After an unblemished start, the boys’ varsity volleyball team was finally defeated this season in the finals of the Rockwood Summit tournament.
The two teams split games earlier in the tournament during pool play but, unfortunately O’Fallon was unable to overcome the Cougars late in the tournament. It was a streaky game for the Panthers who lost the championship match in two games. Despite several good point runs in both games by OTHS, the Cougars defeated Panthers 25-16, 25-18.
Unforced errors were a key in preventing the otherwise excellent O’Fallon squad from taking home the first place hardware. According to varsity head coach Katelyn Hagarty, fatigue from a long weekend of play impacted the team’s performance.
“We started to know what to expect from them but at the end of the tournament it’s always tiring because we aren’t used to playing that many matches in that short of a time yet. We would make a good run and then make several errors in a row but, overall we played pretty well,” said Hagarty.
During the tournament the Panthers defeated both Fort Zumwalt East and Metro-East Lutheran in two games. After the tournament, the team bolsters an impressive 7-1-1 record.
Earlier in the week, the OTHS team claimed a pair of conference wins over Belleville West and Alton. The Panthers cut it close in game one but, edged out the Maroons by a score of 25-22. In game two O’Fallon found its stride and put away West 25-15. The Alton Redbirds proved less of a challenge for O’Fallon, who took a quick 25-5, 25-11 conference win.
Although the toughest part of the season is yet to come for O’Fallon, coach Hagarty is pleased with her teams conference wins from last week,
“The team truly played well together. All around the passing was awesome which led to good hits, sets, and smart decision making overall which helped us a lot. We played really well as a team,” said Hagarty.
This week the Panthers will compete in a Southwestern Conference match against the East St. Louis Flyers on Thursday. On Saturday the team will travel across the river to compete in tournament action at Fort Zumwalt South against stacked Missouri teams.