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Bixby Volleyball by Ron Holt:
Bixby Volleyball Continues Making Strides
By Ron Holt
During this season of improvement, Bixby High’s second-year head volleyball coach Kinsey Palmer continues looking for signs of positive growth.
She witnessed positive signs last week as the Lady Spartans played perennial power Bishop Kelley and competed in the rugged Springfield Classic in Springfield, Mo.
Bixby lost to Bishop Kelley in Whitey Ford Field House early last week but not before winning a set from the Lady Comets. The final score was 16-25, 25-23, 19-25 and 13-25.
“I felt like the girls were a little timid at the start of the Bishop Kelley match. It was almost like we were waiting to see what BK was like instead of just showing up and going for it,” Coach Palmer said. “We made a few small changes and went much harder.
“I told them before the second set that I am never mad when they lose but I was mad that they were content with just going out and not playing their hardest. It means a lot to the girls to have taken a set from them. It’s a confidence boost.
“Every day we get better but it takes wins like this for the girls to visually see and feel what all of their hard work is for,” she added.
Against Bishop Kelley, junior Megan Patillo had 12 kills, senior Shiloh Jobe had seven and sophomore Rachel Fisher had six. Kellie Norton led the team in assists with 12 while Karlie Owens finished with 11. Nicole Floistad led in digs with 13 and Patillo ended with three solo blocks.
Bixby has battled through injuries in recent weeks and appears to finally play with a healthy squad.
“It’s always ideal to have all of your regulars healthy and capable of being on the court,” Coach Palmer said. “However, with some of our injuries some of our bench players and JV (junior varsity) players have been able to step up and get a little more comfortable in the varsity mix.
“This has been really helpful when I need to make a change. Our bench and backups are better and we have a deeper line up,” she added.
Bixby’s varsity squad turned in an impressive performance last weekend in the Springfield Classic against some talented teams.
“The varsity went 2-2 last week. We beat St. Francis Borgia (Mo.) in two sets, lost to Kickapoo (Springfield, Mo.) in two and split with Republic (Mo.) but won out on points,” Coach Palmer noted. “This led us to the Gold Bracket with the number two seed in our pool. We got knocked out by Nixa (Mo.) in the quarterfinals.
“It was very high level volleyball all day. We didn’t win a set last year in the Springfield Classic so to have improved enough to make it to gold, I think that says a lot,” she added.
The Lady Spartans will have to play their best volleyball this week as they host Tulsa Edison Monday night and Frontier Valley Conference power Tulsa Union on Tuesday night. The ninth grade plays at 4 p.m., followed by the junior varsity at 5 p.m. and the varsity at 6 p.m.
Bixby closes out the week by competing against some of the state’s top teams in the Jenks Tournament Saturday.
- 9th, JV, Varsity vs Edison Home 9/15/14 (Rescheduled)
- 9th/JV/Varsity vs Union Home 9/16/14 4, 5, 6:30
- Varsity in Jenks tournament 9/19-9/20
- 9th, JV, Varsity @ Mustang 9/22/14 (Rescheduled)
- 9th, JV, Varsity vs Owasso Home 9/23/14
Bixby is located in southeast Tulsa County in the beautiful Arkansas River Valley. It is one of the fastest growing cities in the Tulsa area with a population of just under 16,000. The Bixby School District serves over 5,400 students. Athletically, Bixby is one of 32 schools that participate in 6A, the biggest class in Oklahoma, with about 1,400 students in the high school. Bixby is a Frontier Valley Conference participant along with Broken Arrow, Jenks, Muskogee, Bishop Kelley, Owasso, Sand Springs, Sapulpa, Union, Bartlesville.