By Chuck Reherman
Ready to make a run.
Yukon, with its most experienced team, opens the volleyball season Tuesday hosting the Oklahoma City Storm in taking its first steps toward their ultimate goal of a first ever state tournament berth.
The Millerettes return seven players with starting or varsity experience from a team that came within a match of reaching state last year.
The varsity will play at 6 p.m. following the freshman (4 p.m.) and junior varsity (5 p.m.) matches.
The Millerettes will face a strong opponent in the Storm, a home school team that has advanced to the national home school tournament the past several years.
“We are ready to get the season started, we have had two good weeks of practice and the players are anxious to play,” Millerette head coach Rachel Allred said. “The Storm will be a good season opening test for us. They usually have a very good team.
“We have had a good pre-season and I am excited about this group,” she added. “We have a good combination of players that are working hard and have really dedicated themselves to the season.
“Our senior group on varsity there is solid leadership. There is no jealousy, no selfishness about playing time. They just want to win and they just want to do good. That selfless kind of work is paying off.
“Some of them are coming up to me and saying this feels different and it feels good,” she said. “We are going to have everyone on the same page, so it looks good.”
The Millerettes prepped for the opener with a pair of scrimmage festivals. YHS played seven matches at the Mustang Festival and finished their pre-season hosting four teams in a festival on Thursday. YHS hosted Southwest Covenant, Midwest City Carl Albert and the Storm.
“Even though we play the Storm in the our opener, it won’t be that big of deal to scrimmage them,” Allred said. “It will give us more of an idea of what we can expect from them and plus, we used some different combinations that we probably won’t use in the game.
“We did have two good days of scrimmages and that will help us going into the first game,” she said. “We also have the Norman Tournament on Friday and Saturday and we know that will be a challenging tournament.”
The Millerettes played seven matches at Mustang and came away with a 6-1 record, winning their final six. The matches were 30-minute running clock with a continual score.
The Millerettes opened with a 39-23 loss to the host team Mustang, then got things turned around.
YHS beat Lawton 39-21, edged Piedmont 25-23, beat the Lady Wildcats a second time 45-28 and beat Mustang 38-20 in the morning session.
In the afternoon session, YHS beat Putnam City North 34-20, Choctaw 31-22 and Moore 52-16.
“It took us a little while to get going and that first match kind of woke us up,” Allred said. “We didn’t have a good serve and receive game in the first match. After that we played really well.
“It was a good day of competition for us against some good teams,” she said. “Mustang has a good group. Piedmont had some strong hitters and North and Choctaw were good teams.
“It gave us an idea of where we are at this point of the season and what we needed to come back and work on. We ran a lot of different combinations and rotations and found out who works well together. We worked together on what our strengths are and we had players step up and help out in areas we needed.”
By Chuck Reherman