The Oak Ridge High School Lady Wildcat Volleyball team suffered a season-ending loss at Wildcat Arena on Tuesday night in the Region 2-AAA Semifinals. Eventual Region champion Farragut, for the second straight year, dispensed with the Lady ‘Cats in straight sets (20-25, 20-25, 28-30) blocking them from moving on to the Sectional round. “This is such a disappointing way to end what was otherwise a banner year for Oak Ridge Volleyball,” said Oak Ridge Head Coach David Kolodney. “In the match that mattered most, we came up very short. We know going into this that it would be tough – Farragut always brings their “A” game in big moments – but we had a good game plan and when we were able to execute it, we were successful.” The Lady ‘Cats spent much of the night scrambling while reacting to Farragut’s offense rather than the Wildcat’s usual owning of the game pace through their own attack; establishing their defense through being the best offense. Oak Ridge was paced by Setter Paige Halcrow with double-double (10 Kills, 14 Assists); Outside Hitter Ainsley Patrick with 17 Kills, who was named to the All-Region Tournament Team; and Sophomore Sydney Ward with 24 Digs and 2 Aces. Ward was named Player of the Match by her coach. “[Sydney] has been really consistent throughout the last few weeks of the season,” said Kolodney of his Libero. “Tonight, she was a great defensive player – both passing and digging she led the team – but also perfect from the service stripe while giving us a third of our aces.” Unfortunately for the Lady ‘Cats, these performances weren’t enough to extend the season and accomplish the goal of reaching the State Tournament. “The silver lining is that we have a strong, cohesive, very talented group of players who will be back to make another run at it next year,” Kolodney finished. “It’s hard to see past tonight’s loss but to finish the year 33-5 is definitely an accomplishment. For the overwhelming majority of the season we played great, physically and mentally. We just didn’t tonight.”
Oak Ridge volleyball finishes with an overall 33-5 record.