The #17 Oak Ridge High School Lady Wildcat Volleyball Team traveled to Crossville on Saturday to play in the eight-team Queen of the Mountain Tournament hosted by Stone Memorial High School. The Lady ‘Cats blazed through pool play finishing 4-0, without dropping a set. Oak Ridge was scheduled in a pool with Stone Memorial, CAK, Bearden, and Clinton at the one-day tournament. Pool play was a round-robin format to determine seeding for the Championship bracket and Oak Ridge faced the tournament host in the first pool play match. Stone Memorial put up a fight for the Lady ‘Cats in the first set, but Oak Ridge prevailed and dominated the second set (25-19, 25-4). Next up was a close match against CAK (25-15, 25-21), followed by a stellar performance against Clinton (25-7, 25-7). Pool play ended with a commanding victory over district competitor Bearden (25-19, 25-2).
The Lady Wildcats moved on to the afternoon tournament bracket as the overall #1 seed and faced Lenoir City in the Quarterfinal round (25-5, 25-7) and once again had to face CAK in the semi-finals (29-27, 25-17) setting up a Championship match with Maryville. Oak Ridge lost in the Finals to the Lady Rebels (19-25, 10-25), ultimately settling for 2nd place. “This is one of those days that it’s easy to only look at the last match and be down on ourselves,” said Oak Ridge Head Coach Dave Kolodney. “Yes, you always want to win the last one, but the day was overwhelmingly positive for us.” The Lady Wildcats finished the day 6-1 and got an opportunity to preview Thursday’s match with Maryville. “We didn’t drop a set until the championship match, including one where we were down 21-24 and were able to fight back to win 29-27,” Kolodney Continued. “For the tournament, we served great, and more importantly, passed very well.” Oak Ridge capitalized at the service line delivering 81 Aces at a 25% clip; and passed the ball well enough with a 16% passing error.
The Lady ‘Cats also defended the net very well with several touches at the net including 9 blocks. Middle Blocker Brenna Allred led the way with 5 of those blocks. The Junior middle also hit .500 with 24 Kills at 54% Kill. “Brenna has been a model of consistency all year long and this was no different at Queen of the Mountain,” said Kolodney. “Her numbers are impressive. Only 2 errors on 44 attacks. Not just a front row threat, she led the team in serving with only 1 miss on 47 serves. She was a big reason for our success across all 7 matches.” Allred was named Player of the Tournament by her coach. Other Wildcat stat leaders include Junior Ainsley Patrick with 28 Aces and 48 Kills, Junior Marybeth Luby with 42 Digs, and Junior Paige Halcrow with 67 Assists.
“So, while we certainly wanted to take home the championship, we have a lot to be proud of and we got a good look at a region opponent that we’ll see again this week and then possibly in the playoffs,” finished Kolodney.
Oak Ridge gets a shot at revenge on the Lady Rebels on Thursday, but first face Region II opponent Heritage on Monday, and travel to Halls for a District match on Tuesday. The Lady Wildcats will also participate in the Courtside at Concord tournament on Saturday. Oak Ridge moves to 21-3 on the season and remains undefeated in District 4-AAA play (9-0).