Lady Sandites fall 3-1 despite valiant effort against #3 Norman North

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

The No. 18 ranked Charles Page High School varsity volleyball team (10-8) met their match in the No. 3 Norman North Timberwolves (10-2) Friday afternoon at the Broken Arrow Tournament. It took the Sandites two games to find their rhythm against one of the most aggressive teams they’ve met this season.

Norman North utterly dominated the first two sets 25-7 and 25-8. Sand Springs managed to tie the first game 2-2 with a block combo from Gloria Mutiri and Lee Leslie, but the Timberwolves ran away with the next six rallies before Mutiri found a set from Mackenzie Ward for the kill. Norman grabbed five more points from there, gave up one on an error, then stole four more for a 17-4 lead. The Sandites only scored three more points, all of which came from errors.

In the second set the Timberwolves exploded to 9-1 before Leslie set up Holly Kersgieter for the kill. Leslie scored a kill off Ward, then combined on a block with Mutiri at 14-4. Mutiri added an ace and Kenzie Bradshaw scored a kill, but the Timberwolves coasted safely along for the win.

The Lady Sandites found their footing in the third game and doubled down on the Timberwolves for an early 8-4 lead thanks to kills from Mutiri and a block from Kenzie Bradshaw. Norman battled back with kills from Hallie Hembree, Lexi Thompson, and Maggie Davis, then tied things up at 9-9 as Davis and Lauren Kersey blocked a Mutiri spike. 

The teams fought back and forth for the lead and eventually Norman pulled away as far as 18-13 with a kill from Hembree, but the Sandites got back within a point thanks to a Bradshaw kill, Mutiri block, and Lee ace. Thompson found Abbey Woodrow's set for a kill, but Mutiri scored three straight with a kill and two solo blocks, capped off by a Baylee Mudd ace for the 21-19 lead. Ward set up Mutiri for back-to-back kills to solidify the win at 25-20.

The fourth set started with promise as neither team posted a three-point lead till halfway through the game. After Ward set up Kersgieter for a kill to tie it at 8-8, Norman went on a run with six straight rallies before handing the ball over on a serve error. The Sandites were unable to capitalize on the side-out and the Timberwolves went back to piling on the kills for a 25-12 victory. 

Mutiri led the Sandites with nine kills and seven total blocks, including three solo. Bradshaw and Kersgieter each added three, and Leslie, Madison Burris, and Mudd each scored two.