brating after beating Williamsport for regionals. Photo credit-
The Lady Bears volleyball team went all the way to States. They received a bye during the first round of playoffs, due to being seeded first overall in the 2A Class Tournament. Their first game was against Walkersville in the region semifinals.
They came out with a strong start, winning 25-8 in the first set. Sydney Katz, senior setter, moved the ball around a lot, keeping Walkersville on their toes. The team stayed very calm and composed, even when giving up points due to errors on their part.
The second set was a little tighter, with Oakdale winning 25-18. The team believes it is partly due to the let up of their servingk; however, they regrouped and won.
Then in the third set, tragedy struck. The Bears were up 4-3 when Katz fell to the ground in pain, after trying to receive a ball. She had torn her ACL.
At first everyone, including Katz, thought that she would go back in; then, she couldn’t run and later found out that she wouldn’t be able to play for the rest of the season. At first, everyone was a little worried, but they were able to make it a point to rally around. Freshman Rhian Evans and her mother made the team shirts that say ‘Do it for Syd’. Katz kept contributing to the team as well, but giving tips and advice to Jenna Harding and Elise Smith.
Junior Jenna Harding went in to set for the remainder of the set. Harding said that she was, “slightly nervous, but was mostly excited and ready to play.” Despite the setback, the Bears still won 25-17, advancing to the regional finals.
The Bears advanced to Region Finals against Williamsport, the defending 2A State champions. Both teams came to fight, despite both having a key player on their team out.
They ran a 6-2 during this match, with Jenna Harding setting when in the back row, and having Senior Cora Wasilko going in and hitting right side, and Sophomore Elise Smith hit right side when in the front row, and set when she was in the back row.
Smith noted that although she was definitely nervous, due to practicing setting during practice all season she felt prepared. She also said that the support Katz gave her helped reassure her as well.
The first set started with Oakdale in a comfortable lead for most of the set. However, nearing the end of the set, the Wildcats took the lead, 24-22. Oakdale was able to regroup, and get the ball back. Jen Chomiak, senior, went back and served 3 in a row, the last one an ace, to win the set 26-24.
The second set was very back and forth, with some very great plays on both sides of the net. For most of the match, the Bears were in the lead, but unfortunately, they couldn’t finish out the set and lost 24-26.
Oakdale won in a blowout in the third set, with a score of 25-9. They came out hitting aggressively, with smartly placed serves, and Williamsport just couldn’t compete.
The fourth set did not have a definitive lead, when one team scored, the other came around with a play just as good to score as well. Unfortunately, the Bears couldn’t hold this one down, and lost 19-25.
The ref now had to call captains over for the coin flip for the fifth set. The teams did not switch sides, and the Wildcats had first serve. After a rally, the Wildcats won the first point. That didn’t seem to be a problem for Oakdale, however, as Williamsport missed the next serve. Oakdale only thrived after that. The atmosphere in the gym only intensifying the set even more. Once the bears were in the lead, they never lost it. Oakdale won 15-9, making them regional champions. They are moving on to state quarterfinals, and continuing their road to Ritchie.
The Girls soundly defeated Sparrows Point high school and La Plata high school, in the state Quarter and Semi finals. Unfortunately they had an upsetting loss in the state finals against Century High school.