Win number 19. That is what the Wagoner Lady Bulldog volleyball team picked up Thursday, Sept. 26 with a 3-2 win over Tahlequah Sequoyah on the road.
It was a see-saw battle between the two squads all night. Sequoyah won the first set 19-25 and Wagoner bounced back to win the second, 25-20. Sequoyah won the third set 17-25 and the Lady Bulldogs snatched the fourth, 25-17.
It all came down to the last set, which Wagoner won 15-12.
“We had beaten Tahlequah Sequoyah twice, but it’s hard to beat a team three times in the same season. They have gotten so much better!” exclaimed Coach Judy Penner.
The Lady Bulldogs were without senior Kennedy Wynn, who is suffering from a broken toe. While she was out for the game, Penner assured she will be back.
“Evanne Biby and Kyky Swanson stepped up and our bench filled that void. It was really good for our girls,” Penner noted. “It was super good that we had a tough match this close going into Regionals. It was Tahlequah Sequoyah’s senior night, so they were playing for a lot.
“After the third set, we just told them you have three chances left to get your goal of 20 wins. They locked in that fourth set and we finally finished it in the fifth.”
Marlee Medlin led the team with 16 kills. Britley Butler had six kills and nine digs while Megan Hawkins had three kills, 25 assists and 10 digs. Evanne Biby had two aces and nine digs and Kyky Swanson had nine digs.
“We played some defense!” Penner exclaimed. “We tweaked our defense just a little bit and it seems to be working!”
Coach Penner said while the girls are excited to be one game closer to their 20 win goal, she and Coach Ange are now challenging them to think, “Why not 22 games?”
“That’s how close they are to qualifying to go to State,” she said. “We don’t want them to reach a goal (20) and say, ‘We’re done.’”
Earlier in the week, the Lady Bulldogs won a 3-1 match over 5A Collinsville. Wagoner won the first game 25-21, lost the second 18-25 and won the last two, 25-19 and 25-22.
Medlin had 12 kills and seven blocks while Hailey Freeman had seven kills and five digs. Hawkins had 25 assists and 17 digs and Mary Kay Bobo had 11 digs and one ace.
“We beat a 6A and now a 5A, and the girls have had an excellent season,” Penner said. “They’ve stayed together through adversity as a team, even when we went through a couple of losses.”
The Lady Bulldogs enter this week with a 19-8 record. They will be home Tuesday, Oct. 1 for a match with Inola and celebrate Senior Night before the 6:30 p.m. varsity match. Junior high and junior varsity games will precede that at 4:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Wagoner is now ranked 13th in Class 4A. The Lady Bulldogs will compete in Regional action this week at Southwest Covenant in Yukon.
Penner said the team has never competed in a West regional, but she sees that as an advantage and believes the Lady Bulldogs have a chance to be crowned Regional Champion.
“We’ve got great senior leaders, and this has been a goal not only this year, but in previous years. We do not have to go to number one or number two — we’ll take number four,” Penner said.
Play is expected to begin on Thursday. Competing in the Regional with Wagoner will be Southwest Covenant, Chickasha and Harding Charter Prep.