By Chuck Reherman, Sports Editor – MUSTANG – So far, Mustang has had the upper hand in the Canadian County Bedlam battles.
Yukon’s volleyball team put a halt to that Thursday night.
With the exception of the second set, the Millerettes dominated the night and took a 3-1 win over the Lady Broncos in a Central Oklahoma Athletic Conference match at Mustang.
The Millerettes won the opening set 25-13, lost 25-22 in the second, but came back to dominate the next two, 25-13 and 25-14. It was the second time this season the Millerettes have beaten the Lady Broncos (the first was in the Norman Tournament in early August and that was a best of three).
No. 10 YHS improved to 21-6 overall and to 4-3 in the COAC. It is the first time that the Millerettes have won four conference matches since the COAC was formed.
“The three sets the we won were with our usual rotation, we changed a few things in the second, because we were so dominant in the first and it threw off the communication a little bit,” Millerette coach Rachel Allred said. “We went back to our normal rotation and we were fine.
“We talked yesterday in practice about being more focused,” she added. “We knew they wanted it as bad as us and in a rivalry game it doesn’t matter what your record or rank is, it is always up in the air for someone to take. It was to our disadvantage to come here, we always like to play on our home court and it was our first time in this new gym, but it is a good feeling to go 1-0 in their house.”
The Millerettes had a chance to make it a sweep, holding the lead in the second set. YHS was up 22-21, but turned the ball over with an out of bounds shot and Mustang scored two more to win the set 25-22.
It was the first set the Millerette had lost to Mustang, having beaten them in two at Norman.
The third set was all Yukon. The Millerettes scored the first four points, led 6-2 and then 10-3 after kills from Mallory Scott, Logan Lay and Chloe Hartman. The Millerettes pushed lead to 16-6 and led 21-8.
Mustang did try to make a comeback, cutting the lead to 22-11, but the Millerettes got a block from Lay, a block by Mustang went out of bounds and Scott drove a shot through the middle of the Mustang defense for the kill and a 25-11 win.
“Mustang is a totally different team than the one we played a Norman,” Allred said. “They have had a couple of injuries and their setter was involved in a car accident, so they have had some different line-ups. And, we are a different team as well since Norman. We have tweaked some things and knew they weren’t going to be the same team, but neither were we.
“Their number six (Rylee Nickles) is amazing, like the crazy awesome save she had over in the corner,” she said. “We know they are scrappy, we talked about it, they want to win. It doesn’t matter how good or where the talent is, if they really want it bad enough, it was going to be a fight.”
Mustang did score the first point in the fourth set, but the Millerettes countered with three straight. Mustang did tie the set 3-3, but the Millerettes went up 9-5 and were in a zone with Scott, Lay, Hartman and Middleton sending in kills from the front line and making the blocks.
YHS pushed their lead to 15-7 and led 18-11. Lauren Boswell’s ace spurred a 4-0 run for a 22-11 lead. Mustang did make it 22-14, but the Millerettes finished it off with the final three points, including Hartman’s kill to take the set 25-14 and the match.
“The confidence is there in our team,” Allred said. “We have No. 2, 3 and 1 to finish our season. That would seem intimidating, but we have come to see it as what better time to play them since we have had all season to prepare for it.
“Those are the kinds of teams we are going to see in regionals and in state,” she said. “So, we are taking it as a pro, go in and put up a good fight with them, hopefully get some wins against them and get that final push before rankings go our before playoffs.
“If you play easy teams at the end and the end, you get oh this is easy, we will get a win and go on. But, we have that challenge, that push and you have to step it up and you can’t finish easy. You have to push.”
Benge led the team in kills with eight, Scott and Middleton had seven and Lay five. Lay had 11 blocks, Scott seven and Middleton six. Haylee Fowler had 30 assists.
The Millerettes will host Southmoore on Tuesday (Senior Night), and travels to No. 2 Edmond Santa Fe on Thursday.