By Chuck Reherman
Yukon went into Thursday night having played five of the top six ranked teams in the state.
The Millerettes took on the No. 1 ranked team in that match and although the Millerettes lost in three sets, YHS wasn’t that far off.
No. 1 ranked Santa Fe posted a 25-18, 25-14 and 25-16 win over the No. 8 ranked Millerettes. YHS is 18-8 overall and 6-4 in the Central Oklahoma Athletic Conference.
Santa Fe, 27-2, came in with a strong offensive attack with power outside hitters and a solid service game. And, it showed on the YHS court.
“That’s a match that I’m glad is out of our system,” Millerette head coach Rachel Allred said. “We had more silly errors, more mental errors than we have had in the past. I think it was a little bit of being nervous and it is the toughest team we have played.
“They run a quick offense and they hit hard,” she added. “So, when you get down quick it is hard to get back up. That is what we are going to see at state, so it is a reality check so it is going to test your confidence to see what you are going to be up against.”
The Millerettes did have 19 kills in the match, led by Sunny Middleton’s eight and five from Brianna Worth. YHS did have 19 blocks, three that led to kills, but Santa Fe would counter those blocks with digs and came back to make kills of their own. Middleton led the team in blocks with seven and Mallory Scott had four.
“We had good runs, especially in that first set,” Allred said. “We came back from five points down and were neck and neck with them for a time. We got frustrated with ourselves and that spreads to other people. The mentality is hard to get past once it is already there.
“I am a firm believer that (mentality) will be the other thing that keeps us from state,” she said. “If we can’t get over those little mistakes, we can’t reset after problems or if we start internalizing our frustration and taking down other people that is the only thing that will keep us from state. They have a week and a half to figure it out. It is an individual choice, I am not going to let it happen, I am going to stay tough and refocus. They have to realize it is do or die time and we have to aim for the things we want and have to reset.”
The Millerettes have two matches remaining, hosting Mustang on Tuesday and traveling to Edmond Deer Creek on Thursday. Those two matches will not have any bearing on the rankings or with the regional pairings.
“After this weekend, the final rankings go in and we will see where we will go to regionals,” Allred said. “If it was today, we will go to Owasso and if we move up one it is to Jenks. We will go to Edmond North if we drop a spot.”
By Chuck Reherman