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Spikers rollercoaster ride continues with tourney win, Troy loss



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Oxford’s Darien Bandel (right) spikes the ball over the net. (click for larger version)
October 03, 2012 - The Oxford volleyball team has had a rollercoaster ride this season, sometimes looking like a great team and then other times not having the killer instinct to put teams away.

On the weekend, the team looked great in a tournament at Goodrich, dominating pool play with a 5-0 record against several quality teams only to fall in the championship match in three sets to Ann Arbor Huron.

In the tournament pool play, the Lady Cats beat Pinckney, Williamston, LakeVille, Lapeer East and Holly to secure the number one seed. In the semifinals, Oxford ousted Linden.

In the championship against Huron, Oxford jumped to a 17-13 lead in the opening set but didn't take advantage of some opportunities to put the match away, according to Coach Kristi McDevitt, and lost the set 23-25.

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The Wildcats came back to win the second set, 25-21, to set up a tie-breaker set.

"For the final set and for the trophy, Oxford traded points with Ann Arbor until 7-7 when poor serve receive, missed serves, and lack of an offensive attack allowed Ann Arbor to score 8 straight points for the victory." McDevitt said. "We had a fantastic day, the fact that we were #1 seed was a team effort throughout the day."

There is no denying the Wildcats didn't put up good numbers. Darien Bandel finished with 53 kills, followed by senior Alyssa Wysocki with 26, and Meagan Neff with 24. Maddy Line and junior Taylor Taraski tallied a combined 10 blocks on the day. Kennedy Orr finished with 78 kill assists and Maddie Maier contributed 54.

Anchoring the defense, juniors Aviana Paese, Hannah Wright, and Tarren Leszczynski combined for a whopping 150 digs. The tournament victories improves Oxford's record to 22-12-1.

The Wildcats also faced a very tough Troy team last week. The lady Cats lost in 4 sets, 14-25, 25-17, 19-25, 21-25.

"In the fourth set, to keep the hopes of a victory alive, we jumped out to a huge lead that we relinquished one bad pass at a time. We were leading, winning, and then 'bam', lost," McDevitt said.

"I am proud of the way we fought back after the disappointing first set. We need a killer instinct or a relentless approach to our opponents."

Junior Bandel had 13 kills, senior Neff had 7 kills, senior Line had 5 kills, and sophomore Taylor Leppek finished with 4 kills. Julia Walker was 14/16 passing with 17 digs. The loss puts our record at 0-2 in the league.

Former Leader Editor Dan Shriner will cover Wildcat football this season.
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