Lady Bobcats advance Friday

Published 12:46 am Saturday, October 26, 2013

Opp's Olivia Bradley, Alex Anne Ballard and Laiken Free wait for a serve Friday. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Opp’s Olivia Bradley, Alex Anne Ballard and Laiken Free wait for a serve Friday. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

MONTGOMERY — Opp didn’t really know what to expect when it took the court Friday morning to play Thorsby.

The Lady Bobcats realized on the hop that THS was a team they could beat, and rolled to a 25-14, 25-10, 25-5 first-round victory at the Class 3A South Super Regional Volleyball Tournament at the Cramton Bowl’s Multiplex in Montgomery.

OHS volleyball coach Christie Spurlin said the girls treated their opening round against THS as if their opponent was the best team.

“We just kind of expected them to be good,” Spurlin said.

During the match, OHS calmed its nerves by getting out to big leads in each of the three sets.

“It’s still nerve racking because you’ve got whistles going everywhere,” the coach said. “I tell them to play, play, play until we run up there, and I tell them to stop playing.”

With this victory, the No. 9 Lady Bobcats improve to 26-5 and advance to play Cottage Hill this morning at 10:30 in the tournament quarterfinals.

Last season, OHS fell to Cottage Hill 8-25, 16-25, 25-22, 25-21, 11-15 during the second round, and today’s match is one that the whole team has been waiting for, Spurlin said.

“If we play like we can play, then we’ll be alright,” Spurlin said. “We’re going to have to be at the top of our game. I think we’ll be ready.”

The Lady Bobcats took a 8-0 lead at the start of the first set, led later on at 15-8 after a block at the net, and went on a 3-0 run at the end to start on a good note.

Alex Anne Ballard got an early kill to tie the set at 1-1 in the second, and OHS went ahead 10-2 a short while later.

With Laiken Free serving, the Lady Bobcats took a 19-8 lead to the house and outscored THS 6-2 to take a two-set lead.

OHS went on a 8-0 run to start the third set, followed by two 6-0 runs and a 5-0 run to close out the match.

Free led OHS with eight kills, 14 assists and five aces; Caiden Harrell led in assists with 19 and added seven aces; Olivia Bradley had five assists and three kills; and Morgan Simmons, who led in blocks with two, had 14 assists and four aces.

“This is their last chance,” Spurlin said about beating CHCA. “They’ve got to be on top of their game. I want them to be aggressive and dominate.