In a field with Classen SAS, Community Christian School and Clinton, the No. 2 Oklahoma Christian Schools Saints won the 4A Regional Championship Thursday night at OCS Gymnasium to advance to the State Championship Tournament.
“This is a big win for us you know. Heading into state you want to go into that competition with confidence” said OCS head volleyball coach Rachel Sinclair. “That’s probably the biggest thing that a team needs going into the state competition.
“And so coming out of not just winning regionals but winning it at your level of game, like our team did tonight, not just kind of barely getting by, like really coming in and taking the game and taking charge of the game, allows a team to go off this court and go into the state with great confidence.”
After the Saints knocked off the Clinton Red Tornadoes in the first game in straight sets they would do the same to the Community Christian Royals in their second and final match of the night.
“I’m super proud of their performance,” Sinclair said. “Sometimes in Regionals a very competitive team is originally matched up with a team that’s not so quite competitive and its really hard to play your level of game. So it took a while in that first match to get to where we need to be, but I’m really proud they got there."
OCS began the first set down 4-0 but would battle back and force a 10-2 run to take the lead. The Saints Mary Streller, recorded three kills during the run. This would lead to a 25-21 first set win.
Oklahoma Christian would then cruise to a 25-9 win in the second set. The Saints started on a 3-0 run and would hold the lead the rest of the way as they never trailed. They were led by Ashton Major, Eden Dowell and Henley Holbrook as they scored thirteen of the teams points.
In the final set, after going ahead 5-3, OCS would explode for a 20-2 run to end the match. During the Saints run, Emma Gillette, served the ball 17 times as the Saints could not be stopped. Sinclair said that Gillette’s serving played a big part in the teams final run.
“Coming into regionals, we had a record of one serving 15 serves,” she said. “It’s hard to serve 15 straight serves against a team because most of the time they’re going to win the serve back eventually. And so our record going in was one server serving 15 and the server that had the 17 serve run, once she got close to that record we were challenging her to beat that record and she sure did so obviously serving is what got that game for us.”
The Saints will now wait for their pairing in the State Tournament. After losing their first three games of the season, they finished the regular season and regionals ranked No. 2 in 4A.
“I couldn’t be more proud of this team. They’ve come a long way,” Sinclair said. “They’re very mentally tough, they know how to fight, they know how to take charge of the court they know how to play with confidence, boldness, authority, courage and they have just really proven that throughout the season so really proud of them.”