rolled. Aside from Wildcat errors, Vaughn and Davies both landed aces as Potter substituted freely.

Determined to prolong its season, Franklin huddled in the gym’s stairwell and barely made it back on the court to start the third game. The Wildcats’ soul-searching worked as the Elk Grove team kept pace with the Trojans who had sweep on their minds. After Becker’s kill broke a 12-all score, Vaughn, Simmons, Zuber and Co. went for the kill. Vaughn tipped a point down the line for a 21-17 edge and her kill had the Trojans at game point where Simmons’ ace ended it.

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