OH volleyball splits key matches

There was no question about it.

If the Oak Harbor volleyball team wanted to assert itself as a force in the WesCo North, they had win at least one of two games against top opponents, Snohomish and Monroe, this week.

“I knew this was going to be a huge week for us,” head coach Kerri Molitor said.

The Wildcats got the job done on the road Thursday night, beating Monroe, a team previously undefeated in league, 25-17, 25-18, 25-16.

“The team really connected with each other,” Molitor said of the Wildcats. “They were mentally tough and that’s what we’re looking for.”

A group that normally focuses on offense, Oak Harbor displayed extra effort hustling on the defensive end Thursday night.

“We saved some balls that last week, we wouldn’t have,” Molitor said. “They showed a lot effort and a lot of hustle.”

Junior Jennifer Muzzall led Oak Harbor in kills with nine, followed by senior Heidi McNeill with eight. Junior Krystal Rousselle had five kills and five aces, while Ashley Kingma added 23 assists and four aces. Junior Pristine Santos had six service aces.

Snohomish 3, Oak Harbor 1

Committing over 50 unforced errors in four games, the Oak Harbor volleyball team was its own worst enemy on Tuesday night.

Double-hit violations, serves into the net and misplayed returns plagued the Wildcats on their home floor, as they lost 25-17, 25-21, 18-25, 25-16 to league rival Snohomish.

“The ball handling is usually our strength,” Molitor said. “Tonight it wasn’t just any one person, it was just kind of a general problem.”

Down only three, 20-17, in game one, Oak Harbor committed three double-hit violations, allowing Snohomish to run away with the final five points.

“Once it was called a couple of times they started thinking ‘am I going to get called’ and yah you are, because you’re thinking about it every time,” Molitor said.

Despite the loss, the Wildcats found success at the middle blocker position where McNeill had 20 kills for the night. Kingma added an impressive 32 assists.

Oak Harbor, now 2-1 in league and 7-2 overall, plays its next game at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 12 at home against Lake Stevens.

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