Lady Sandite Volleyball defeats Yukon 3-1; finishes season with 25-14 record

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

Sand Springs: 63 kills, 44 errors
Yukon: 40 kills, 33 errors

SS Kills: Mutiri 24, Youngblood 11, Leslie 11, Burris 4, Madison Ward 2, Cypert 1.
Yukon Kills: Fowler 8, Brown 7, Benge 6, Blowers 5, Scott 3, Sauser 2, Collins 2, Hartman 1.

SS Assists: MaKenzie Ward 24, Burris 13, Leslie 2, Madison Ward 2.
YHS Assists: Fowler 20, Scott 1.

SS Blocks: Mutiri 9.
YHS Blocks: Sauser 2, Blowers 1, Brown 1.

SS Aces: Leslie 1, Burris 1, Youngblood 1, Mutiri 1.
YHS Aces: Fowler 1.

SS Digs: Burris 15, Leslie 14, Mutiri 7, Burris 4, MaKenzie Ward 4, Madison Ward 3, Mudd 2, Youngblood 1, Cypert 1.

The Charles Page High School varsity volleyball team (25-14) saw their season come to and at Edmond Santa Fe High School Tuesday evening in the Regional Tournament. After winning their first match 3-1 against No. 18 Yukon (9-19), the Sandites were unable to overcome the host team and fell in straight sets.

No. 4 Edmond Santa Fe (23-9) has a highly decorated volleyball program with a long tradition of success. They have seen the State finals eleven times, secured five State Championships, and have won twenty-four consecutive Regional Championships. 

In the first match the Lady Sandites won their first two sets without difficulty before giving up the third to the Millers. 

Sand Springs emerged to a quick 6-0 lead before freshman Izzy Brown was able to get her team on the board. The Millers began to battle back and got close to tying it thanks to a series of Sandite errors and a block from Emma Sauser. After allowing the score to narrow to 13-11, Sand Springs exploded for the 25-16 win with 15 team kills, 6 of which came from Ohio State committed junior Gloria Mutiri. Both teams committed ten errors in the first set.

In the second game it was the Millers who took an early lead, working up an 8-4 advantage before the Sandites went on a run and tied it at 11-11 with a kill from Makenna Cypert before surging ahead to a 15-11 lead on a kill from Lee Leslie. Sand Springs led for the rest of the game and won 25-22. The Sandites stepped back their offense, scoring only thirteen times against eleven errors, while the Millers improved on offense with eleven kills, but gave up twelve errors. 

In the third set the Sandites actually led 74% of the time, far more than they did in the second or third sets, but the Millers scored when it mattered most. Sand Springs took a quick 9-3 advantage with a series of solo blocks from Mutiri and an ace from Madison Burris. After Sand Springs took a 2-1 lead, the Millers didn't tie it up again till 16-16 on a kill from Sidney Benge. It was back and forth from there and the Millers took their first lead at 20-19. Burris set up Mutiri for the tie, and an error from Haley Fowler gave the Sandites the last advantage of the game at 21-10. Back to back kills from Brown off Fowler sets gave Yukon the lead at 22-21. Fowler and Sauser combined to block a shot from Mutiri and the Fowler-Brown combo secured the Yukon win, 25-21. Sand Springs led in kills with fifteen, but added twelve errors to the Millers' thirteen kills. The Millers had their best offensive output of the night and were solid on defense as well with only six errors. 

The fourth set was far more competitive for the duration and Sand Springs only led 45% of the time with eleven ties. Neither team won two-straight rallies till the Sandites took a 6-4 lead with a kill from freshman Devree Youngblood and a pair of Miller errors. The Sandites gave up a pair of errors of their own to tie it at 6-6 and the back-and-forth melee continued. Yukon worked up as much as a 15-11 lead before the Sandites won four-straight rallies to tie it at 15-15. The teams exchanged the lead till the Sandites surged ahead once and for all with a kill from Youngblood off a set from MaKenzie Ward to make it 19-18. The Millers fought to the end, but the Sandites got the win 25-21. Sand Springs had a match-best twenty kills in the set, doubling the Millers ten kills. They also more than doubled the Millers on errors, giving up eleven points to the Millers' five. 

Yukon utilized their timeouts well throughout the match, scoring the first point after timeout ten out of eleven times.

Sand Springs: 27 kills, 26 errors
Edmond SF: 46 kills, 21 errors

SS Kills: Mutiri 15, Youngblood 5, Leslie 1, Burris 1, Taylor 1, MaKenzie Ward 1.
ESF Kills: Muse 18, Scott 8, Scholl 6, Peacock 6, Robinson 4, Barakhoyeva 1, Hungate 1, Moore 1.

SS Assists: Burris 9, MaKenzie Ward 4, Leslie 1.
ESF Assists: Scholl 22, Moore 1.

SS Blocks: Mutiri 3, Youngblood 1.
ESF Blocks: Robinson 2, Peacock 2, Muse 1, McCrary 1.

SS Aces: Burris 1, MaKenzie Ward 1.
ESF Aces: Scott 4, Scholl 1, Muse 1, Barakhoyeva 1, Moore 1.

SS Digs: Mutiri 6, Leslie 6, Taylor 4, Youngblood 3, Mudd 3, MaKenzie Ward 3, Madison Ward 2, Burris 1, Wise 1, Wyrick 1.

The Regional finals were a whole different beast from the Millers. Sand Springs has only faced a handful of teams this season on the level of the Wolves and had difficulty keeping up the high powered offense. Most teams have one or two powerful hitters that dominate the ball, but Edmond had several making it impossible to double up on anyone defensively.

The first set only saw three ties and the Sandites only led for one rally, though they were competitive for much of the first half. After the Wolves took an early 5-1 lead, the Sandites doubled down to take the lead at 7-6 thanks to a pair of blocks and a kill from Mutiri. Edmond quickly tied it up and never relinquished the lead for the duration. Sand Springs secured seven kills and committed twelve errors, while the Wolves scored thirteen kills and committed six errors.

In the second game Sand Springs toned back the errors to nine while scoring seven kills compared to the Wolves' sixteen kills and six errors.

The third set was the most competitive, though the Wolves still led for 85% of the game. Sand Springs only led thrice, but was within two points of their foes for nearly half the set. The Sandites recorded thirteen kills in the game, nearly as many as the first two sets combined. They committed only five errors, but were still overcome 25-21. The home team scored a match-high seventeen kills with nine errors. 

The Sandites' season came to an end with their first winning record since long before any of the current students were in high school. The team will only be graduating two seniors this year and will be in good shape next year as the young talent competes in club ball throughout the summer.