BY YANEEK SMITH, BEACON CONTRIBUTOR
ATTICA — Despite having a very good team, Oak Harbor ran into someone a little bit better.
The Rockets, who finished the season 19-6, lost 3-1 (25-17, 25-9, 23-25, 25-22) to Vermilion (25-0) in a Division II district semifinal on Tuesday.
The undefeated Sailors were trailing 17-14 in the fourth set, and things were set up for Oak Harbor to get the match to a fifth set, but Vermilion rallied and scored seven straight points and 11 of the next 16.
“We won the third set. The fourth set, we were up, and the girls really wanted it, but we just made some errors, more mental errors, and weren’t able to pull it together and finish,” said Oak Harbor coach Jackie Gezo. “And you can’t make errors against Vermilion. We made a lot of serve-receive errors, and we couldn’t get the ball set up.
“We didn’t start to play until the third set. In the tournament, you can’t wait to start in the third set. As soon as you step onto the court, you’d better be ready to play.”
It was the second sectional title for a special senior class that is comprised of Reagan Schultz, Ryann Steinbrick, Riley Steinbrick, Grace Wolf, Jaycee Snyder and Breanna Bowlick.
“They came in with some goals in mind,” said Gezo. “They wanted to win a league title and go far in the tournament. We tied for second in the conference, and we did win a sectional title, the first in three years, so that was good. They would’ve liked to have gone a little farther in the tournament, but they played their hearts out, but fell short.
“The seniors, they fought hard all season long, and they just wanted to do well. They didn’t give up.”
Gezo notes that four school records were broken. One was Schultz becoming the first player in program history to record 1,000 digs. Wolf, meanwhile, was the second Rocket to reach 1,000 kills.
“Overall, it was a pretty successful year,” said Gezo. “It’s pretty exciting to have more records broken.”
The program is in good shape. In the last six seasons, Oak Harbor has won four sectional titles, a league championship and a district title.
“I think it’s at a high level right now,” Gezo said. “Our numbers are good, and we’re actually competing for a league title with teams like Huron, Margaretta and Edison.”