New Muskogee High School volleyball coach TeAna Tramel found out quickly about life in Class 6A volleyball, playing host to one of the perennial top teams in the class, Owasso, for her head coaching debut.
The Lady Rams, 6A quarterfinalist last season, defeated Muskogee in straight sets 25-8, 25-14, 25-10 Tuesday night at the Lady Roughers gym.
Despite the loss, Tramel felt things got off to a promising start.
“It was awesome for my first game. I’m so proud of this program from the freshmen all the way up to varsity,” she said. “We picked one of the top teams in the state to go up against, but I felt we hung in there. We’re still trying to learn the system and each other.”
Tramel comes to Muskogee after coaching stints at Chouteau and Sequoyah Claremore.
In the opening set Muskogee opened with a brief 4-2 lead before the Lady Rams scored 13 of the next 14 points to take a commanding lead and then outscored Muskogee 10-3 to close the set.
The second set was the strongest for the Lady Roughers as they led Owasso 10-9 at one point. But once again the Lady Rams stepped on the gas, scoring 12 unanswered points to grab a 21-10 lead and easily coasted to the win.
The Lady Roughers again battled Owasso on even terms in the third set with the Lady Rams clinging to a three-point lead at 13-10 before going on a 12-0 run to finish out the match.
Unofficially, Ella Ross led the Lady Roughers with four kills on the night followed by Alexis Rodriguez with three and a blocked shot, Ellie Jimenez and Bailee Russell with two each while Reagan Essex and Aubrey Brown also registered kills.
Despite being outmatched by the taller and more athletic Lady Rams, Tramel was impressed with Muskogee’s work ethic and tenacity during the match.
“You could see we were outmatched height-wise across the net, but this team didn’t flinch. They were excited. They knew we were going to have to play defense because Owasso is very good offensively and that will be the case for us most of the season against these 6A teams and they accepted that role and went out and did well,” said Tramel.
“Our serve/receive needs some work and we just weren’t working the system as much as I would like so that will be one area we’ll really focus on when we get back to work tomorrow morning here in the gym.”
Next up for the Lady Roughers will be a home matchup against Bixby next Tuesday.