VOLLEYBALL: CP Lady Cavs rally to beat Klein Oak taking last three of five sets
THE WOODLANDS, Texas - The Woodlands College Park High School volleyball team took on a formidable foe when hosting the Klein Oak Panthers, Friday, August 28. Klein Oak, ranked 118 nationally, overshadowed College Park in size and the depth of their bench, and it appeared that they would claw their way to victory after taking the first two sets 25-17, 25-23. College Park rallied to win the three final sets 25-13, 25-15, 15-8; a testimony to the team’s tenacity and training. Klein Oak set the pace in the first set with Carleigh Strenger putting on a sterling performance with a dozen attack attempts, followed with Megan Roye’s eight. Roye’s set assists of three, were topped by four from Riyana Rakrouki. Rokrouki and Madeleine Morrison each contribute four points, displaying the versatility of the team’s players. College Parks points were evenly distributed showing a balanced team effort. Kennedi Smith’s four kills were the high point of this set which ended with Klein Oak taking the set decisively 25-17.
Set two was the most competitive of the evenings five matches. Megan Roye from Klein Oak, edged out her teammates by contributing four points; three others contributed two each, and two with one. Roye’s nine attack attempts were matched with nine from Logan Studdard, and six each from Morgan Phillips and Madeline Morrison. Rakrouki was the assist leader with five. The Cav’s Libero, Savannah Rutledge, slammed home two aces, and Kennedi Smith also added an ace. Rutledge and Smith led in digs, and Allicia Bauersfeld and Hannah Erwin led the team in kills with four each in the second set. Although a more aggressive effort from College Park, the set ended in Klein Oak’s favor 25-23.
The Lady Cavaliers did some sabre-rattling in the third set and the momentum swung in the opposite direction. Kennedi Smith hit her stride and the ATTs and kills (6) began to mount. One of the smallest members of the team, sophomore, CC Clausen at 5’5”, came up huge with two aces. Klein Oak’s most impressive stat of the set was the number of ATTs with Studdard on top with 9, Phillips, Roye, and Morrison added 7, 6, and 5, respectively. Rakrouki was again the team’s assist leader with four. It appeared that Klein Oak’s timing was off, College Park won the set impressively 25-13.
In the fourth set Kennedi Smith was still on a killing spree with four, and three aces were served up by Erwin, Rutledge, and again by Clausen. The Panther’s Strenger had eight ATTs to her credit, followed by five from Roye. Rakrouki was again the team’s assist leader with four. The Lady Cavs prevailed 25-15.
The fifth set ended 15-8, due to Erwin’s three aces, and a continued aggressive attack from Smith with four kills. Klein Oak’s Strenger distinguished herself with six ATTs; Kim Lyle contributed four.
College Park team totals and high-point players:
Aces 11 (CC Clausen 3, H. Erwin 4, S.Rutledge 3)
Kills 61 (K. Smith 25, H. Erwin 14)
Assists 47 (H. Erwin 35)
Digs 92 (S. Rutledge 28, K. Smith 21, CC Clausen 13
Kennedi Smith is to be commended for keeping the drive alive when down two sets. Attribute her fierce determination and influence in leading the Cavalier’s charge to victory. Hannah Erwin distinguished herself in being the consummate all-round player, Rutledge had a huge game, and Clausen...a personal best.
Klein Oak team totals and high point players:
Points 34 (M. Morrison 12, R. Rakrouki 11, M. Roye 8)
Attack Attempts (C. Strenger 35, M. Roye 8, L. Studdard 26)
Set Assists 29 (R. Rakrouki 17)
Kills 31 (Evenly distributed among the team)
Riyana Rakrouki had a stellar game, as did Megan Roye.
What appeared to be a mismatch with the Klein Oak team averaging 5’11” in height and a bench as deep as their starting team, versus College Park’s smaller eleven-member squad, demonstrates the importance of proper endurance and skills training. One other interesting thing to note...although a deep bench allows the opportunity for fresh legs on the court, too much substitution could possibly have resulted in transition and timing issues which College Park was able to exploit.
"We only have eleven kids on the team, so everybody has to contribute," said College Park volleyball coach, Candice Collins. "I thought tonight,everybody stepped up in every way."
The next match for the Lady Cavaliers will be Clear Creek at home September 1. Klein Oak will host The Woodlands September 4, in what should be another hotly-contested matchup.