What?: Second Round of the Class II Playoffs
Where?: Corinth High School Gym
When?: Saturday, October 22nd, 2:30 p.m.
How can you keep yourself updated?: @OxfordMSvball Twitter Account / @CHSVolleyball4 Twitter Account
The Lowdown: Hey Oxford Volleyball, welcome to my pre-game write-up. Unfortunately, it isn't much like football or baseball.
Oxford has played Corinth once already, defeating the Lady Warriors 3-2 (25-14, 14-25, 25-20, 19-25, 15-11). This was the ONLY match this season where the Lady Chargers went to a fifth set to decide a match.
This match is on the road due to the region number tiebreaker where it is the lower of the team's region number that gets to host this round. Oxford is from Region 3 and Corinth from Region 1 - thus Corinth got to host. Normally at this point it is the team with the fewest number of home matches that gets to host, but both teams hosted one match. If the Lady Chargers repeat their success at Corinth, it will be the highest-seeded team that will host North Half. Lewisburg defeated Lafayette in straight sets, so Oxford would host Lewisburg due to the Patriots hosting twice while Oxford has hosted just once with both teams being a 1-seed.
This is a matchup between Class II's No. 2 and No. 3 teams according to Maxpreps. Corinth has a height advantage in this match given that Corinth has nearly SEVEN TIMES as many blocks as Oxford does. Going in a different direction however, Oxford has almost twice as many digs (hits that saves the point) as Corinth does. Corinth has more kills (hits that end a point) than the Lady Chargers does mainly because they have two weapons to protect while Oxford has just one (but a powerful one) in Maggee Hobson.
It's a battle of strengths. Oxford's strength is in it's defense to keep points alive and either end it on a Hobson kill or an opponent's mistake. Corinth's strength is up front at the net on both offense and defense. Really it will appear the way this match will be decided is whether Oxford can get through the front side of Corinth's rotation. Oxford managed to get through it last time, will they this time?
For Oxford to Win, They Must: Stay in Points - Long Rallies would benefit the Lady Chargers. Oxford's backline is better than Corinth's. It has shown in their 1,200+ digs they have amassed throughout their 37 matches.
Mix Up the Attack - Oxford has been able to do this without needing to go through Hobson all the time. The rotation makes Oxford find other points elsewhere. If they are able to find points elsewhere, it will make Corinth forget about the big threat that is Hobson for the Lady Chargers.
For Corinth to Win, They Must: Execute on Free Balls - Corinth's frontline is dangerous. If they are able to "Pass-Set-Hit" with some consistency and find some holes in the Oxford backline, they stand a good chance in this match, especially because...
Make the Home Crowd an Advantage - It was loud the first trip up there. Oxford knows as of Tuesday against Center Hill what a home crowd can do to an opponent and to their team. Confidence is key. Oxford got through it once, but Corinth will be twice as loud the second go around.