NORMAN — For Norman North and Norman High, there was no better way to prepare for the postseason than with a Crosstown Clash in the final contest of the regular season.
After defeating the Tigers, 25-16, 25-17 and 25-20, in straight sets, it appears that the 11th-ranked Timberwolves are more prepared to make waves in the regional tournaments that begin on Thursday.
NHS hung tough with North from the beginning, but the Tigers found themselves consistently playing defense to the T-Wolves’ big hitters. North used a combination of tough serves and effective play above the net to pull away in each of the first two sets, while the Timberwolves squeaked out a victory in the third.
“It’s a fun game for the girls to come out here with it being Senior Night and having the crowd and the atmosphere,” coach Stephanie Kane said.
It was an impressive victory for North (15-12), which heads into a 3:30 p.m. match against Putnam City tomorrow at Edmond Memorial to open the postseason. The Timberwolves are expected to advance to a regional final against No. 6 Edmond Memorial in a showdown against a team they’ve yet to beat but took to five sets when the two last met on Sept. 27.
Looking ahead to the regional, Kane said the underdog role the T-Wolves have been cast in could work to their advantage, and she’s confident they have what it takes to knock off Edmond Memorial.
“People think we’re just a decent Class 6A team, but they haven’t seen us,” she said. “If they come out and they play 100 percent and are mentally focused, we can beat them.”
There also were encouraging signs for NHS (11-19), which improved as the match as the match went on and took North to the wire in the final set of the match. The Tigers will meet Enid at 1 p.m. Thursday at Tulsa Union in the regional tournament.