The Oak Ridge Lady Wildcat Volleyball Team hosted perennial state power Knoxville Catholic Tuesday night in the Wildcat Arena. The Lady ‘Cats battled hard through a back-and-fourth five-set match to pull off the 3-2 victory. “This is a huge win for the program,” said Oak Ridge Head Coach David Kolodney. Kolodney was previously 0-4 against Catholic in his tenure as a Head Coach. “Really gritty win for the team,” Kolodney continued. “Especially after the way the first set ended.” The Lady Wildcats had the Lady Irish on the ropes in the first Set ready to close it out at 24-21, but Catholic fought back to tie it at 24 – eventually taking them 32 points to earn the “win by two” victory in the fist set. “Great to see the girls dig in and come back and power through the second,” continued Kolodney. The Lady Wildcats presented a more balanced attack in the second set and getting some heat out of the middle from Junior Ipek Ozcan who delivered 3 of the 10 Wildcat Kills. Oak Ridge dropped the third with some shaky passing, but closed out the fourth and fifth. “Paige [Halcrow] was simply perfect tonight,” Kolodney said of his Senior Setter. “She had at least 3 Kills in all of the full Sets, and picked up another Triple-Double – Exactly the consistency we needed to pull off the win.” Halcrow who wears Jersey #17 delivered 17 Kills, 17 Digs, and 17 Assists for the Lady Wildcats – with 17 Kills putting her tied for 10th for all-time Kills in a Match. “Even though we dropped two sets, this is the most complete match I’ve seen them play,” Kolodney finished. “Should provide an extra boost of confidence as we are sprinting towards the playoffs.”
Oak Ridge plays again Thursday night when it travels to West for a District Match, and then off until Monday for a Regional test in Maryville. The Lady Wildcats improve to 11-1 on the season (7-0 District 4-AAA).