Emma Funk attacked Ocean Springs with 30 kills as OLA beat the Greyhounds 3-1 (25-21, 22-25, 25-22, 25-17) on the volleyball court Tuesday night.
“It was a very nice win for us,” said OLA coach Mike Meyers. “Ocean Springs is an excellent ball club.”
Playing in Class I, which is the smallest division of Mississippi volleyball, Meyers said these games were crucial for the Crescents, who have won the last five Class I state titles.
“We try to play the toughest schedule we can,” he said. “That way we will be ready for tough completion at the end of the season.”
In winning, OLA (5-1) took advantage of a number of Ocean Springs errors. Ocean Springs (2-3) turned the ball over on 15 service errors and 27 unforced errors. The errors left Greyhounds coach Brooke Engle unhappy after the game.
“We are a better team than how we played tonight,” she said. “We have the talent and ability to be one of the better teams on the Coast. I expect more from our players. We need to focus on the little things to be better.”
OLA held off a strong Ocean Springs comeback to take the first game.
Behind two Chloe Cornell service aces, the Crescents took an early 9-4 lead. However, the Greyhounds slowly fought their way back into contention. A pair Amelia Moore kills and three Kaytie Rutland aces brought Ocean Springs back to within one, 18-17. The two teams remained close with OLA holding a 22-21 lead late before winning on a service error, a Margaret White ace, and a Rebecca Walk kill.
Ocean Springs came back in the second game behind three Allison Carpenter aces, which gave the Greyhounds an early 10-5 lead. Moore closed the game out with a kill and two aces as Ocean Springs evened the match.
“The thing I was most proud of,” said Meyers, “was after we won the first game, they had us on the ropes in the second game. However, we were able to come back and win the third game and withstand their rocket serves before winning the fourth game.”
In the third game, Funk had a kill and blocked two Ocean Springs kill attempts back to the Greyhounds’ side as OLA took an early 9-4 lead. Once more Ocean Springs would fight back with a Moore kill and unforced error bringing the Greyhounds to within one of OLA, 18-17, late before the Crescents would pull away with a 7-5 run behind a pair of Walk kills.
Where the first three games were close, OLA jumped out to a 19-9 lead in the fourth game behind Funk;s three kills; Walk added three kills and two aces.
Walk finished with 14 kills and six aces for OLA while Hannah Gest added 38 assists and six aces for the Crescents.
Abby Murrell had a strong all-around game to pace the Greyhounds with 11 kills, six digs, two aces, and 20 assists. Moore had 17 kills and four aces while Rutland added seven kills and four aces. Kennedy Bahr had 16 digs and an ace and Allison Carpenter contributed four aces and three digs.