Volleyball Team Sweeps Marion

Posted on August 17, 2018 in Fall Sports, Volleyball

Westgate

This image requires alt text, but the alt text is currently blank. Either add alt text or mark the image as decorative. Junior Taylor Westgate attemps a kill vs. Marion

By CHUCK LANDIS – clandis@chronicle-tribune.com
CONVERSE — Possessing height doesn’t guarantee success in volleyball, but Oak Hill definitely made it work to its advantage Thursday evening.

The Golden Eagles simply were too tall and too experienced for cross-county rival Marion and rolled to a straight set 25-9, 25-4 and 25-8 victory in their gym. The Giants were beset with serve-receive issues and only sporadically set their offense during the match.

Compounding the problem was Oak Hill’s 6-foot quartet of hitters — Taylor Westgate, Ashlyn Transier and twins Khloe and Kinsey Price — controlling the net both offensively and defensively. Westgate led the Eagles with 10 kills, followed by Transier with nine and Khloe Price with seven.

“I think we could do more plays against Marion because they didn’t have as tall of a front row,” Khloe Price said.

Oak Hill opened the season Tuesday with a four-set loss to Maconaquah and Marion lost in straight sets to Northfield where the Giants had similar problems running their offense. First-year Eagles coach Kristi Carmichael used Wednesday’s practice session to reinforce their height advantage.

“Definitely, it’s intimidating for the other team, especially if they don’t have a lot of height, and we want to use that to our advantage,” Carmichael said. “We really worked on that with our hitters and blockers, working on being smart with it and working on the block quite a bit.

“Just because you are tall doesn’t mean you are a threat,” she added.

Marion is starting over under new coach Larry Hinshaw having lost six players to graduation and other letterwinners did not return. Zoe Tucker is the only senior, and sophomore setter Lucia Persinger still is very new to role.

“This whole team almost brand new,” Hinshaw said. “Basically, every player who had varsity experience last year didn’t come back, and we have a lot of young players stepping into roles sooner than expected.

“We have a lot of freshmen and sophomores trying to figure themselves out, let alone playing volleyball, and it’s a big learning process. We’re anxious to do it quickly and that push can make it exciting, but it also can make it very tense.”

Hinshaw said Oak Hill’s height was only one factor in their offense managing to set up two successful kills from Miranda Riggs. Against Northfield in the opener the Giants were credited with three kills.

“A lot depends on how you look at it,” Hinshaw said. “They have taller players and their contact points were higher. Several times they hit right over us and there’s not a lot you can do about that.

“Just getting more experience at blocking will help,” he added, “as well as jumping at a better time and settling down on our serve-receive so that we have better opportunities to swing back at it.”

Oak Hill’s dominance extended to its service and reception and Carmichael said it put quite a bit of pressure on the young Giants.

“Of course, you can’t do anything on offense until you get a pass, and our setters put the ball where we wanted it and we were able to run the plays that they wanted to run. It gave them a lot of confidence to do that,” Carmichael said.

Lexi Carmichael had 18 assists setting the Eagles offense and Abby Shaw and Coleena Selleck had 10 digs apiece.

Aylivia Mellon had 12 digs to lead the Giants while Riggs had seven and Kaliyah Jones six.

“We’re a young team that hasn’t had a lot of experience blocking against some good hitters so it was a learning experience for us,” Hinshaw said.

Oak Hill won the JV match 25-12, 25-12 behind Lexi Ozmun with five service aces and four assists and Lori Miller with two kills and three aces.

The Eagles compete Saturday in the North Miami Invitational while Marion is at the Jay County Invitational.

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