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CRESTWOOD--- There was just a feeling that North Oldham junior middle back Amanda Marques had.
On match point, Marques lined herself up on the right side of the net.
After a back and forth volley, Marques hit the ball with both hands softly over the net next to the out of bounds pole. But the way she hit the ball, slightly to her right, caused South Oldham to hit the ball against the pole and out of bounds. The point gave the visiting Lady Mustangs a 25-22, 25-22 sweep.
“I knew the ball was coming to me,” Marques said. “I just had a feeling. I just went up and swung my heart out and ended up fooling ‘em. I knew where I was on the court, so I knew it was gonna go out, because I was so close to the line.”
There wasn’t a lot that separated the two rivals throughout the night.
In the first set, North Oldham held the biggest lead, at 12-8 following a kill by Marques and served for match point at 24-21. A kill by Lady Dragons senior middle hitter Mary Dye kept the set alive, but the Lady Dragons claimed the set on a hit by junior defensive specialist Savannah Maxwell that hit the net and went over.
The second set went back and forth until North Oldham mounted a 15-10 lead as Dye was whistled for running into the net on a hit. But South Oldham tied the match at 19, then took a 20-19 lead.
“Volleyball’s a game of runs and all the girls know that,” North Oldham coach Brian Jones said. “We all know that everybody’s gonna go on a run at some point in time. You just have to kinda hold your own, let them get finished on their run and go on your own run.”
The Lady Mustangs ended the game on a 6-2 run, capped by Marques’ hit. That run was also the result of a few mistakes that crept up on the Lady Dragons on occasion throughout the match.
“I think North wanted it more than we did,” South Oldham coach Amy Grimm said bluntly. “I think they worked harder than we did.”
Few worked as hard as Marques did, which was evident to Jones throughout the game.
“Amanda was big all night long,” he said. “She’s so tall and she reaches so high on her swing that she swings over the block. She really swung around the block tonight really well too. She really paid attention to where the block was and made sure she was going around them.”
She also made sure she stayed out of the way on that final play, to let the ball hit out of bounds.
That headiness now has North Oldham a win away from clinching the 31st district’s top seed. The Lady Mustangs can claim the top spot with a win against Oldham County Sept. 28 at home.
“I think it’s one of the best wins we have this season,” Marques said. “We’ve been working all year for this, so this is like, huge for us.”
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