Oak Harbor loses close one

It was quite a battle in the Oak Harbor gym Thursday night.

Unfortunately for the Wildcat volleyball team, they came out on the losing end, falling 3-2 to Lynwood.

“Last year it was the same thing,” Oak Harbor coach Kerri Molitor said. “It was back and forth and it was a good match.”

The Wildcats jumped out to a commanding 2-0 lead Thursday, taking the first game 25-21 and the second 29-27.

After putting forth a strong effort to prevail in a close second game, the Cats seemed to have a let down in the third, losing 25-16.

“We made some mental mistakes that we shouldn’t make, especially with so many seniors,” Molitor said.

The fourth game had the fans on their seats, as both teams put forth all their effort. Down by five points early, 9-4, the Cats fought back to tie the Royals and eventually take a five point lead of their own, 19-14. Oak Harbor was only one point away from winning their first match of the season after senior outside hitter Rachel Pitt scored the 24th point on a nice tip over the net. As they did all night, Lynwood refused to give in. The Royals came back to tie the score on an ace serve and eventually won the game 32-30.

The fifth and final game was no different from the others, as both teams went on scoring runs. Down 8-5, the Wildcats rattled off five straight points to take a 10-8 lead. With only 15 total points needed for a team to win a fifth game, it appeared Oak Harbor may be closing in on the victory. Lynwood had one more run left in them, however, as they outscored the Cats 7-1 over the next eight points to take the match 15-11.

Despite the loss, Molitor was pleased with the effort her team put forth.

“I had 12 girls on varsity and all 12 gave their all,” she said.

Junior middle blocker Heidi McNeill led the Cats in kills with eight, while also tallying three blocks.

“She’s doing well,” Molitor said. “She’s a lot more confident this year.”

Seniors Camille Merritt, Kanessa Stratton and Pitt all had five kills for Oak Harbor. Merritt also had five service aces.

The Oak Harbor varsity plays their net match at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 16 at Edmonds-Woodway High School.

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