STEUBENVILLE - The Golden Bears were unable to bring home the gold.
The Oak Glen volleyball team entered the OVAC Class 4A Tournament Saturday morning as the No. 1 seed as well as the class's regular season championship.
In the semifinals, Oak Glen faced off against fourth-seed Meadowbrook. The Golden Bears and the Colts battled it for two hard-fought games, but in the end Meadowbrook made all of the key players en route to pulling out a 30-28, 25-15, victory over Oak Glen down at the Crimson Center at Steubenville High School to advance to the tournament finals.
The Oak Glen volleyball team huddles during a break in the action on Saturday in Steubenville. (Photo by Aaron Petchal)
While the Colts went on to win the tournament title, the Golden Bears ended up winning the consolation final. Oak Glen defeated Union Local, 25-11, 25-16, inside the Joseph Stern Gymnasium.
With the split, the Golden Bears are now 27-4 on the season.
"We couldn't pass the ball," veteran Oak Glen head coach Ethel Riser said. "We couldn't pass the ball. We couldn't get it up to our setters and our hitters. We couldn't get the ball, and if you can't do that you can't win.
"Our passing game really cost us today."
Meadowbrook defeated East Liverpool, 25-15, 22-25, 25-19, to win the championship. East Liverpool defeated Union Local, 25-15, 25-23, in the semifinals.
The Potters were the No. 2 seed behind their local rivals. The Jets were seeded third in the tournament.
Individually for the Golden Bears in their match against the Colts, Morgan Poling produced three points, five kills and six blocks, Lacee Porter recorded two points, nine kills and four digs and Jessica Stivason netted four kills and one block.
Also Vanessa Hissam scored three points to go along with five kills, one block and four digs, Sydney Kell collected five points, 10 assists and two digs and Abby Tice tallied four digs.
Finally, Kaitlyn Smith contributed eight points and 12 digs, and Carissa Williams finished with four assists.
The Golden Bears had multiple opportunities to win the first game of their match against the Colts, but they were unable to convert any of their multiple game points. In the end, Meadowbrook, which had also failed to convert on some opportunities, finally put the game away with two-straight points.
The Colts carried the momentum into the second game of the match. The Golden Bears did not go away quietly, but Meadowbrook pulled out the 10-point win to advance to the title tilt against the Potters.
"Meadowbrook is a real-nice team," Riser said. "They are good at blocking. They have some good hitters. They just keep coming and coming. They don't give up."
Oak Glen's match against Union Local in the consolation final was a back-and-forth affair for the first part of Game 1. Then, the Golden Bears scored a point against the Jets, and Kell stepped up to serve. Kell served nine-straight points to end the game as the Golden Bears came away with the 14-point victory.
Oak Glen took care of business in the second game to earn the match victory.
"We played OK," Riser said about her team's performance against Union Local. "We did not play exceptionally well. We won a game, but we did not play up to our potential."
Individually, Poling picked up four points, three kills, one block and three digs, Porter produced seven points, two aces and three kills and Stivason netted three kills and two blocks.
Also, Hissam ended up with four points, five kills, one block and one dig, Kell tallied nine points and 13 assists and Tice collected one point, one kill and three digs.
Finally, Smith chipped in with one point, one ace and six digs, Williams contributed seven points and 13 assists and Madison Juszczak delivered one kill.
This was the second-straight year Meadowbrook defeated Oak Glen in the semifinals, and it is also the second-straight year that the Golden Bears ended up winning the consolation final.
Last year, East Liverpool, the No. 1 seed, defeated fourth-seed St. Clairsville, 25-15, 25-11, in the semifinals to move on to the championship game against Meadowbrook. The third-seeded Colts defeated No. 2 seeded Golden Bears, 25-17, 25-11.
In the championship game, East Liverpool defeated Meadowbrook, 25-19, 25-22, to claim the championship. Oak Glen defeated St. Clairsville, 25-17, 25-19, in the consolation final.
Oak Glen's next match is Thursday night against Hancock County and sectional rival Weir at the Carl Hamill Fieldhouse in Weirton.
"Today was very disappointing," Riser said. "When you work so hard throughout the year to get to this point, and then you don't play up to your potential, it is very disappointing."