Although it ended one set too soon as far as OFA was concerned the NAC West Division Girls Volleyball match with undefeated Canton ended on a note fitting of the effort of the Blue Devils.
On an extended volley with players on both teams scrambling all over the court retreiving, returning, spiking and blocking from all angles ending with the Devils Mallory Morley hustling into the beachers trying to keep the action alive. The point gave Canton a 25-17 fourth set win and a 3-1 (25-8, 25-21, 25-21, 25-17) victory over the Blue Devils who became the first team since Gouverneur on the opening night of the season to win a set from the Bears who showed the tenacity to match their formidable talents.
“Canton is an outstanding team with great hitting and serving powers. Our two main goals coming into this match were improve our communciation and body lanuage in terms of not getting upset when things didn’t go our way. We really worked on that in our last two practices,” said OFA Coach Sue McLean
“We are definitely getting better and we want to keep it going in a three match week and then on to playoffs where we will meet Malone for the Section 10 Class B title and the chance to host the Section 7 Champion in the first round of the states.
“We took advantage of an oportunity to do that against an outstanding team and we accomplished our goals.”
After losing the first set which was dictated by the vicious top-spin serving bombs of Ava Hoy and the Bears’ multiple hitting options the Devils litterally dug deep on defense. OFA Players constantly went to the floor to dig or return serves and extend volleys and in one instance libero Tristen Durand kept the ball alive with a kick save.
Abby Raven virtually elevated the offense with a steady flow of kills off sets from Mallory Morley and scoring blocks.
Grace Hilborne, Julia Kelso who served gthe last three points of OFA’s third set win and Tava Colburn also came through with timely kills and players throughout Coach Sue McLean’s rotation all served consistently.
The Bears’ leadership featured 19 kills, 4 blocks and 5 points by Katie Bennett, 17 points with 14 aces and 7 kills from Ava Hoy; 29 assists and 5 points from Mattigan Porter and 4 killss, 1 block and 2 points by Julianna Richardson.
UNITED VS CANCER
Thursday’s match was the Devils’ Volleyball for the Cure match which raised funds for a donation for the Kick Cancer for Sami Foundation founded after the death of Canton student-athlete Sami Curtis.
“OFA and Canton have always been rivals in volleyball. But we are united in the fight against cancer,” said OFA Coach Sue McLean.
“The proceeds for tonight’s 50-50 raffle will go to the Kick Cancer for Sami Foundation and the ranch the foundation runs.”
Coach McLean related that the volleyball program will make a donation of $800 for the ranch which offers a place of peace, relaxation and recreation for cancer victims and their families.