09/01/09 — W. Christian remains unbeaten

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W. Christian remains unbeaten

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on September 1, 2009 1:47 PM

SEVEN SPRINGS -- The pep talk worked.

Earlier Monday, Britney O'Hara and Wayne Christian head volleyball coach Rick Moore talked about O'Hara's presence at outside hitter.

"She can really hit it hard, but she's young," said Moore. "When the set is there, I told her to hit it hard. When it's not there, hit it under control and she did that today. She was much more consistent and that made all the difference in the world."

O'Hara delivered a match-high 12 kills as the unbeaten Eagles swept county foe Spring Creek 25-18, 25-19, 25-18 on Monday afternoon. A playoff qualifier one year ago, Wayne Christian improved to 8-0 this season.

The Gators dropped to 0-4.

Wayne Christian's consistent play and ball movement along the net allowed it to keep momentum throughout the one-hour match. Senior setter Hanna Kaler supplied 20 assists, eight kills and two blocks.

Defensive specialist Katie Isenhower logged 16 digs.

"Wayne Christian is doing a great job and they've got two strong hitters," said Spring Creek head coach Deanna Morris. "(The runs) came where they were doing some tips (off-speed hits) on us and we weren't reading them as well."

The teams battled through seven ties and three lead changes.

Wayne Christian forged a 12-12 tie in the opening set on Kaler's kill after Isenhower dug up a hard shot by Spring Creek middle hitter Kelsey Rogers. The Eagles scored five of the next six points, but the Gators created a 16-16 deadlock on Rogers' service ace.

Two unforced errors and O'Hara's kill off Kaler's assist ignited a set-clinching 9-2 run.

"Consistency ... controlling the ball and I thought we passed pretty well," said Moore. "I thought I had some girls play some good defense. Talking and communicating, plus encouraging each other ... that was the key today."

Wayne Christian used an 8-2 run to seize control in the second set and grab a commanding 2-0 advantage in the best-of-five match.

Rogers (9 kills) and setter Randi Oxendine (9 assists) helped the Gators stay within striking distance in the third set. Oxendine is the lone holdover from Spring Creek's team which shared the 2007 Carolina 1-A Conference regular-season title and advanced to the eastern 1-A semifinals in the playoffs.

The Eagles used a 6-1 run to pull away and clinch the three-set sweep.

"The girls played really hard," said Morris, who has three starters back this season. "We've just got some things to work out on the offenses that we're doing."