Oak Hall volleyball moves to semis

Published: Thursday, November 1, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, November 1, 2007 at 12:00 a.m.

There were no ghosts or goblins in the Oak Hall gymnasium Wednesday night, but there were 15 scared volleyball players dressed in St. Johns Country Day uniforms.

It took the Eagles 46 minutes to sweep the Spartans, 25-13, 25-14, 25-10, and advance to the 2A regional semifinals at home against Jacksonville Providence on Tuesday.

Though it is hard to pinpoint any one of the several solid performers for Oak Hall, it's also difficult to look past the performance of senior Katie Robinson.

Robinson (13 service points, 2 aces, 17 kills, 14 digs) put on a clinic. Her laser-like spikes caught every Spartan off-guard, causing most to back up in their stance in hopes of not getting hit. When they backed away, Robinson took advantage of the space by dropping balls just over the net onto an empty floor.

Four of the six Eagles who recorded kills ended with five or more, led by Robinson. Seven total Oak Hall players recorded digs, led by libero Gaby Marichal's 17.

SJCD (14-14) jumped out to an early lead in game one, but never led by more than two points. A four-point run put the Eagles in the lead 7-4. From that point, they never looked back.

The Spartans strung together consecutive points only twice after the lead change while the Eagles put together five runs, including a six-point string to end the game 14 minutes after it began.

The Spartans once again took an early lead in game two, jumping out to a 5-3 advantage before the Eagles once again took control. Oak Hall took the lead at 6-5 and went on to put together seven runs, with only one for the Spartans, before a Heather Kraft ace put an end to the 17-minute match.

If the performance had not been dominating enough, the Eagles saved their best for last. After falling behind 4-1, the largest Oak Hall deficit of the match, junior Erika Davies put on a serving show, leading a match-high nine-point run to put the game out of hand early. After an Erin Standish kill for the Spartans, Robinson served a six-point run to increase the lead to 19-6. Two more runs of three points put the Eagles into the regional semifinals.

"The team was awesome and our passing was great, which is a huge confidence booster for our setters," said Davies, who finished with 17 service points and 10 digs. "It gets easier (as a run goes on). Especially when I know my team is there playing defense. It makes me feel a lot better."

A key stat for Oak Hall (24-4) was its ability to not let the Spartans piece together runs. The Eagles failed to string together multiple points only six times in the match. On the other side, SJCD put together only eight total runs.

"I think we played fantastic," said Oak Hall coach Cari Martin. "I think we were persistent and made very few mistakes. We passed well and got our offense going. We served well (the team had only three service errors). I was very pleased."

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