HS Volleyball: Grand Oaks Blanks The Woodlands to Claim Sole Possession of First Place in 13-6A

By: Jake Wilson
| Published 09/05/2023


THE WOODLANDS, TX -- The Grand Oaks Lady Grizzlies (31-1) remained perfect in district play after a three-set sweep of the Woodlands (18-12) on the Lady Highlanders parent appreciation night.

The Lady Highlanders were supported by their rocking home crowd that brought the noise from start to finish. The chant of “overrated” came from the home crowd before the match had even started. It would serve as fuel for a Grand Oaks team on a continual tear through district play.

Grand Oaks Head Coach Morgan Rogers commented on how her team stays prepared for hostile environments like they saw Tuesday night.

“During practice, we worked on having loud music in the gym,” said Rogers. “We knew coming over here that their fans would show out as they should.”

The first set would start scrappy. Both teams would swing for the fences which resulted in hits going out of bounds and multiple serves ending up in the net. It took until the 10-7 point mark for Grand Oaks to begin separating themselves from the Lady Highlanders. After the light separation, the Lady Grizzlies would score a handful of runs to push their lead as far as eight. The Lady Highlanders tried to stop the Lady Grizzlies’ momentum with two timeouts and a late scoring run, but it would be in vain as they dropped the first set 25-19.

“We were making a ton of unforced errors,” said Rogers. “Focusing on our style of play and making sure we cleaned up our side helped us settle down a bit.”

With the first set in their back pocket, the Lady Grizzlies looked to keep accelerating to open the second. Grand Oaks opened with a 5-0 run to quickly build a lead and immediate separation. The Lady Highlanders would continue to fight despite the early deficit and managed to creep within three points of tying as the set neared its end. A Lady Grizzlies timeout snagged the momentum out of the Lady Highlanders’ hands before the comeback could be completed.

“I was big on how we were playing, it looked kind of sluggish,” said Rogers about the timeout. “We needed to make sure that we played our style a little faster, a little cleaner, a little sharper, and focusing on that to finish.”

The Lady Grizzlies took this message to heart and ended the second set in a 25-20 victory.

After the departure of most of their student section, the Lady Highlanders opened the third set in desperation mode. The Woodlands started with a scoring run that put them up early by as much as three. After the run, neither team could claim momentum with points traded back and forth and the Grizzlies forcing five ties. Some more point trading saw the first lead change at 11-10 in favor of Grand Oaks. The lead change was accomplished by a 7-0 Grand Oaks run that pushed the lead up to six. The final nail in the coffin arrived when a Woodlands timeout failed to stop the already steamrolling Lady Grizzlies. Grand Oaks would win three sets to none after a 25-17 third-set victory.

“We wanted to make sure that we were setting the tone,” said Rogers. “Once we settled in during that third set we got through the end of it doing a better job than we did in the first two sets.”

With their third straight victory in district play by a set total of 3-0, the Lady Grizzlies must look for ways to remain consistent through future challenges.

“I think we just need to sharpen up on what we are good at,” said Rogers. “That is my big thing. Playing clean, lowering errors, start good on serve-receive and that's what we started tonight.”

Grand Oaks will host the scrappy Oak Ridge Lady War Eagles while the Lady Highlanders will travel to Cleveland on Friday to face the Lady Indians.

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