VERDIGRIS — Logan Hamilton felt that Inola might be a bit ahead of herself.
Although Verdigris easily won the first two sets against his intra-county rival, the Lady Longhorns avoided the sweep in the third and appeared to have new resolve. They knew that if they could put together another good set, the fifth would be anyone’s game.
However, Hamilton wasn’t going to let Inola dictate the story.
So, with the Lady Longhorns leading 5-4 in the fourth, she took over.
The senior outside hitter scored five of the next 14 runs, including three straight kills, in a 12-2 run that saw the Lady Cardinals pull away for a 3-1 – 25-20 victory, 25-10, 20-25, 25-15 – at the season opener Monday night at the Verdigris Activity Center.
Hamilton finished with 18 kills, two blocks and two aces in total to lead Verdigris.
“It was like, they’re going to think they have momentum,” Hamilton said of the atmosphere surrounding the final set. “We just have to really start strong so they don’t get too excited. We had been anticipating Inola for a while and it was good to beat them.
Hamilton never finished with less than four kills, but his best set, ironically, resulted in a defeat for Verdigris.
She scored eight points in the third set alone, totaling six kills with a block and an ace. However, a late 4-0 run gave Inola an insurmountable six-point lead at 17-11.
The Lady Cardinals managed to cut that deficit to four twice thanks to a streak of three kills, a block and an ace from Hamilton, but that wasn’t enough as Brooke Walker (four kills, an ace) and Saige Day (three kills, one ace) led the Lady Longhorns to victory.
It came after a second set in which Verdigris held the Lady Longhorns to 10 points and closed with a 13-1 run that included the final nine points. Morgan Borgstadt – who finished with 10 kills, five blocks and three aces in all – was the top scorer for this set, racking up three kills and three blocks while Hamilton had four kills and one block.
“We were on a good run that second set and then we went a bit flat, kind of like, ‘Oh, we’ve got this, we’re just going through,'” Lady Cardinals coach Caleb Horton said. . “They didn’t understand that you can’t take part in a game. I mean, a lot of teams, even if they don’t have the same record as us or aren’t as good, can win in any set. I’ve seen this over and over again. So you have to show up for every game. I hope that at some point they will find out.
The first set was hotly contested, with neither team managing to build a two-point or more lead at the halfway point. There have been 12 draws in that streak – the last with a stalemate at 14.
However, everything was verdigris from there.
The Lady Cardinals scored the next five points and five of the next seven to give themselves a 24-16 lead. Borgstadt contributed three kills to the push while Amelia Fernau had a kill and a block, and Sicilyi Redd and Morgan Keeler added a block and a kill, respectively.
Inola rallied with four straight points triggered by a kill from Miller Weast and an ace from Taylor Whitney, but Hamilton ended the set with his fourth kill.
Day and Walker each recorded six kills and an ace in four sets to lead the Lady Longhorns, and Sydney Biggs recorded four kills and an ace.
Horton said his team had a lot to do moving forward – especially the serve, which he said accounted for at least half of the team’s 42 errors – but he’s relieved that the jitters in the opener either out of the systems of its players.
“That first set, it was point for point,” Horton said. “We missed all those services and I was like, ‘Oh, this is going to be a long night. But the second set, we came out and played well. Third set, we did not have the same success. So I really like the way the girls came out and played. We had a practice (Sunday) night, and it was terrible. I mean, it was bad. I came home and thought, ‘(Monday) night is going to be a long night’.
“I can sleep tonight – this first one is out of the way and I’ll be fine.”
CLAREMORE FALLS AT GLENPOOL
It was a tough first season for Claremore volleyball.
The Lady Zebras lost a 3-1 decision to Glenpool – 16-25, 19-25, 26-24, 19-25 – on the road Monday night. Hannah Dorsey, who had 17 assists and nine digs in all, had a game-winning ace in the team’s only win.
Abby Dake led Claremore with 10 kills and two blocks while Ella Ramsey had three aces with five kills and 21 digs, and Claire Hardage added two blocks and five kills. Elsewhere, Elsa Rhodes had 18 digs and two aces, and Ella Irvin threw four kills, two aces and a block.