JV Volleyball Wins Ranger Classic Tournament

Lady Eagles in a timeout against Clarion

Tyrone Lady Eagles JV volleyball team finished first of 19 teams at the annual Ranger Classic Tournament at Forest Hills High School on Saturday, October 16.

Going into the tournament, JV coach Bob Oberheim had two goals, “I wanted to get the players good reps against new and good competition and build cohesiveness as a team.”

Tyrone started the tournament against Portage. It was a slow start for the Lady Eagles, who made a lot of unforced errors. Despite winning the first set, Tyrone fell short in the second but rebounded in the third set and was able to beat Portage 2 sets to 1.

It was the best way to end a long day with a team that never gave up on themselves and beat several very good teams. As a coach, it was a very rewarding feeling and put a smile on my heart”

— Coach Bob Oberheim

However, things didn’t go quite as well for Tyrone in their second match against Bedford.

Tyrone’s errors increased and the Lady Eagles handed the first set to Bedford, losing 11-25. Although the Lady Eagle dramatically improved in the second set, they were still unable to beat Bedford, losing 22-25. The Lady Eagles once came through in the third set, and won it 15-11, but lost the match to Bedford 2-1.

At that point, things weren’t looking so bright for Tyrone, as they were 3-3; the team wasn’t even certain that they would be in the good bracket, let alone win the tournament.

“Sitting at 3-3, my goal at that point was to win the silver bracket,” said Oberheim.

But during a much-needed break, Oberheim regrouped his players and in the next match. Tyrone dominated a very good West Shamokin team.

Tyrone controlled all aspects of the game, from the service line to the net. Freshman Sarah Zimmerman and sophomore Aliza Yazzie had service runs in the first set to help propel the Lady Eagles to a win. Their energy carried through the next two sets with a dominant offense led by junior Tasannee Hensley. Tyrone pulled through and beat West Shamokin 3 sets to 0.

“I was extremely excited,” said Hensley, “I went to the tournament not thinking I was gonna play because it was my first week back, but I ended up playing a lot.”

Despite claiming the needed win, coming out on the top of their pool was out of their control. In order to claim the pool, Tyrone needed Bedford and Portage to split in the next match, meaning that neither team could win all three games. Tyrone anxiously watched the two teams compete, and much to Tyrone’s relief, Bedford and Portage split; this meant that Tyrone finished first in their pool.

In the first round of playoffs, Tyrone played the number five seed, Hollidaysburg. It was a close match, but Tyrone prevailed and beat Hollidaysburg in one set, 25-23.

Immediately after beating Hollidaysburg, Tyrone went on to the semi-finals to play the number 9 seed Portage who had just come off an upset win against the number 1 seed, Northern Cambria.

Despite having just played, Tyrone started strong against Portage, winning the first set 26-24. The second set didn’t go quite as smoothly for the Lady Eagles, as they lost 14-25. In order to stay alive and move onto the championship game, Tyrone had to win the third set. It was close, but Tyrone pulled through and won 16-14.

At this point, it was nearly 6 o’clock at night and the team was starting to experience some fatigue.

“As you go deeper in a tournament, fatigue does become a factor both for your own team and your opponent. I looked to substitutions as a way to give the starters a breather and also use new players that could positively contribute to the team’s level of play,” said Oberheim.

With a few new players in, Tyrone’s starters were able to get the much-earned break they needed. In the first set against Clarion, Tyrone started strong and was able to earn an eight-point lead over Clarion. However, despite the impressive lead, Tyrone fell short, losing 24-26.

My first tournament back and winning it was the best feeling in the world”

— Tyrone junior Tasannee Hensley

Tyrone needed to win the next set to stay alive, and that’s just what they did. Tyrone made seldom errors during the second set, and with a strong defense, was able to beat Clarion 25-22.

Given that the two teams split, the third and final set would determine who won the tournament: Tyrone or Clarion. It was a close match, but due to Tyrone’s determination and teamwork they were able to come out on top, winning the third set 15-11.

“It was the best way to end a long day with a team that never gave up on themselves and beat several very good teams. As a coach, it was a very rewarding feeling and put a smile on my heart,” said Oberheim.

Not only were the coaches thrilled about the tournament win, but so were the players.

“My first tournament back and winning it was the best feeling in the world,” said Hensley.

The Lady Eagles went 6-3 in pool play, and 5-2 in the playoffs, bringing their day-long record to 11-5.

With the regular season coming to an end within the next few weeks, a key tournament win is a big confidence boost going into the off-season.

Scores:

Tyrone v. Portage: N/A
Tyrone v. Bedford: 11-25; 22-25; 15-11
Tyrone v. West Shamokin: N/A
Tyrone v. Hollidaysburg: 25-23
Tyrone v. Portage: 26-24; 14-25; 16-14
Tyrone v. Clarion: 24-26; 25-22; 15-11