EL DORADO—Augusta’s volleyball team got a good taste of what its regional tournament will be like in two weeks.
The Orioles played five matches Saturday at El Dorado’s Lady Cat Classic and only came away with one victory. The Orioles played extremely well in a few matches, and not so well in the other matches. After losing a highly competitive three-set match to Buhler, the Orioles got beat by Chanute, then later lost to El Dorado. Augusta may see both of those teams at Regionals.
The Orioles started the day with a tough loss to Valley Center 25-21, 25-17, though the Orioles played well. Valley Center blew away every other team, including previously undefeated Chanute, to win first place with a 5-0 record. The Hornets are a top team in 5A.
In the second match of the day, the Orioles rolled through Buhler in the first set. Destiny Williams got a monster kill, Morgan Kirk had a service ace, then Williams and Taylore Emond blocked a huge shot to spark a 6-0 run for a 14-10 lead.
Buhler scored on a kill to pull within 15-12. That’s when Courtney Phillips put on a brilliant serving display that included six straight aces and seven total as the Orioles won 10 straight points to close the set 25-12.
Buhler got off to a strong start in Set 2 and never looked back. Casady Marlnee had a kill and a block on back-to-back points and Williams hit an ace to pull the Orioles within one at 8-7. Buhler then rattled off 10 straight points that included two blocks and two aces.
In the final set, Katy Nordman scored a kill on an assist from Kalie Robinson to tie it 10-10. Buhler pushed ahead for a 14-11, then 17-13 lead. But back came the Orioles. Nordman scored a kill, Mariah Zerr knocked down back-to-back kills and Robinson hit an ace to tie it 17-17.
Buhler led 23-20 after a couple Oriole errors. Williams went to Phillips, who came through with two clutch kills to tie it 24-24. The two teams traded points before Buhler’s Josie Williams scored a kill and Augusta was called for a penalty as the Crusaders took the set and the match 12-25, 25-13, 27-25.
The Orioles played Chanute right after that match. Chanute, which had one or two of the tallest players at the tournament, handled Augusta 25-13, 25-15.
The Orioles bounced back with another solid performance against Collegiate. The Orioles held off a late Spartan rally to take the first set 25-22 after Nordman scored on a tip kill, Williams hit a kill and Collegiate made an error.
In Set 2, the Orioles took control after Zerr and Williams had kills during a 5-0 stretch for a 9-4 lead. But Collegiate later got four straight kills and a couple of aces to take a 19-18 lead.
Page 2 of 2 - Late in the set, Morgan Kirk set up Williams for two kills and Emond got a block kill for a 24-22 Oriole led. The Spartans won two points, but Nordman scored a kill and Collegiate made an error as Augusta finished off the match with a 25-22, 26-24 win.
El Dorado beat the Orioles 25-21, 25-18 in the final match.
Augusta heads right back to El Dorado at 5 tonight for the Wildcats’ home triangular. Collegiate also will compete.