It might have been just a preseason tournament, but Augusta's volleyball team did something in Winfield it didn't do in five tries last year.
And it took an epic first set to do it.
After a kill by Mariah Zerr and an ace by Katy Nordman, the Orioles built a 21-16 lead in the first set against El Dorado. The Wildcats fought back to tie the game at 21-21. The two teams then traded points several times as neither team wanted to give in. After facing its third set point, Zerr came up with two crucial kills, then the Wildcats made an offensive error as the Orioles claimed the set 32-30.
The Orioles won the second a lot more easily for a 32-30, 25-14 victory, giving Augusta a win against El Dorado after losing five straight three-set matches last season, including in the sub-state tournament.
In the second set, the Orioles took complete control early on. Madison Macari had a whopping five service aces, and Elizabeth Heit added a pair of kills to help the Orioles score 13 straight points for a 14-2 lead. Abby Tipton had two kills down the stretch to help the Orioles close it out. She finished the match with four kills. Macari finished the match with 11 assists.
Augusta already had beaten tournament host Winfield with ease 25-21, 25-14 to improve to 2-0. The Orioles then took their first loss against a tough Chanute squad that has a 6-foot-3 girl and three 6-foot-1 girls. Chanute's returning star player, Macy Flowers, had nine kills and four blocks to lead her team to a 25-11, 25-11 win.
Nordman and Zerr had four kills apiece, Tipton added two kills and a block, and Macari finished with seven assists in the loss. Bailey Carr added four assists and an ace for the Orioles.
Their fourth match of the day was probably one the Orioles would've liked to have back. Buhler erased an early deficit in the first set and had two 3-0 spurts late to clinch it. The Crusaders then took control of set 2 with a 9-0 run as the Orioles' made several offensive errors and committed a couple penalties they hadn't made all day. Buhler took the match 25-20, 25-13.
The Orioles finished out their final two matches of the day 1-1 to finish the tournament 3-3. They lost a quick match to Wichita Trinity, but edged Mulvane in a three-set match 25-21, 21-25, 25-19 and took a loss against Wichita Trinity.
The regular season begins tonight when the Orioles travel to Towanda to play against Circle in Andale in a pair of AVCTL-Div. IV matches.