It wasn’t “easy” playing for or coaching Oak Ridge High in its volleyball match March 22 with visiting Capital Christian — it was too easy.
No matter who occupied the court, the Trojans scored at will and with additional points via Cougar errors, the hosts rolled to the 25-7, 25-12, 25-13 non-conference win.
“Our subs got in and did a good job — I was pleased with their performance because there’s long stretches when they don’t get the playing time,” Oak Ridge coach Tom Van Der Wende said. “For the most part the team has been pretty solid this season — a couple break downs against the tougher teams but other than that we’re trying to get better and quicker with our blocking because that cost us against Granite Bay and Rocklin.”
Troy didn’t have to rely on the block Tuesday against the undersized eight-man squad Capital brought. Oak Ridge scored the first 10 points of the first set, six straight in the second and coasted to the sweep.
“We worked on some plays tonight to get ready for the tournament this weekend in La Jolla,” Oak Ridge setter Connor Dunham said. “We’re all buddies who’ve played a lot together — just meshing and getting our timing down.”
Dunham opened Tuesday’s match on serve and looked like he’d never leave the line. His ace that froze the Cougars in place made it 4-0 before Jonathan Tuttle scored a kill, Jack Hoisington blocked a ball and spiked one.
Tuttle’s second kill and another by Hoisington that went cross court had the home team comfortably in the lead.
Needing 15 more points to switch the benches, highlights included Nathan Lambert’s ace, Trent Stigerts’ deposit of a stray bump, Hoisington’s tap and Tuttle’s blazing kill.
As Tuttle and others took a seat for the night, Van Der Wende turned his reserves loose the rest of the way. Behind the play of Mike Whitcomb, Connor Blakeman, Tim Smolarski, Michael Montejano, Luke Whitcomb, Lambert and Dunham, the Trojans easily took the second game.
“I’m fine as long as were playing well and the talking doesn’t go down,” said Tuttle about his limited court time due to the lop-sided win. “Everybody played well, communicated and the team chemistry was good tonight.”
Alex Gavin, Tim Spykerman, Blakeman, Lambert, Luke, Stigerts and Smolarski were all instrumental in the third set that secured the sweep. Blakeman’s pass to Gavin for a tap off the Cougar block ended it.
Van Der Wende and the team are looking forward to seeing new competition in Southern California.
“There will be some good teams there so we’ll have our work cut out for us,” Van Der Wende said. “It’ll be nice to see different teams. Here we always play the same teams — even at area tournaments so this weekend will be a change.”
Tuttle and Hoisington each had five kills; Blakeman had 12 assists; Lambert, nine digs; Mike Whitcomb, three blocks; and Dunham, two aces.