ROYERSFORD >> Olivia Olsen had no idea where she stood.
Yet the eruption from the crowd let her know in an instant.
Spring-Ford’s senior outside-hitter Olsen picked up career kill No. 1,000 in the Rams’ 3-2 loss to Upper Merion on Spring-Ford High School’s Dig Pink Night.
“I knew I was getting close,” said Olsen of reaching kill No. 1,000 in the third set, “but I didn’t know how close. And nobody would tell me anything. So I knew I just needed to keep playing. I’d get it at some point, whether that would be tonight or later in the season. I just had to keep grinding and push as hard as I possibly could.”
Needing 11 kills coming in to the night to hit the mark, Olsen heard the whispers on the bench and in the crowd, but didn’t let it faze her.
“Throughout the season, I’ve been keeping a rough estimate,” said Olsen. “I was like, ‘I need about 12 kills per match from here on out,’ but then I completely lost track. From that point, I didn’t even think too much about it.”
Olsen was everywhere early on, picking up nine kills in the first two sets as the Rams (6-9 overall) jumped out to a 2-0 match lead with a 25-21 win in the opener followed by a 25-17 decision in the second set.
Then with her team trailing 6-3 in the third set, Olsen rose up and blasted one into no-man’s land for career kill No. 1,000 before her teammates charged from the bench and flocked her on the floor.
“After she got the kill and we gave her the ball, everyone is hugging her and she’s crying going, ‘Guys, I’ve still got to play volleyball!’” said Spring-Ford head coach Josh McNulty with a laugh. “I asked her if she wanted a timeout and she’s like, ‘No, I’m good. Is my mascara running?’
“It was a really good moment, a good night for her and all of her teammates.”
For the night, Olsen finished with 20 kills and 29 digs while Grace Krafft had 38 digs and five aces. Anoushka Patel added 25 assists on the night while Rylee Clark had 12 kills.
Upper Merion (18-0 overall), the No. 1 ranked team in District One, turned things around after being down two games.
The Vikings answered with a 25-21 decision in the third set, a 25-23 win in the fourth then closed it out with a 15-10 win in the final set.
Senior outside-outside hitter Tori Wright was a presence above the net all night, racking up 31 kills while setter Kelly Moore had 40 assists. Libero Emily Gallagher had 26 digs.
“We’ve got to give Spring-Ford all of the credit,” said Upper Merion head coach Anthony Funsten. “They played an almost perfect first two games. Their second outside hitter was playing hot.
“We just had to find a way to get a lead and slow them down. We finally got a lead in the third game, then gutted it out. The kids held together and played hard to the finish.”
Spring-Ford jumped out to a 7-4 lead early on in the third set, but from that point it was all Upper Merion. With Wright serving, the Vikings went on a 9-1 run, which featured a pair of kills by Wright and another two by Danielle Chung and Jada Peoples before closing out the set and the match at 15-10.
“Our team work got stronger and stronger as the match wore on,” added Funsten. “In the fifth game, the teamwork part of our team held us together and won the match for us.”
Although they walk away with the loss, McNulty and the Rams took plenty away from the result.
“Upper Merion, they’re undefeated, No. 1 in districts,” said McNulty. “So for us to take the first two games then have the next two games play as close as they did, we’ll definitely take it. We played them tough. I was very happy with how we played those first two games.”
/ 22 mins ago
JENKINTOWN >> The Jenkintown field hockey team came out ready to go for Senior...
/ 4 hours ago
The Harriton duo of the Rams’ top two singles players, Sophia Sassoli and Saige...
/ 5 hours ago
/ 17 hours ago
The Pennridge field hockey team gave a boost to its District 1-3A playoff chances...
/ 19 hours ago
ABINGTON >> The soccer gods are known to be fickle entities. Hatboro-Horsham girls soccer...
/ 19 hours ago
EAST MARLBOROUGH – It’s been a wild and wacky boys’ soccer season in the...
David Gobora was one of four players to score multiple goals as the Haverford...
Ashley Kennedy and Ella Walker were the first of six victories as Episcopal Academy...
Although difficult, the task was clear for Interboro Tuesday night. Beat Chichester and the...
/ 20 hours ago
The only thing that could beat Ridley’s Sydney Zimmerman Tuesday was, well, Ridley. Zimmerman...