By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief
The Charles Page High School varsity volleyball team (2-1) got off to a great start against the Bishop Kelley JV Red, winning two sets before the host team rallied for the win.
Bishop Kelley is last year's 5A State Championship team, and boasts a record seventeen State Titles, including thirty consecutive Regional Championships. The last two years that Sand Springs played the Bishop Kelley JV, they were defeated 3-0. Last year the Sandites never scored more than 20 points in a set, and in 2014 they only managed to break 10 points in a single set against the annual powerhouse.
The Lady Sandite program is clearly in an impressive turnaround under Head Coach Janna Green's third year at the helm. The last two years they opened to back-to-back losses. This year they won their first two matches over teams they lost to last year and gave Bishop Kelley a run for their money.
The Lady Sandites won the first set in a back-and-forth thriller, 25-22. The game was tied seven different times and every time Sand Springs worked up a decent lead, the Comets would rally to tie things up. Kelley took an early 5-3 lead before junior standout Gloria Mutiri scored six kills in eight rallies for a 10-6 advantage. The Comets tied it back up at 11-11 but Sand Springs regained the lead and held it till the Comets scored a six-pack on Makenna Cypert to tie it at 19-19. Freshman Madison Burris was crucial in the final rallies, setting up Mutiri for a kill to make it 23-21, then assisting on a block on the next rally.
Sand Springs got off to a great start in the second game, winning the first six rallies via Bishop Kelley errors, and capped it off with an ace from Mutiri for the 7-0 lead. The Sandites held the lead for the entire set, despite a five-straight streak from the Comets bringing it to a close 17-12, and ultimately won 25-16.
The Comets pulled a complete about-face in the third game, taking a 5-0 lead. Mutiri scored six kills in the set and sophomore Holly Kersgieter added three more, but the Comets prevailed 25-14.
Game four was hotly contested and saw the two teams tied up eight separate times. Freshman Devree Youngblood started things off with an ace, Kersgieter and Mutiri combined on a block, and the Sandites led 4-2 before the Comets scored their first kill. Bishop Kelley scored again on free ball with no hands on deck from the Sandites to tie it at 4-4. The Lady Sandites picked up two more points on errors and Mutiri added an ace for the 7-4 advantage.
Sand Springs worked up a 17-12 advantage thanks to a pair of blocks from Mutiri and a kill from Kylie Taylor, but the Comets battled back to a close 17-16. Mutiri and MaKenzie Ward combined on a block to try and build some cushion, but Kelley won the next three rallies for the lead. Ultimately the Comets won 25-23.
Sand Springs never led in the final set and Bishop Kelley won 15-9.
Mutiri led in scoring for the match with a season-best 29 kills, including five solo blocks, four block assists, and two aces. Kersgieter added twelve kills with four block assists. MaKenzie Ward registered the most assists with fifteen, followed by Burris with five.
Next up for the Sandites is a Tuesday evening Home match against Jenks (5-2) at 6:00 p.m.