Mallory Hendrix had experienced three previous senior nights as a teammate.
On Thursday, the standout setter/middle was honored as one of five Owasso seniors that played their final home game against NOAH at Owasso Gymnasium. (See GALLERY)
“It’s kind of sad,” Hendrix said. “It’s doesn’t feel real.”
Hendrix, Ashley Bunten, Isabel Cevallos, Jenna Holderman and Avery Vancuren walked off their home court in style with a three-game sweep of the Jaguars, 25-16, 25-21 and 28-26.
“They’re a very special group,” said Rams coach Meghann Kannett. “They’ve all been through the program for the last five years since they were in eighth grade. They’re good leaders and role models. The younger girls look up to them.”
The Rams concluded the regular season with a 17-13 record. Owasso, ranked No. 9 in the final coaches poll, will travel to No. 8 Jenks for a Class 6A regional on Tuesday. OHS will take on Booker T. Washington, a team it swept in three games earlier in the week, in the first round. A win and the Rams would take on either the favored host Trojans or Bixby in the championship match.
“I’m excited,” Hendrix said of the possibility of facing Jenks for a third time on the season. “I think we have a good chance. We know what they do, but they know what we do.”
On Thursday, Owasso made quick work of NOAH in the first game. Hendrix had back-to-back service aces as the Rams jumped out to a 7-2 lead. Madi Mercer, Taylor Hendricks and Vancuren came up with consecutive kills in the midst of a 6-0 spurt with Rylee Martin on serve to pull away for a 23-15 lead.
In the second game, the Rams used another flurry, this time a 6-1 run to take a 20-16 advantage, and claimed a two-game lead. NOAH looked like it might push the match to a fourth game with a 24-21 lead in game three but Owasso fought off three game points and eventually kept the sweep intact.
“I was proud of how fought,”Kannett said. “There are so many emotions and distractions (with Senior Night). And we played through those. NOAH’s a good team. They’ve got some good hitters and blockers.”
Kannett and the Rams will spend the next couple of days preparing for regionals, which will take place inside Frank Herald Fieldhouse in Jenks. Owasso and BTW will take the court at 4:30 p.m., followed by Jenks and Bixby at 6. The regional final is set for 7:30 p.m.