TULSA — The West, featuring a combination of six Edmond athletes and coaches, swept the East in the All-State volleyball games Tuesday night at the Oral Roberts University Mabee Center.
The matches were guaranteed three sets under All-State rules. The West took the first two sets in both (26-24, 25-14 large; and 25-20, 25-15 small). The East won the final set in both competitions.
There was plenty of area representation. Memorial head coach Natalie Murray headed up the large West squad. Merrik Beard of Oklahoma Christian School was in the small school game.
Allie High of Memorial, Deer Creek's Maicee Morgan, and Santa Fe teammates Rylen Moore and Kaeli Robinson were in the large school game.
High, Moore and Robinson were all part of Class 6A state championship teams during their high school status in Edmond. High’s Memorial won in 2016 before Santa Fe won back-to-back championships in 2017 and 2018.
Morgan and the Antlers reached the Class 6A state tournament in all four of her seasons. Their best result saw them advance to the semifinals the past two years. They beat Memorial in the quarterfinals both times.
Beard helped propel the Saints to the Class 4A state tournament the past three years. However, they fell in the quarterfinals on each occasion.
Robinson named MVP
Robinson was named West MVP. She will continue playing volleyball at the next level and stay close to home at the University of Central Oklahoma.
"It was a huge honor to be selected to play in the game," Robinson said. "During my time at Santa Fe we had a lot of ups and downs. Class 6A is very competitive. Coming back from winning the first year knowing that there was a possibility we could take a title home again just made all the competition even more intense. I knew if we really wanted it our whole team would have to step it up and that’s exactly what everyone did."
The East appeared to be in good shape with a 24-20 lead in the first set. The West, however, ran off six consecutive points to steal the frame.
Morgan had a couple of key kills during that run. The West never trailed in the second set thanks in part to strong play from High at libero.
The East broke a 12-12 tie in the third set with five straight points. They eventually closed it out with a 4-0 run.
Beard’s service leads small west
The West took control of the first set with five consecutive points to make it 17-9. Beard's strong serving was a key during that spurt.
Beard was serving again on set point and eventually put things away herself with a winner. Each respective side won the next two sets with relative ease.
ETHRIDGE NAMED COACH OF THE YEAR
Santa Fe head coach Will Ethridge, the region eight coach of the year, was also named state coach of the year.