ORANGE PARK– Led by setter Juli Deaton’s 26 assists distributed to three different hitters, the Orange Park High volleyball team pushed to a 3-0 district win over Westside on August 30 to improve to 2-1.
Orange Park was led at the net by center hitter Avery Kinlaw who punched down eight scoring shots and one shot blocked.
The Raiders scored game wins of 25-17, 25-11 and 25-7 in dominating the match.
The win is a rebound off a hard-fought 3-2 loss to 8A-Oakleaf on August 22 that the Raiders led 2-0 before falling in three games.
Libero Macie Faucett hit for 15 digs that led to points while Deaton and Amanda Rodriguez both recorded five service aces apiece.
The Raiders currently sit on top of district 4-6A with a 2-1 overall record, 1-0 in district play with Baker County and Ridgeview, the defending district champion, in the next two spots.
The Raiders continue with two non-district games; Yulee on September 4 at Orange Park High School, and at Mandarin on September 5 before two key district matches with Ridgeview on September 6 and Baker County on September 13.
Also in district 4-6A, Ridgeview was beat 3-0 by 8A-Bartram Trail on Thurs., Aug. 30 3-0 with game scores of 13-25, 15-25 and 19-25.
The Panthers have one district win; a 3-0 over Westside on August 28, came into the Bartram Trail contest with two season opening losses; St. Augustine and Fletcher.
Against Bartram Trail, with an overwhelming size advantage behind 6’-6” center hitter Alexia Kuehl. the Panthers got an energetic defense from Ashlyn Halford who caught 20 digs to lead the Panthers.
In game one, the Panthers went toe-to-toe, or palm-to-palm on top of the net with the Bears front line with senior Kaeley Kelley and junior Aubrey Brown giving inspired play on the net with the combination not giving the Bears front easy access to the floor. Kelley finished with eight kills with Brown adding five kills with one blocked shot.
Ridgeview’s newest player, junior Devine Nickson, has learned the deft skill of tapping balls at the net to the side of the oversized blockers for frustrating scores. Saige Rivers had three blocked shots on defense.
In the third game, the Panthers showed off a little learning curve by staying within points with scores of 4-4, 11-12 and 14-15 for the match until the Bears pulled away in the final game to win 25-19.
Ridgeview heads to 8A-Oakleaf on Tues., Sept. 4 with a district showdown with Orange Park on Thurs., Sept. 6.