Okay and Verdigris advanced to the semifinals of the Class 4A state volleyball tournament in Chickasha on Friday.
Okay defeated Copan in five sets, 25-22, 19-25, 25-8, 20-25, 15-11. Verdigris rolled over Oklahoma Union in straight sets, 25-13, 25-14, 25-13.
They will be joined in Saturday's semifinals by Cache and Elgin, who advanced with wins over Weatherford and Bethany, respectively.
Verdigris moves on: Verdigris won by serving well and rolling through in three sets.
"We had awesome serving, from KaLynn Thorp and Shelby Anderson especially, our first two servers, then Correy Moyer," said coach Lona Clark-Shew. "We started out with unbelievable serves, our girls were focused, and we came to play volleyball."
The win puts the fourth-ranked Cardinals into the semifinals as the lowest-ranked team left.
"The mentality of our girls is to come out strong and keep up the pace," said Clark-Shew. "We came out strong and tough. At this point, you go in not wanting it to be your last game, but you are playing like it is. You play to win and that's what we came to do."
Verdigris (26-9) will play top-ranked Elgin at noon on Saturday in Chickasha. The Owls are 31-0.
"I'm expecting it will be a good match," said Clark-Shew. "An undefeated team playing against a team that does not quit.
"We came here for a reason, and I hope we can leave for that reason. I believe that tomorrow's match is going to be a very good one. Two teams wanting to win."
The semifinal winners will face at 3:45 p.m. for the state championship.
Cache defeats Weatherford, 3-1: Jada Vernon and Britnee Altic led No. 3 Cache (28-7) to a 3-1 win over No. 6 Weatherford with some stellar play. The set scores were 25-19, 19-25, 25-20, 25-22.
Vernon led the Bulldogs with 14 kills and four aces. Altic had seven kills and two aces but had several key plays to help the Bulldogs, including scoring on a free ball late in the clinching set. Katelynn Martine finished with 10 kills.
"Jada had a lot of powerful swings today and made some really smart plays; when she's playing smart, you can't stop here," McClung said. "Britnee is our most well-rounded player and she makes us go. She is always on and she is our leader."
Cache plays Okay at 1:45 p.m. Saturday in Chickasha.
Elgin defeats Bethany, 3-0: No. 1 Elgin took down No. 8 Bethany in just three sets to advance to the semifinals. The set scores were 25-20, 25-11, 25-15 as Bethany didn't pose much of a threat to the top-ranked Owls.
The first set featured a heated battle between the teams' middle hitters. Bethany's Courtney Bowie started the match with three kills in the first seven points, but Elgin (31-0) was still ahead 4-3.
Elgin then went on a 9-0 run behind four kills from Kaitlyn Holmgren and one by Sam Grubb.
Bethany made a spirited run but could only cut the lead to three points at 23-20. At that point Holmgren turned in two straight authoritative kills to end the first set. Holmgren had seven kills in the first set alone.
In the second set, Elgin broke to a 10-3 lead behind two kills by Sam Grubb and one by Jentry Holt. Bowie provided two of Bethany's points.
The Bronchos worked the score to 13-8 behind a bevy of errors, but then the floodgates burst open. Elgin won 12 of the next 15 points behind two blocks and a kill by Holt in addition to aces by Ramirez and Holmgren.
Bethany didn't go quietly and kept fighting in the third. It scored the first three points behind a kill and a block from Bowie. Elgin stormed back to tie it at six. After that point, the Owls scored 19 of the next 28 points to win the match.
Holmgren finished with nine kills. Holt had six kills. For Bethany, Bowie finished with 12 kills while Morganne Anderson had seven.
"Bethany was definitely underrated coming into this tournament; they're better than the eight-seed," Mickley said. "I expected at least four or five sets today, but our girls stepped up and rallied for each point like champs and that's what we need to do right now."
The Oklahoman contributed to this report.
4A State Volleyball Tournament
Friday's First Round
Cache def. Weatherford, 25-19, 19-25, 25-20, 25-22.
Okay def. Copan, 25-22, 19-25, 25-8, 20-25, 15-11.
Verdigris def. Oklahoma Union, 25-13, 25-14, 25-13.
Elgin def. Bethany, 25-20, 25-11, 25-15.
No. 1 Elgin (31-0) vs. No. 4 Verdigris (26-9), noon
No. 3 Cache (28-7) vs. No. 2 Okay (29-3), 1:45 p.m.
Championship, 3:45 p.m.