By Mike Moguin
TULSA — Muskogee won its first postseason match in school history Thursday night when it edged Westmoore 3-2 in the first round of the Class 6A regional volleyball tournament. However, it’s season would come to an end as it got swept 3-0 by power and tourney host Bishop Kelley in the championship match.
The Lady Roughers (24-11), who also finished with the best regular season record in program history, had entered the tournament having won 10 of its last 11 matches.
Sophomore Claire Farmer had 20 kills against Westmoore. Junior Jensen Martin had 41 assists and sophomore Abby Wayman led in digs with six.
“Westmoore is a great defensive team,” Muskogee coach John Hammer said. “They don’t have the power that Bishop Kelley has offensively, but most teams don‘t. We knew it was going to be a tight match.
“We’re not (a) new (program) anymore, but we’ve been relatively new. We’re taking strides every year, getting better and better. It‘s fun to be around these kids,” Hammer said.
With the elimination, seniors Brett Allen and Alexis Rosson played their last games as Lady Roughers.
“Both are great kids and are good players,” Hammer said. “They’re defensive oriented, so we’re going to have to replace them. There is something to be said about good attitudes and good kids and we’re losing two good ones.”
Muskogee won the first two sets (26-24, 25-15) against Westmoore before dropping the next two (25-18, 25-16), followed by winning the tie-breaking match (15-4).
In the first set, the Lady Roughers fell behind by as much as seven points before rallying with an 8-2 run to take a 23-22 lead. Westmoore called timeout and took the lead back with a pair of points. Muskogee would strike back, including two last two points coming from kills by Farmer.
The Lady Roughers took the momentum into the second set, rolling to a 14-2 lead. Then the Jaguars stormed back with a 7-2 spurt to draw within 16-9. Muskogee put up six straight points and would go in to win by 10 points.
Kelley rolled 25-7 and 25-15 in the first two sets, but Muskogee’s led early in the third. Farmer got a kill that put the Lady Roughers up 2-1. They would go up 7-5 on the account of Kelley miscues, but the Lady Comets called timeout to make adjustments and went on to win 25-12 to advance to the state tournament.
Against the Lady Comets, Farmer had 10 kills and junior Karla Jones made five. Martin produced 16 assists, Rosson and Allen each had three digs.
“I started four sophomores this year,” Hammer said. “So the future looks really good for us.”
Farmer, Wayman, Leigh Westbrook and Shauna Logan are this year’s starting sophomores. Juniors who return next season are Martin, Jones and Madison Hiner. Freshman Madison Reaves will also be back.