Consistent play at the net Tuesday and setting up the offense by Storm Van Soldt and Sam Greenleaf paved the way to victory for the Oak Ridge High boys volleyball team in its Sac-Joaquin Section Division I out-bracket playoff match against visiting Laguna Creek.
Oak Ridge (4-4, 18-11) won the match in four games, 25-16, 23-25, 25-11, 25-16. The victory sends the Trojans into the first round Thursday at Granite Bay.
“Storm has done a fabulous job this season,” Oak Ridge head coach Melanie DeMure said of the setter. “He’s a vocal leader on the floor, does his job, directs a lot of the traffic.”
Greenleaf, only a freshman, played like an upperclassman at the net with many kills in the third and fourth sets.
“Sam has done a very good job,” DeMure said of the outside hitter. “I think it’s hard to ask a lot out of a freshman to be your quarterback; ask him to run your system and train him the way you want.”
In the second game, the athleticism and consistent net play of Laguna Creek’s Auston Bulda, Brandon Williams, Antonie Lewis, Jesus Lopez, Angelo Agutos and Tyler Talan led to the Cardinals taking a 24-23 lead and the win.
“Up and down like a roller coaster,” DeMure said. “Dropping games that we shouldn’t be dropping games.”
In the third set, the play of Van Soldt and Greenleaf and the serving of Tim Smolarski and Brock Middleton led the Trojans to a 17-7 advantage. Laguna Creek trimmed the Trojans’ lead to 20-11, but kills at the net that ended when Van Soldt slammed the ball down the side of the court led to victory.
Oak Ridge jumped out to a 9-2 lead in the fourth game behind the play of Trent Stigerts and Michael Montejano. The Cardinals rallied again behind serving to tie the match at 12-all but Oak Ridge’s Brock Middleton registered a kill and the Trojans outscored the Cardinals 12-4 the rest of the way.