Oakland's volleyball team took a step closer to clinching second place in District 8 with a 3-0 win (25-18, 37-35, 25-17) over Rockvale on Tuesday night.
The first set was deadlocked several times, the last time at 11, before Oakland opened as much as a five-point lead at 20-15 when Cailin Mastropasqua put a ball over the net that the Rockets could not handle.
Oakland went on to win the opening set 25-18.
The second set was a classic as both teams left everything out on the floor. There were numerous rallies where neither team would let the ball hit the floor.
There were blocks, kills, aces and digs as the second set was tied 26 times. From points 13 to 17 and points 23-35 neither team held more than a one-point lead.
"When I was watching I was thinking we have done these things in practice now let's do this in a game," Oakland coach Cheyenne Johnson said. "We have worked a lot on our mental toughness this season, and it showed tonight."
Added Rockvale coach Samantha Drown: "I told them what you gave me in that second set, I need it every night. The kids just kept fighting and I was proud of them. We will see them again in the tournaments."
The third set saw Oakland take a few early leads. The Patriots got up by as much as 15-7, forcing Drown to use one of her two timeouts.
"I called timeout to see if I could get them back mentally, but I could not and we were just spent and had nothing left," Drown said.
Rockvale closed the gap to 17-14 but Oakland with good serving by their libero Taylor Baron closed out the match, it was the Patriots fourth straight district win.