The Oakton High volleyball team rallied for a comeback in each set against Lake Braddock for a 3-0 sweep on Tuesday night.
The win snaps the Cougars' three-game losing streak and improves their overall record to 12-7.
Though they achieved a shutout final score (25-21, 25-22, 25-22) , the Cougars battled for each point and fought to keep spirits up even when they found themselves at a deficit.
"I think it's about smiling at people when they make a mistake, just to help keep our spirits up," senior co-captain Abby Mills said. "We've had a lot of people get down on themselves when they get an error, but I think a smile and telling them it's OK helps them a lot."
The first set found the Cougars and Bruins in a tug-of-war that never had either team more than a two-point advantage until the Cougars pulled ahead three points for 22-19 lead. The Cougars then finished with a 3-1 scoring run to take the first set.
The battle continued into the second set, as the Cougars and Bruins kept the score close with the Bruins achieving the largest margin of three points thrice before recapturing the lead at 22-21 then going on a 4-1 run to end the set with a 25-22 win.
The Cougars put forth a more dominant performance in the third set, taking as much as a five-point lead twice. But the Bruins never gave in, pulling as close as two points away before the Cougars rallied again for a 25-22 third set win to take the match.
"[Kyra Rodi] is a very good hitter, and I think we finally understood how to block her and take care of it," said Mills, who had two of the Cougars' six blocks. "We also figured out how to block [Natalie Butler]. It took us a couple times for them, but we finally got it. We didn't let it bother us when they got us and then somehow figured them out. We all kept together as a team. It was a really good game. It was fun to play."
Mills also led the Cougars in kills with 13, while Misa Mori and Emma Olson each had nine. Olson tallied 27 assists. Kara Sadosuk led the Cougars in digs with nine, and also hit three aces.
The Cougars will travel for a 7:15 p.m. Thursday match against Madison before starting Concorde District play next week. The Cougars will have five games against Concorde foes to determine their seeding in the Concorde District Tournament, which begins Oct. 29.
"I feel pretty confident in us. We haven't really seen the other district teams play, but I think we'll do well," Mills said. "If we stay confident and play like we did tonight, I think we'll be fine."
Kills: Abby Mills (13), Misa Mori (9), Emma Olson (9), Karina Nyman (3), Kirsten Hemrich (3)
Assists: Emma Olson (27), Abby Mills (4)
Aces: Kara Sadosuk (3)
Digs: Kara Sadosuk (9), Emma Olson (7), Abby Mills (5), Misa Mori (5
Blocks: Abby Mills (2), Emma Olson (2), Karina Nyman (1), Tara Wilkins (1)