Sep. 17—Tahlequah had a perfect senior night Thursday at the Tahlequah Multipurpose Activity Center.
The Class 5A No. 7 Lady Tigers swept 3A fourth-ranked Okay in three sets (25-22, 25-22, 25-17) after honoring five seniors — Lola Brownfield, Dorothy Swearingen, Lydia McAlvain, McKinley Thompson and Faith Springwater — and won their second consecutive match.
"They are a very special group," Tahlequah head coach Don Ogden said of his seniors. "They have a great personality. This group has all of the different personalities, but when they come together they seem like they make a new personality. It's fun to coach."
Tahlequah jumped out to a 6-1 lead in the opening set, led 10-4 and closed with a 7-5 run. In the second set, the Lady Tigers went up 10-3 and led by as many as nine points (17-8). In the closing set, they finished with an 8-1 run.
The Lady Tigers improved to 14-9 overall with four matches remaining in the regular season.
"There's so much right now we're playing for," Ogden said. "Obviously senior night was a big deal. We're trying to do the best we can to maintain our position in the polls because the top eight teams get to host a regional. Our path to host regionals has been maybe as tough as anyone in 5A. We want to do our part, win the games we need to win, and position ourselves to play at home."
Swearingen and Kori Rainwater led the Lady Tigers with eight kills apiece. Swearingen had 19 swings, and Rainwater had 30. Tahlequah finished with 13 serve aces, paced by Emma Sherron's five and Rainwater's four. Sadie Foster led the way with eight digs, while Brownfield followed with seven. McAlvain closed with 24 assists.
"We played three matches and got 97 swings which means there weren't a lot of free balls," Ogden said. "We were on target and we were able to put some sets into some swinging positions. We didn't quite hit as high as I would've liked, but anytime you have 26 kills and only 14 errors, you're winning more points than you're losing."
The Lady Tigers will host Tulsa East Central Thursday, Sept. 23 at the TMAC.