Wildcats nab home victory

Depth was thought to be the strength of the Oak Harbor volleyball team this season and it showed through Thursday night during the Wildcats’ first victory in three tries.

Oak Harbor defeated non-league Mountlake Terrace in three straight games, 25-14, 26-24, 25-23, behind solid performances from a variety of athletes.

“It’s kind of nice,” OHHS head coach Kerri Molitor said. “We can have multiple sets, we can mix things up — I potentially have a lot of hot hitters.”

Several Wildcats picked up big kills on the night, led by seniors Krystal Rousselle with 12 and Miranda Thiel with 11.

Thiel put the final point of the match away on a powerful kill from the left side of the net. After spiking the ball to the floor, Thiel immediately leapt into the air with raised arms.

Asked why she was so excited, she explained this could be the match that gets things going in the right direction.

“I love the home games because of the fans and the intensity is just amazing,” Thiel said. “I think this is going to build our confidence.”

Oak Harbor started Thursday’s match strong during the first game, scoring 10 consecutive points in one sequence. Mountlake Terrace pulled within nine points twice, but could get no closer.

The second and third games were much tighter, but the Wildcats showed grit when they needed to come up with big plays.

Molitor credits a lot of the success to strong defensive play.

“They played better defense tonight than they had the first two matches out,” she said. “We’ve been working on it a lot so that’s good to see.”

Ashley Kingma led the Wildcats in assists with 23.

Along with a strong defense, serving was also key as Oak Harbor put up 15 aces. Junior Christine Connelly led the team with six, followed by Ashley Kingma with five and Rousselle with four.

Jackson 3, OHHS 1

Oak Harbor won the first game over Jackson High School Tuesday night, 25-21, but lost three consecutive games, 25-15, 25-23 and 25-21 to drop its second non-league match of the season.

Rousselle led the Wildcats in kills with 15, while Kingma had 22 assists.

The Wildcats (1-2) take part in a tournament this weekend a Kentlake High School. They return to play Tuesday, Sept. 20 on the road against Lynnwood.

•Note: The Wildcats have been without starting 6-foot-3 middle blocker Jennifer Muzzall since the opening match of the season at Kamiak. She suffered a severe concussion in a collision with a teammate, but is nearly fully recovered. She is expected to make a return next week against Lynnwood.

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