With Los Banos, Central Catholic, Escalon, Gregori, Langson Hughes, Downey, Beyer, Davis and Hughson High freshman volleyball teams vying for a title, Oakdale needed a good showing in their home gymnasium at the Oakdale Freshman Invitational Volleyball Tournament on Saturday.
They got it, landing runner-up honors among the competitive field after a third place finish in pool play and two victories over teams they had previously lost to as part of the final rounds.
Oakdale went 6-3 in pool play format that had each team playing the other in one game to 25. Oakdale’s third-place seed forced a game against fourth-place Hughson, where Oakdale avenged a preseason loss with advancement to the second round of the championship bracket.
In round No. 2, Oakdale beat a team that stopped them in pool play, Gregori. The win propelled the young Lady Mustangs to a championship finale against unbeaten Central Catholic, who preserved their perfect tournament record on the day with a tourney title.
“Overall I was proud of the girls for coming back and playing so hard all day,” Oakdale coach Dana Hernandez said. “We used a new line-up halfway through the tournament and the girls adjusted well.
“That is hard to do but it worked out for our team.”
Oakdale was fresh off a two-game rout of Weston Ranch and a 25-22, 17-25, 15-13 win over Sonora on Thursday.
The win over the Wildcats came after four Jessica Shatswell kills and three Emily Mason aces. Kyla Lewis added three kills and three digs.
Oakdale (6-1) got a shot to avenge its only league loss with visiting Lathrop on Tuesday, though results were not available at press time.