Volleyball holds off pesky Owasso at home
Following a dominant win over Bartlesville to start the season, Jenks volleyball had its hands full with Owasso Tuesday.
The Lady Trojans fought with the Lady Rams through five sets before sealing the victory. Each set was close; however, Jenks found a way to have the upper hand when it mattered most.
The match started out with the Lady Trojans taking a two-set lead, winning the first and second 25-23. The tides quickly turned in the third set.
The third set saw Jenks fall 25-22 despite playing its opponent closely as it did in the first two. A different demeanor on the court ultimately led to the team’s demise in the set.
“Set three they just came out very slow and very sluggish,” coach Tanna Smith said. “As a coach, I’ve been doing it a while, you can usually tell when things are going that way. Sometimes it’s because they get a little over-confident, sometimes it’s because the other team made an adjustment.”
It appeared the Lady Trojans would finish the match in the fourth following a bout of heroics that saw them tie the set at 19 after trailing 19-13. A string of unforced errors forced the final set.
Making mistakes isn’t something Jenks is used to.
“We made a lot of unforced errors, ones we shouldn’t be making,” Smith said. “They trust each other a lot, you can see it. They turn and expect (their teammate) to be there and when they aren’t, they’re shocked.”
With the match on the line, the Lady Trojans stepped up and handled the set, taking it 15-13.
Jenks came out with a different intensity, such as the one they had in the first two sets.
“I think they did a great job in set five of playing to win and not playing to lose,” Smith said. “I think their mindset and court presence in set five was very much resemblant of sets one and two.”
This five-set match followed Jenks’ first match of the season Aug. 13 against Bartlesville. The Lady Trojans took that one 3-0 but they had to work harder this time and that was expected.
“We knew Owasso was going to be like this,” Smith said. “We’ve talked about their strong hitters like Mallory (Hendrix), she’s a stud. She’s awesome. We said she’s going to get her kills, she’s going to get the ball down, she’s going to attack.”
Lady Trojans are getting an early look at the mental side of the game with the victory over the Lady Rams.
“Volleyball takes a lot of skill and it’s multi-faceted but there’s one aspect of the game that I believe a lot of coaches try to focus on but you get caught up in your skills and your fundamentals and your game strategy that you ignore the mental side of the game,” Smith said. “Volleyball can be incredibly a mental game in the ebbs and flows of a game like a roller coaster. Not riding too high and not going to low.”
Smith said she hopes this match can serve as a learning opportunity for her players moving forward. With a loaded Class 6A this season, every team is going to present a challenge at some point or another.
“My advice I gave them when they left, I said, ‘I want you to go home and I want you to think through what did you do well and what could you have done better?’” she said.
Jenks will be in action this weekend at the Broken Arrow Invitational tournament.