By Buck Ringgold | Pictures of Karen Schwartz
BIXBY — In the first set of Tuesday’s Oklahoma Coaches Association Large School All-State volleyball game, Megan Salyer suffered a minor injury, immediately drawing blood.
Although she tried to hide it from the referee, she had to walk out briefly. Playing her last volleyball match, however, Sayer – playing the Grand Est libero – was determined to get back on the court soon.
She managed to do it at the end of the first set and even served an ace for the set point.
The Big East went on to win the next two sets, each decided by two runs, winning all three sets (25-13, 27-25, 25-23) at Bixby High School’s Whitey Ford Fieldhouse.
“It was a lot of fun playing with girls on the same side of the court that we played on the opposite side of the court for a long time, and for many of us it was our last volleyball game because a a lot of us don’t play in college, so it was great fun competing against people who just want to be there,” said Salyer, who will be attending the University of Oklahoma this fall.
Salyer played Jenks and helped the Lady Trojans win the Class 6A State Championship as a senior.
Tuesday’s All-State game gave him the opportunity to play one last time with former Jenks teammate Mikiah Perdue, who will play collegiately at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee.
“It was very moving; it was a lot of fun,” Salyer said of performing with Perdue. “He is such a stallion who is going to do so many good things for Union, and we have been playing together since the seventh year.
“I’ve never been on the volleyball team without her, on the court with me, so it was so special to wrap it up and win with her for the last game, that’s for sure.”
Perdue was also involved in the injury to Sayer, which forced her out of the game briefly in the first set.
“The ball had gone through Mikiah’s hands and I dove to get it back and scraped my elbow,” Salyer said. “I tried to hide the blood from the referee so I wouldn’t have to stop, but he caught me. … It was just a minor injury, though. Everything is fine.
Perdue had several key eliminations in the second set, including one with the Big East trailing 24-23, extending things. She had another kill at the next point before Great West tied the score at 25 all.
But Perdue delivered another kill on the next point, and the Large East ended things when a kill from former Broken Arrow player MacKenzie McGuire landed untouched in the back corner.
It was just as close in the third and final set. Salyer delivered an ace for a 23-22 lead over Large East before Large West tied on the next point.
But McGuire broke the tie for good with a kill and then for a match point the Large West was unable to return a serve from Sydney Collins (Bartlesville).
Former Owasso standout Rylee Martin has been named Great East MVP. She will continue to perform at Oklahoma Baptist University.
“I liked that every person was really competitive and going after every ball, so no matter where I put it, I knew the ball was going to be hit,” Martin said. “Megan was there digging it all up which made my life easier so I could sort them out and everyone was just working together which made it a really fun game.
“It was a lot of fun because everyone was trying so hard, and so it was a really competitive game and like everyone wanted everything, and it was really fun to play with all these girls next to me.”
Former Edmond Deer Creek player Cameron Turner has been selected as the Great West MVP.
Small School All-State Volleyball
It was a successful three-year run for former Victory Christian teammates Hannah Warlick and Bella Wakley, winning state each time during that span.
They were part of the Conquerors’ fifth consecutive title when Victory Christian won the Class 4A title last October. On Tuesday, they had one more game as teammates, this time on the Petit Est.
And the result was more or less the same, as the Small East swept the match in three sets from the Small West, winning 25-10, 25-10, 25-15.
“It was really special because Bella is my best friend, and I wouldn’t want to play with anyone else in the world but Bella,” said Warlick, who transferred to Victory Christian from Christian Heritage Academy before her sophomore year. .
“We get along so well together, we’ve been playing together for three years, so our chemistry is there, and I feel like when we work together it’s like a chance to win.”
Warlick was serving in the first set when the Small East opened 8 with 11 straight points. Wakley — who will play at Evangel University in Springfield, Mo. — ended the first set with a kill.
In the second set, the Small East scored the first three points, capped off by an ace from former Lincoln Christian Chloe Ricke. The Small East then built a 9-3 lead, then 13-4 after three straight wins from Beth Bayless (Regent Prep).
The Small West led briefly early in the third set before the Small East eventually retired. They made it academic by building a 24-14 lead after an ace from former Oklahoma Union player Julia Barron.
Warlick was selected as MVP for the Small East. She will continue to play volleyball in college, but beach volleyball, after committing to Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, Florida.
“It will definitely be different,” Warlick said. “I moved there after I graduated, so I flew here (Monday) to come and play in this area, then I’m flying home on Friday and coming right back. I’ve been training there for about three months now.
“It was really special because it’s my last time on a hard court and I’m just ready to go on the sand and do what I want to do, just play sand volleyball, but get this MVP. , that means a lot to me.”
The Small West MVP went to Addison Bruce of Christian Heritage.
All-State week continues Wednesday in Jenks with girls’ basketball games, followed by boys’ basketball games Thursday, also in Jenks. The OCA All-State football game is Friday in Shawnee at Oklahoma Baptist University.