A young Oak Ridge High volleyball team fell to visiting Rocklin 25-19, 25-9, 26-24 in volleyball action Thursday night in El Dorado Hills.
“We’re still getting used to each others tendencies, and the team chemistry will come with time,” junior Michael Montejano said after the Trojans showed glimpses of greatness but inconsistency in the three-set loss to the Thunder.
Oak Ridge and Rocklin traded punches throughout the first set with each team making runs. After the Thunder went on a four-point run to give them a 5-2 lead, Montejano strategically passed up a kill opportunity and tapped the ball over the Rocklin blockers to get Oak Ridge back within striking distance.
The Thunder clung to a slim lead until a Brock Middleton kill tied the game up at 15. Oak Ridge went in front 18-16 but it was short-lived as Rocklin rallied back to tie and then went on a 7-1 run to win the set on a powerful kill.
“We let the end of that set get away from us. After we took that lead, we seemed to go into cruise control and weren’t focusing, and they made us pay,” Montejano said.
Troy’s woes were magnified in the second set as Rocklin shot to an 8-1 advantage. Oak Ridge didn’t wilt, but after cutting the Thunder lead to 18-9, Rocklin once again showed late-set poise, winning the last seven to take the set.
The Trojans came together in the third set and gave Rocklin all it could handle. After aces from Trent Stigerts and Ben Kopania, Oak Ridge evened the set at 10. Neither team could shake the other for the remainder of the set. After a Middleton kill, Troy took a 20-19 lead, and after Rocklin evened the score again, the hosts went up 22-20 in need of three more points for the win.
Again, late Thunder poise was vital as Rocklin landed an ace past Oak Ridge to even the game up yet again. A violation on the Thunder led to a potential set-winning point for Oak Ridge, but Rocklin blew a kill through the Oak Ridge defense and they never looked back. At match point, an Oak Ridge deflection shot the ball up off the ceiling before the Thunder ended it with a power shot to.
Oak Ridge (2-2) returns to the court this Thursday at Ponderosa.