Special to The Sun
Edmond Santa Fe had little trouble with rival North during the first day of the Heather Harkness Memorial Volleyball Tournament. But when the Edlam rivals met up again Saturday night in the finals, it was a different story.
This time, it was a tug of war.
The top-ranked Lady Wolves twice allowed North to even the score, before finally yanking it away one final time. Santa Fe claimed the tournament title with a dominating win in the fifth-set tie-breaker.
“We’ve trained really hard and it’s great to take a win against a good team like North,” Santa Fe junior Jordan Spence said. “We beat them in three yesterday and five today, so they gave us a run for our money.”
Santa Fe struck first with a 25-19 win in the first, only to see No. 2 North come back in the second, 25-12. The Lady Wolves battled their way back with a grueling 37-35 win in the third. But the Lady Huskies again evened the score, winning 25-20 in the fourth.
The host squad finally sewed up the title with a 15-9 win in the tie-breaker.
Santa Fe coach Will Ethridge said that’s the type of battle he expected to see.
“It was an amazing match and that’s just the way it’s going to be with these two teams,” he said. “Both teams are loaded with good players and they played hard. It was exactly what it was billed to be.”
Santa Fe has now beaten North three straight times, since losing to their rivals on Aug. 17 in the finals of the Tulsa Union Tournament.
The Lady Wolves finished with a 6-0 record in the Heather Harkness. They earned wins Friday against Putnam City, North and Heritage Hall. On Saturday, Santa Fe beat No. 5 Memorial and Southmoore.
Aiding the Lady Wolves to victories included Taylor Horton with 11 aces and Samantha Ethridge with 82 digs.
North finished with a 4-2 mark, earning wins over Memorial, Heritage Hall, Southmoore and Putnam City. Memorial was 3-3 in tournament play.
Santa Fe became the first two-time winner of the Heather Harkness Memorial Tournament. They won the title in 2011 while North took home the crown a year ago. Memorial and Tulsa Union have also won the tournament in the past.
The Edmond schools had several players earn all-tournament honors. Santa Fe’s Jordan Spence was named tournament MVP. Spence chalked up 65 kills in the tourney, 20 blocks and a .504 attack percentage. Those selected to the all-tournament team included North’s Rachel Manriquez, Hannah Rose Frohling and Alissa Benson, Santa Fe’s Kaleo Kanahele (127 assists) and Erika Warren. For Memorial, Alli Evans notched all-tournament honors.