Wildcats' post season play comes to a halt

Jackson turned the post-season tide on the Oak Harbor volleyball team Thursday, defeating the Cats 2-1 in a best of three matching.

Earlier this year, the 7-7 in league Wildcats beat out Jackson 3-1 in a tooth-and-nail, rally-filled night Oct. 24.

Flash forward to Thursday and you saw a more seasoned Wildcat team, but it wasn’t enough to throw Jackson out of the picture.

The games were whistle filled, and Oak Harbor received many of the blows. Referees were “especially harsh” on Oak Harbor’s setter, senior Nikki Barone, viewing many of her sets as double hits, according to Oak Harbor coach, Kerri Molitor.

“Nikki played great, she really kept her composure through it all — even when they kept coming down on her,” Molitor said.

Barone wasn’t the only one getting called, with whistles coming after Oak Harbor successfully made a kill, only to have the play overturned.

“Whistles came after the kill went down so we had points and possessions taken back after the fact,” Molitor said. “It would have been nice to see officials not play a factor and see who would have won.”

Sophomore Heidi McNeill and senior Alicia Lancaster blasted through any official interference to throw down six kills and hold up two blocks each. Juniors Celeste Garey and Rachel Pitt both tossed down two kills for the night.

“The girls didn’t win against Jackson, but they’re proud they went to post-season. Afterwards they really picked themselves up and are looking forward to next year,” Molitor said.

Three seniors graduate this year in Nikki Barone, Alicia Lancaster and Yolanda Garcia, who have all put up impressive stats numbers nightly in their respective positions this season and “will really be missed in their talent.” The remaining Wildcat varsity roster is filled with juniors and lone sophomore McNeill, who will “offer a good mix and return with experience.”

Overall, Molitor is happy how her girls played the season. “We have improved — we went to post season when we haven’t in a while, and they really pulled it together and played well,” Molitor said.

Oak Harbor finishes the season in fifth place in the WesCo North.

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