Brandon battles past Oxford to secure 6A volleyball crown

·2 min read

Oct. 24—RIDGELAND — With its back against the wall, Brandon put together the run needed to secure dynasty status.

Oxford, the Daily Journal's No. 1 ranked team, led 2-0 before the Lady Bulldogs turned the tide to complete the comeback, winning 3-2 (19-25, 22-25, 25-21, 25-20, 15-11) to stake their third Class 6A volleyball title in the last five years on Saturday night.

Brandon (25-7) was the 6A runner-up last season.

"Our girls were not going down like it happened last year. That was not how they were ending their story," said Brandon head coach Kelsa Walker.

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The third set was tied 21-21 with Oxford (29-3) on the cusp of winning its third championship.

Brandon's fight started to shine as they finished off the set on 4-0 run.

Then, in the fourth, built an 11-6 lead that held off the Lady Chargers enough to extend the match to a winner-take-all fifth.

The momentum was too much to overcome in the fifth set for Oxford.

"We have to figure out ways to fix that and in the third set, we just didn't figure that out," said Oxford head coach Ashley Martin. "We've been really good about figuring that out all year and we struggled with that in the third set."

Brandon senior Abigail Rogers spearheaded the movement behind her sensational play in the final three sets. Rogers, who was named the game's Most Valuable Player, had 11 kills — all coming in the turnaround.

"She's going to play DII college in West Virginia as a setter. My three middles all got hurt (before the season) and that girl, I told her 'If we were going to win a state championship, I have to have you at the middle.' And she bought into, and she accepted it," said Walker.

Oxford had 58 kills to Brandon's 56. Ainsley Tacke led the Lady Chargers with 21 kills, followed by Brianna Lyons with 18. Setter Catherine Bianco had 37 assists.

dillon.barnes@journalinc.com

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