Pender-The Oakland-Craig Volleyball Team picked up their 8th win of the season Thursday night, defeating Pender 3-1 on the road in High School Volleyball Action aired on 107.9 the Bull.
The Knights came out strong in sets one and two, winning them 25-18 and 25-17, respectively.
The Pendragons bounced back with a 25-19 set three win to force a fourth set, which saw Pender up 14-8 only to see Oakland-Craig go on a 10-0 run and eventually close out the match with a 25-18 win in the set.
Knights Head Coach Chelsey Boden. “Our first set we came out pretty strong, and we put in some subs, and we got some other girls some playing time, and then the second set was pretty close, and third set we just kind of lost our energy there. And so then in the 4th set I kind of feel we came out the same way. And then we had a hustle play that didn’t go our way, and really brought back the fire. And I said it’s great that we got the fire back, but it shouldn’t take something like that to get us going again.”
Pender Head Coach Kayla Brewer said the team’s slow start proved to be costly. “Yeah we started off way too slow. We can’t get down two sets and then try to battle back at the end because then it comes down to not being able to make any mistakes. And we just got to start right from the beginning next time.”
Bailey Helzer, who was the S&W Welding Player of the Game for Oakland-Craig, had a match-high 17 kills while CharterWest Bank Sportsmanship Award Winner Natalia McNeill had 16. Ashten Rennerfeldt added 9 for the Knights.
Boden says Helzer and McNeill’s teammates do a nice job of setting them up. “Yeah they do an excellent job. We try to put it up there for them and they put it away. Our defense I think has been doing a good job of calling shots for them, and I think it’s really helped our offense out quite a bit.”
Pender was led by S&W Welding Player of the Game Ashley Ostrand, who had 8 kills.
Both teams return to action on Tuesday as the Pendragons travel to Homer while Oakland-Craig battles Fremont Bergan and Logan View/Scribner-Snyder at the Fremont Bergan Triangular.
Boden says her squad looks forward to next week. “Yeah we’re really excited for that. We pulled Logan View/Scribner-Snyder actually for our first round of conference. And so we’ll be playing them back-to-back Tuesday and Thursday. So that’s always kind of hard, but it’ll be exciting to see them on Tuesday and know what to expect on Thursday as well. So we’re really excited about next week, and I think we can make a good run.”
Brewer says their match with Homer should be a good one. “They have some pretty tall players. I think it’s going to be a good match. We’re about even as far as record looking, and if we come out it’s going to be a good match.”
Oakland-Craig improves to 8-14 on the year with the win while Pender falls to 5-15.
It was the second win for the Knights over the Pendragons this season.