STEUBENVILLE – The Oak Glen volleyball team has a colorful history.
The Golden Bears have won multiple state titles and the Hancock County team is having another strong season this year.
Oak Glen’s talents were showcased during a tri match with Big Red and Edison Saturday at the Crimson Center.
The Golden Bears dropped the first game against the Wildcats only to rally and win the next two games to win the match, 23-25 25-23 25-21.
Oak Glen then defeated Big Red in two games, 25-15, 25-14 to go 2-0 that day.
“Yes, it was a good day” said Oak Glen head coach Morgan Saddler (12-5). “We had two very good team wins.”
The match between Oak Glen and Edison could have gone either way, but the Golden Bears made enough plays in Games 1 and 3 to eke out the win.
“This is my first year back and I didn’t have a good scout at Oak Glen,” Edison (4-6), head coach Leah Eft said. “I take this one. That’s a coaching mistake.
“I wish we would play them again at the end of the season. It was a struggle. It would be cool to play them again at the end of the season but we don’t.”
McKenzi Martin contributed 16 kills to lead the way for the Golden Bears against the Wildcats. Also for the winners, Ashlyn Six amassed 14 kills, Jersey Smith had 32 assists, and Addison Smith added five digs. Finally, Averi Martin delivered two blocks.
For Edison, Rebecka Evans amassed six digs, four kills, two points, an ace and 11 assists to take the lead, while Alexandra Ash added five points, an ace, a block, nine kills and two digs and Hailey Teichman had nine points . five aces, nine assists and a block. Additionally, Kendra Teichman contributed nine points, four aces, and a block, Ellie Joynson had two digs, two points, and an ace, and Ali Shrieve had six blocks, a kill, and an assist. Next, Katie Fluharty finished with a block, a kill, and one dig, Audrey Scott had three points with nine digs, and Olivia Huff had seven blocks and four kills. Eventually, Pressly Meadows produced three digs and a block, and Morgan Martin finished with three points and a dig.
The first game between the Golden Bears and the Wildcats was close before Edison blew a run to build a 17-11 advantage that forced Saddler to call a time-out.
The time-out paid off for the girls in white as they drew within 21-18, forcing Eft to take a time-out.
The time-out failed to dampen the Golden Bears’ momentum as Oak Glen went on to build a 24-21 lead before winning the first game by two points to take a 1-0 lead.
“We came out very slowly against Edison but after the first set we made it and played as a team.” Said Sattler. “I thought Edison wanted to place the ball in the first set. In the first set they placed the ball very well.
“We did better in the second and third set. We received the ball well and capitalized on the free balls.”
The second game was also a back and forth. The game tied at 8 and later tied at 12.
The Wildcats took a 15-13 lead, but Eft had to time out after the Golden Bears tied the score at 16. Oak Glen built a 20-17 advantage that forced Eft to call another timeout.
This time, the Jefferson County girls turned the tide in their favor as they fought back at 20 to even a tie. The score was also stuck at 22 before the Wildcats managed to win the game by two points to level the match at 0-1-all.
“The girls have finally played with the confidence they should have all along,” said Eft. “You have done a good job. Hopefully we turned the tide and can do that for the rest of the season.”
The Wildcats took a 3-0 lead in the third and deciding game, but the Golden Bears responded with four straight points to take the lead.
Edison responded and scored the next five points to build an 8-4 lead, but Oak Glen fought back and leveled the score at 9. Later the score was equalized at 14. Points lead, resulting in Eft calling a time-out.
Oak Glen extended their lead to 21-15 and eventually to 24-17 before winning the game by four points and winning the match 2-1.
“It’s been a great season so far” Said Sattler. “We’ve had to deal with injuries, but we’ve had a lot of girls who have stood up and embraced their roles. To be successful you need kids to embrace their roles and these girls did very well.”
The Golden Bears continued their strong game against Big Red, winning both games by double digits.
“I haven’t seen Oak Glen since I was in high school.” Logan Colabella, head coach of Big Red (4-8) freshman. “They are a great team. They are always tight. You are basically healthy. You move well. They block well.”
Individually, McKenzi Martin had nine kills, Averi Martin had seven kills, and Tia Vick had three kills. Jersey Smith also contributed 18 assists.
Oak Glen took a 9-3 lead early in Game 1, forcing Colabella to time out. The visitors’ lead grew to 15-6 and Colabella called another timeout with her team behind, 20-12. Oak Glen won the game by 10 points to take a 1-0 lead.
Game 2 was similar.
The Golden Bears led 6-3 early on and then extended their lead to 12-5, causing Colabella to call a time-out.
Oak Glen ended up building a 23-11 lead before winning the game with 11 to win the match.
“I don’t think wearing the Oak Glen jersey puts any pressure on it.” Said Sattler. “Wearing an Oak Glen jersey means a lot to the girls. There’s a lot of tradition at Oak Glen and the girls want to be a part of that tradition. We are a family.”
The Wildcats defeated Big Red in the opening game of the Tri.
Edison is scheduled to play Beaver Local en route while Big Red and Oak Glen have the day off. Big Red will play Harrison Central at home on Tuesday night, while Oak Glen will play Indian Creek away on Tuesday.