VERDIGRIS — Logan Hamilton was so dominant, even the announcer chuckled when crediting one of her many kills.
Glenpool, Class 5A’s 12th-ranked team, had no answer for the junior outside hitter as she punished it for 19 kills and an ace while leading the Class 4A No. 3 Lady Cardinals to a 3-0 sweep — 25-17, 25-15, 25-12 — Monday night at the Verdigris Activity Center. She tallied seven kills in each of the first two sets before adding five more and an ace in the third set.
Perhaps her most impressive stretch came during the second set after the Lady Warriors trimmed a 7-1 deficit to 9-8. Hamilton responded with four of the set’s next five points — all via kills — to make it a 13-9 spread.
Glenpool came within two at 16-14 shortly thereafter, but Hamilton sparked a 9-1 with three kills run to close the set.
“Not bad,” Verdigris coach Caleb Horton said of Hamilton, who fittingly delivered the match-point kill in Set 3. “If she could keep the errors down a little more, she’d be really pretty strong. But yeah, she had a good night tonight. I’m happy about that.”
Horton said errors have been an issue all season, which is why he focuses on them over some of the impressive stats his team accumulates. The Lady Cardinals surrendered 22 errors in all Monday, which accounted for exactly half of Glenpool’s points.
Luckily for Verdigris, those errors went down in frequency each set. The team gave up 10 in Set 1, followed by seven in Set 2 and five in Set 3.
Regardless, it is an issue Horton hopes to somewhat improve before the regional tournament begins Thursday.
“We’ve been really trying to work on getting the errors down because that’s our thing,” Horton said. “We just give up so many points; we’re not very efficient. If we would kick in and get the serving errors down and the hitting errors down, we’d really be pretty dangerous. If we clean up the errors, we’ll be pretty scary.”
Morgan Borgstadt (nine kills), Avery Keeler (three kills, one ace, one block) and Emma Beats (four kills) had notable performances as well while Emily Stout notched eight of the team’s 11 aces.
Stout had two aces in both the first and third sets and four in the second, two of which came during the aforementioned run ignited by Hamilton.
“She was playing the right back, and we got her playing the middle back,” Horton said of Stout. “We did that at the Rejoice tournament, and she really started flourishing. She’s played the back row really well. She’s really changed the back row, and she’s done really well for us the past couple of weeks.”
Verdigris hosts a regional Thursday and opens play against Daniel Webster at 11 a.m. The winner of that match plays either No. 14 Skiatook or Wagoner at 2 p.m. with a spot in the state tournament on the line.
The Lady Cardinals are heavy favorites to advance, but Horton has been sure to keep his team from getting overconfident heading into the tournament.
“We need to come out and focus and play,” Horton said. “Tonight, they got a little bit goofy, and that’s good and bad. When we’re in a happy mood, we play a lot better. When we get cranky, we play like trash. They were in a good mood, but I wish they would focus a little more on the task at hand. I keep telling them, ‘You’ve got to believe in great things, but you need to understand that one mistake and it’s over’, and I don’t think we’ve quite settled on that yet.
“I’m a little nervous about that, but I always get nervous about those kind of things. I just want to get us to state, see who we end up with and go from there.”