Oconee County volleyball improved to a 10-game win streak with a win over in-county foe Prince Avenue Christian.
The Warriors took the win in straight sets with scores of 25-18 and 25-12.
The Wolverines were never able to find their rhythm, starting the match with three-straight errors.
Oconee County found success by spreading the ball around. Nine different players scored at least one kill. Brinley Bartlett and Braeden Koch led the team with five kills each.
Koch and Bartlett, along with Bartlett’s twin sister Bailey Bartlett, rank in the top 11 in kills for Class AAA, showing how successful the entirety of the Warrior offense is.
“The twins on the outside, Brinley and Bailey, they’re doing really well. If one of them has a little bit of an off day, the other one is making up for that,” said Oconee head coach Mark Oglesby. “Even with that, our middles are taking care of things now and starting to get after it.”
The Warrior offense finds help with added pressure at the service line. The team recorded 11 aces and only six errors during the match.
In contrast, the Wolverines recorded only two aces and four total service errors.
Oglesby credited his team’s strong serving and limited errors for the success of the match. He says that stronger service pressure forced the opponent out of system, making it easier for the Warriors to take care of the ball on their own side of the net.
Anna Greer Vandagriff, Prince’s leader in kills and a national standout, tied her season low in kills, finishing with only six on the match. The rest of the Wolverines combined for seven kills on the night.
“We served well enough to keep [Prince] out of the opportunities to set [Vandagriff],” Oglesby said. “We weathered any storm that happened.”
The Wolverines additionally found hardship during the second set.
When a player suddenly experienced an injury, the Wolverines were down to only six players. Every player left had to adapt to an all-around rotation.
“I was just telling them that as long as there’s still a game left to be played, that we need to go out and fight,” said Prince Avenue head coach Morgan Garretson. “You can learn every time you get on the court and we’re going to keep fighting until the last points are scored.”
Before the matchup, Oconee County and Prince Avenue played Jefferson, which finished in the Final Four of the 2020 state playoffs and is ranked in the top 10 of teams in Class AAAA.
While the Warriors defended their home court, Prince Avenue lost that match by a narrow margin of 3 and 6 points in the first and second set, respectively.
Despite the loss, Garretson was encouraged by her team’s performance against the Dragons and credits her team’s preparation in practice.
“We’ve really been working on our defense and blocking and really sending tough third balls, serving tough and really making the most of opportunities that we do get,” Garretson said. “Next practice, we’ll come back in, we will serve and pass.”
While the schedules for neither Prince Avenue nor Oconee County get easier throughout the season, both coaches remain confident in their teams’ resilience against tough opponents.
“Jefferson’s one of the teams that added to our schedule difficulty,” Oglesby said. “Anytime we can play that caliber of team, it's only going to help.”
The Wolverines will play Monroe Area while the Warriors will play Hebron Christian Academy on Thursday, Sept. 9.