SHINGLE SPRINGS — Ponderosa High’s varsity boys volleyball program hosted intra-county rival Oak Ridge Wednesday evening, falling 3-1 to the Trojans, 25-14, 32-30, 20-25, 26-24.
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For Oak Ridge, the victory was retribution of sorts for the loss it suffered to the Bruins last month — a four-set win Ponderosa couldn’t duplicate.
“The heart was there as the games went on,” Bruin head coach Amy Stockett said. “I think our guys brought it as the games progressed — I think my team still needs to work on playing fired up the entire game; play through every point, regardless of the outcome.”
Oak Ridge delivered a wake-up call in game one, pushing ahead early en route to a 25-14 rout that snapped the Bruins out of their sluggish style of play. It didn’t take Ponderosa long to turn the match into an evening of action, as the hosts pushed neck-and-neck with Oak Ridge in game two.
Trading points, the Bruins came close but fell in overtime. After seizing game three 25-20, Ponderosa continued to grind it out in the fourth set but smart Trojan serving by Sam Greenleaf allowed Oak Ridge to clinch the match.
Ponderosa moved well on the court, but had trouble building momentum in a game where the flow is as important as the fire.
“We had a lot of missed serves after crucial points,” Stockett said. “That really hurts momentum.”
Oak Ridge’s offensive efforts came from a powerful trio. Trojan Michael Montejano finished with a dozen kills while fellow seniors Storm VanSoldt and Brock Middleton tallied 11 kills each. Greenleaf and Chase Barri chipped in seven and six kills respectively, while Nick Camagna picked up two kills on the evening. Campagna tallied three serving aces, matching teammate Ben Kopania’s performance from behind the line, while Barri had a pair of aces himself.
Trojan head coach Melanie DeMure acknowledged significantly better play by her team the second time around against Ponderosa.
“We blocked so much better tonight,” DeMure said. “Last time we got annihilated without the block. So we worked on that specifically (for Ponderosa) which will actually set us up nicely for Jesuit next week as they hit very similar to Ponderosa.”
Oak Ridge improves its record to 5-2 in league play, while the Bruins slip to 3-3.