OKEECHOBEE — In one of the most thrilling chapters in the Osceola and Yearling volleyball rivalry, the Warriors slipped past the Lady Bulls in three sets Thursday, Oct. 15, by the slimmest of margins, 25-19, 21-25, and 18-16.
In the process Osceola earned the best record in the Okeechobee-Indian River County Conference this year.
Warriors Coach Lauren Throop said her girls were nervous all day but she told them to relax and just play volleyball.
“They told me we’ve been shaking all day, how do we stop it? I told them to relax, it’s just volleyball, and we play it all the time. The 8th graders came out and played so hard, I’m so proud of them.”
Mattie Garcia had 11 assists and five service points and Ashley Snyder had seven kills, six digs and four service points for the Warriors.
Garcia said she felt her teammates just played awesome, “I feel amazing. We played our hearts out. I know that for a fact. We look sweaty, but we played amazing.”
Yearling jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first game before Osceola scored 13 of 16 points to take an 13-8 lead in the first game. The Lady Bulls pulled to within 18-17 but couldn’t get any closer. Two kills by Snyder and a service ace for Mallorie Thomas, pulled out the game for the Warriors.
Thomas said the court was very hot and the team had to pull together to get this victory.
“It feels good especially because it was against Yearling. It was very scary.”
Thomas had six kills, five digs and four service points for Osceola.
Osceola took a 5-1 lead in the second game but Yearling came storming back to take an 11-8 lead. The got two kills down the stretch from Kendall Harrison and pulled out the second game.
Snyder got the Warriors off to a 4-0 lead in the third game but Samantha Ruiz answered with four service points for Yearling. Neither team would get more than a two point win in the final game.
Snyder said both teams played great and didn’t want to lose.
“I thought when we were going back and forth on those hits we didn’t know who would win. That just motivated me and my teammates to play harder.”
Osceola overcame an injury to Delaney Jones in the third game and was able to put the match away on their third match point when a Yearling volley hit the ceiling on their side of the net.
Yearling parents and students provided an awesome atmosphere with the match with plenty of noise, energy and sportsmanship.
Coach Throop praised her girls because they worked hard all year and improved a lot. She said the girls missed a few serves Thursday but did a good job passing the ball and sat back and waited for mistakes.
“Osceola might be the most competitive ever. We have come a long, long way. It does feel pretty good, we never beat them when I was growing up, it feels great and it feels good.”
Ruiz had nine points and Lillian Henry added seven points for YMS. Callie Rucks had three kills and two points and Harrison had three kills and three blocks for the Lady Bulls. Jones had six points, one dig and three kills for OMS.
Osceola volleyball victory over Oslo
By Charles M. Murphy
Delaney Jones had nine kills and nine service points and Mattie Garcia added 10 assists and 10 service points to lead Osceola to a 25-10 and 25-12 victory in middle school volleyball action Tuesday, Oct. 13.
It was the final home game for the eighth graders on the team. Each of the girls was presented with a rose by the coaching staff before the match.
It was a pretty easy go for the Lady Warriors as they held leads of 9-1, 13-3, and 15-5 in the first game, and jumped out to leads of 15-3 and 18-6 in the nightcap.
Brook Julian had four assists and four service points which included three aces for Osceola.
Jones said she was really glad that all of the girls came together and played really hard at their final home match, “I’m just glad I was able to get so many kills and help my team through.”
Jones said her coach, Lauren Throop has helped her with her skills at the net and ability to jump and that has helped her improve this year.
Jones wants to follow her other sister Darby, who played four years at OHS and later at South Florida Community College in Avon Park.
She said she also likes to play with emotion and energy, showing off her dance skills after a nice play or kill at the net.
“It’s just that I get really excited. I’ve never played as a hitter before because I’ve always been a setter. I get excited when I get a kill.”
Osceola wraps up their season on Thursday when they visit arch-rival Yearling.
Charles M. Murphy is a staff writer for the Okeechobee News