Undefeated in their district, the Oak Ridge volleyball team has won 12 straight games. They’ll play another district game, their fifth of the season, at home today (Thursday, September 14) at Oak Ridge High School.
The Lady Wildcats (19-4, 4-0 District 4-AAA) have played four district teams since August 31. They won in three sets at Powell on August 31, at home against Karns on September 5, and at Bearden on September 7.
In their most recent district game, they beat West 3-1 at West on Tuesday.
Oak Ridge will play Campbell County in a district match this evening in the Wildcat Arena at Oak Ridge High School. The junior varsity games start at 5 p.m., and varsity play begins at 6 p.m.
Under this year’s classification, Oak Ridge is in District 4 in Class AAA’s Region 2 along with Bearden, Campbell County, Karns, Halls, Powell, and West.
Here is a look at some highlights of the girls’ season so far, with information provided by Cathy Lawless and Buzz Patrick via MaxPreps.com:
- A few weeks into the season, Oak Ridge won the Early Bird Tournament, Silver Bracket the weekend of August 25-26. The championship game, which the girls won in two sets (26-24, 25-22), was against GPS of Chattanooga. The Lady Wildcats were 8 and 1 in the tournament, and their only loss was against Hillcrest.
- At that point in the season, when Oak Ridge was 14-4, senior Emily Lawless was featured on MaxPreps.com for serving aces. She had 38 aces on the season and was number two in the state. Freshman Ainsley Patrick had 35 aces on the season, and was number four in the state.
- After the Early Bird Tournament, Oak Ridge beat Maryville, a District 3 team, 3-1, on Tuesday, August 29, when they were ranked 19th in the state. “I’m really proud of the way we played tonight,” Oak Ridge Coach David Kolodney said after the win over Maryville. “We faced a good Maryville team that never backed down. Love to see the resilience in my girls after dropping the second set and not only win the final two, but fight back after being down multiple times in those final two sets…Our district season starts now and we’re coming off a strong weekend at Early Bird and a good win tonight.”
- Oak Ridge opened district play at Powell on Thursday, August 31, with the 3-0 win, improving to 16-4 and 1-0 in the district. “All wins are good wins, but it’s especially good to start out our district season with a win,” Kolodney said. “Every one of the girls contributed and this should only help our confidence…We’ve had a good first part of the season, but it’s just getting started. With all district matches these next few weeks, we just need to stay focused on the next game. We’ve only just begun.” (See game statistics here.)
- The Lady Wildcats played their second district game at home against Karns on Tuesday, September 5, when they were ranked 16th. Oak Ridge swept the Lady Beavers 3-0 for the Cat’s second straight district sweep. “Another good all-around performance,” Kolodney said. “I’m proud of the way they kept their focus. Every girl was involved in the play tonight, and to be able to give starters some rest and know that the subs can keep things rolling is a great thing for a coach.” The momentum continued to swing in the Lady Wildcats’ favor as they notched their 10th straight victory heading into the midpoint of district play on Thursday, September 7, when the Lady Wildcats took their 17-4 record (2-0 in district play) to Bearden to face the Lady Bulldogs. (See Karns game statistics here.)
- Oak Ridge had won 10 straight games when they traveled to Bearden. The girls extended their win streak to 11 with their third consecutive sweep in district play. “We’re halfway through the district part of our schedule and we’re 3-0, which is exactly where we want to be,” Kolodney said. “This was a good win against a new team in our district, so we don’t have a ton of knowledge about them.” This is the first year that Bearden and West have been added to the district with Oak Ridge. “The girls adjusted on the fly and fought through some adversity to come out on top,” Kolodney said. “We’ve got three more good teams to go so just have to keep focused on the next game.” (See season stats after the Bearden game here.)
- Heading into the game against West on Tuesday, the Lady Wildcats were 18-4 and 3-0 in district play. The Tuesday night game was a rematch of Oak Ridge’s early season victory against West at the Showdown at the Sunsphere tournament. With their 3-1 win over West, the Lady Wildcats improved to 19-4 and 4-0 in the district. “It was a great hard-fought win for the girls tonight,” Kolodney said. “West is new to our district, so other than facing them early at the Showdown at the Sunsphere tournament, we didn’t know much about them.” Oak Ridge defeated the Lady Rebels 2-1 at the Showdown back in August. “They’re a scrappy, tough team, and it took four good sets to beat them,” Kolodney said. The Lady Wildcats had not yet dropped a set in district play prior to dropping their first one to West. “Our girls hung in and fought back a bunch of times to pull it out in the end. It was one more set than we were hoping to play, but a win is a win and a district win is even better.” The Lady Wildcats solidified their place at the top of the district standings with two district games remaining. Next up, the ‘Cats welcome Campbell County to the Wildcat Arena on Thursday, September 14, where Oak Ridge will place their 12-game win streak on the line. JV action serves up at 5 p.m., and varsity is scheduled for 6 p.m. (See game stats from Oak Ridge-West here and season stats here.)
Learn more about the Oak Ridge volleyball team here. MaxPreps.com has them ranked 12th in the state.
You can see the girls’ season schedule here.
You can learn more about Tennessee stats leaders, lists that includes several Oak Ridge players, here.
You can follow Oak Ridge volleyball on Twitter here.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
See more photos here.
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