TAHLEQUAH — Tahlequah volleyball coach Don Ogden put his two best servers first and second in the serving rotation.
With Katie Schneider and Gillian Tinnin leading the way, the Lady Tigers proved too much for the McAlester Lady Buffaloes.
Schneider and Tinnin combined for 10 aces and eight kills, powering the Lady Tigers to a 3-0 win against the Buffs in Tuesday’s Class 5A Regional semifinal at the Tahlequah Multi-Purpose Activity Center. Tahlequah won 25-8, 25-8 and 25-13.
“We could definitely have moved a little quicker, but I’m not disappoint in the effort that was given,” McAlester coach Anita Burns said.
Schneider and Tinnin helped the Lady Tigers start fast in both the first and second sets Tuesday, with Tahlequah both times building 9-1 leads McAlester never challenged. Tinnin rattled off three consecutive kills in the first set to put the Lady Tigers up 7-0 before Preziosita Crawford finally ended Tahlequah’s run with a kill of her own.
“They weren’t coming up short, and they couldn’t pick up tips,” Tinnin said.
“When we play teams like that, we just have to not play down to their level. Just not get crazy, do the easy stuff.”
The Lady Tigers outscored the Lady Buffs 5-2 after Crawford’s first-set kill, but Tahlequah then went on a 6-0 run to make it 18-4. Cassie Goodnight recorded an ace for the Lady Tigers, and the other five points came on unforced McAlester errors.
A hit out of bounds ended that run, but up 21-14, Tahlequah went on a 4-0 run to win the set. Tinnin’s ace made it 23-8, then Amanda Milnick recorded back-to-back kills to end the set.
Schneider didn’t score a point for the Lady Tigers in the first set, but she came out firing in the second set, serving up three aces to help her team jump out to a 6-0 lead.