Jenks volleyball storms back, takes down Union in season-opener

Jenks volleyball storms back, takes down Union in season-opener

TULSA – There is an old saying in sports, “It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish”.

That couldn’t have been truer for the Jenks volleyball team Tuesday night, as the Trojans traveled across town to take on rival Union in the opening match for both teams.

Jenks lost the opening game of the best-of-five match 25-18 to the Redskins in a frame full of streaks. The Trojans got down early in the game but responded to tie the score at 9-9 before Union jumped back out to a 17-12 lead.

The closest Jenks would get the score would be 22-18 before the Redskins closed out the opening game.

“The first game was a little jittery,” Jenks coach Tanna Smith said. “I think there was some first-match jitters. Even though we have eight seniors on the team, the rest of the team is young, and Union is great team. We made a lot of errors in that first game.”

The second game was more of a back-and-forth affair for the two teams, but the Trojans prevailed 25-22 to even the match at one game apiece.

The two rivals traded punches early in the game with Jenks taking a 10-9 lead. Union roared back and grabbed a 13-10 advantage before the Trojans did some roaring of their own and held a 20-16 lead. Union mustered a slight come back cutting the margin to 23-21, before Jenks finished off the second game.

“Going into the second game, something we talked about was letting go of the first game,” Smith said. “That is a challenge when you have young players. We always say there is a reason it is best-out-of-five. We went back to work and went with a different game plan.”

The third game was key in the match with the count being 1-1. The winner of game three would be one game away from clinching the opening-night victory.

The Trojans were up to the challenge, as they dominated from start to finish in the game and clinched a two-games to one lead over the Redskins with a 25-16 throttling.

Jenks entered game four with a chance to end the match. As expected, Union rebounded and kept things close for the first half of the game, but the Trojans proved to be too much down the stretch and for the second-straight game, went on to win 25-16 and started the 2020 season 1-0 with a road victory over their rivals.

“We still have a lot to work on, but there are a lot of positives to take away from tonight,” Smith said. “I am super proud of the girls. They turned it around and didn’t let that first game get into their heads. We did a better job of being mentally tough in games two, three and four.”

Jenks has one more road game Thursday at Edmond North before the Trojans play their home-opener at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Frank Herald Field House.

Kyle Salomon

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