Late surge carries Wildcats | Volleyball
By JIM WALLER
Whidbey News Times Sports editor
September 7, 2012 · Updated 11:58 AM
Digging itself out of a hole, the Oak Harbor High School volleyball team rallied late for a 3-2 comeback, nonleague win over visiting Mount Vernon Thursday, Sept. 6.
Coming off a 3-0 loss to defending state 2A champion Burlington-Edison Tuesday, the Wildcats fell behind the Bulldogs 2-1 and looked to start the season 0-2 before getting the offense in high gear for the thrilling win.
Oak Harbor won 23-25, 26-24, 20-25, 25-22, 15-11.
Both teams blew big leads in the first two sets before recovering and eking out wins.
Mount Vernon was up 15-8 in game one before Oak Harbor chipped away to go ahead 20-19. Three Wildcat hitting errors helped the Bulldogs regain the lead and the win.
In game two, Oak Harbor coach Kerri Molitor inserted Hannah Christensen and Kelsey Rankin in the lineup and the pair sparked the 'Cats to a 19-11 lead. Christensen had three kills, an ace and a block and Rankin four kills in Oak Harbor's early run.
The Bulldogs went on a 9-1 run to even the match at 20 before Roshell Muzzall and Kayleigh Harper recorded kills and teamed for a block to help Oak Harbor nab the win.
Oak Harbor struggled with the serving game in the third set. After no service errors in the first two games, the Wildcats had six in the set and surrendered four aces.
Oak Harbor went up 7-6 in game four, never trailed but never led by more than four.
The Wildcats zipped to a 6-0 lead in game five before the Bulldogs narrowed the gap to 12-9. From there kills by Muzzall and Harper helped secure the match.
Molitor was pleased with the win and credited it to her club's depth: "We can move some kids around."
She would like to see more aggression from her players: "We are often waiting around for each other to do the job."
Taylor Nienhuis distributed 52 assists, with Harper and Muzzall getting 18 kills and Christensen 10. Harper also had 18 digs and six blocks and Muzzall 16 digs and five aces.
Oak Harbor heads to Yakima this weekend for the SunDome Festival before hosting eighth-ranked Glacier Peak at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 10.Contact Whidbey News Times Sports editor Jim Waller at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-675-6611 ext. 5060.