Kaitlin Van Ryn was never taught to share.
During one of two game victories over Patterson on Sept. 22, Van Ryn selfishly kept the ball for 25 consecutive points, serving out a shutout over the Tigers. The feat came during one of five wins for the Lady Mustangs on Saturday during their host Varsity Mustang Invitational.
Oakdale ultimately settled for second in pool play and slipped to Enochs in two games to see elimination from the championship bracket. Pitman, winners of the same tourney in 2011, topped Enochs to win the title Saturday as well.
“There was a lot of good competition,” Oakdale coach Shelli Ponce said. “It was a pretty good crowd and it went pretty smoothly.”
Oakdale opened action with two wins over eventual pool winner, Pleasant Grove (25-19, 25-21) and upended Patterson in 25-0, 25-11 scores. The Mustangs struggled late in a 25-27 loss to Calaveras, but bounced back to beat the Redskins 25-9 in game No. 2. A scoring snafu somehow left Oakdale with fewer scoring points than Pleasant Grove, who earned a favorable seed into the championship bracket.
Oakdale was still in a position to advance, considering the Mustangs beat Enochs in three games in the preseason, but couldn’t pull out in two during tourney action.
“We had a lot of missed serves that hurt us,” Ponce said. “We didn’t cover our own hitters on blocks.”
Ponce said the competitive action was still a good stepping stone to continue league play.
Oakdale is 2-0 to start league after 3-0 victories over both Sierra (25-10, 25-10, 25-14) and Manteca (25-12, 25-11, 25-11) to start conference action on Sept. 17 and 19.
Hayley McIntyre combined for 16 kills, 15 service points and four blocks in the two games while Brittany Carpenter recorded 12 kills and four points in the two games. Kellie Gratigny chipped in 37 assists and 29 points while Marissa McDonald put together 11 kills and three points.
Van Ryn managed 36 service points across the two games with eight total kills. An impressive week no doubt, but it pales in comparison to her 25-point ball-hogging at the top of the court on Saturday.
“I remember at some point coach Ponce said if I could keep serving for all 25 points she would buy Jamba Juice,” Van Ryn said with a laugh on Saturday. “The team put up great blocks and they all made it happen.”
Since the accomplishment was a group effort, Ponce agreed to buy the whole team individual tasty fruit smoothies. It’s a good call, because if Saturday told us anything, it was that Van Ryn probably wasn’t going to share.