By Chuck Reherman
MOORE – Yukon’s volleyball team continues a season of firsts.
The No. 10 ranked Millerettes earned a sixth Central Oklahoma Athletic Conference win for the first time in the program’s history Tuesday night with a 3-1 win at Southmoore.
YHS had a five conference win year before and topped that mark Tuesday night.
The Millerettes won the first two sets 25-16 and 25-23, but lost the third set 25-19. YHS came back to win the fourth set 25-19.
“We knew it would be a tough game,” Millerette head coach Rachel Allred said. “They are always ranked around the same area as us. I knew Mustang had gone five with them and lost. In knew it was Southmoore’s senior night, so it was a big night for them.
“I know she (Southmoore head coach) was trying to get some of her seniors playing time in the first match and we knew the second and third set would be more of there usual rotation.
“We expected it to be a challenge and by no means an easy game,” she added. “We have to get into that mindset that every point is going to be a fight and we have to have the desire to want it more than the other team, because we have three games to get that mentality set before the playoffs.
“We have sat around the same rankings all season, but the thing we want to do is be prepared mentally and team-wise for whoever we play in regionals.”
Leading 2-1 in sets, the fourth set bounced back and forth until the Millerettes took control late in the set.
YHS went on a 3-0 run keyed by an Addison Wimmer kill to open a 17-12 lead. A Brianna Worth kill opened an 18-12 lead and a Sunny Middleton kill made it 19-12. A block by Middleton opened a 21-12 lead.
Southmoore cut the margin to 22-14, but saw a kill from Worth make it 23-14 and Sidney Benge flicked a shot over the defense for a 24-15 lead.
An apparent Worth kill looked to end the match, but the referee ruled that she hit the top of the net, giving the point to Southmoore. The Lady Jags went on a 4-0 run to make it a 24-19 set.
But, Worth came back with her 21st kill of the match to seal the win.
“We told them after that third set that from here on out there are not going to be any three sets easy,” Allred said. “We have to focus on every point whether we have won two sets or won none. It is do or die time when you get to playoffs, you have to have the same desire and intensity every point and every game.”
In that third set, the Millerettes fell behind early. Southmoore took a 10-5 lead and led 13-8. Yukon did come back to close to 17-15 and kills from Middleton and Worth closed to 21-19.
Southmoore went on a 4-0 run to take the third set.
“The second set was such a fight, but we got a little tired in the third and got kind of comfortable,” Allred said. “We let it slip away in the very beginning with the serve receive.”
The Millerettes took control of the opening set early on. With the score 9-7, Yukon used kills from Rachel Kittell and Chloe Hartman to key a 7-2 run and a 16-9 lead.
A block from Kittell, two kills from Worth and one from Wimmer and Middleton put set away.
YHS used an ace from Hartman to key a run that broke an 11-11 tie and a 15-13 lead. Worth had three kills and Wimmer two to put the set away.
“I thought Mallory (Scott) had a good setting game,” Allred said. “Addy is coming off an ankle sprain and played well. Baylie Thiel always has a great game defensively.
“Sidney (Benge) and Mal always impress me,” she added. “They are playing all the way around and that is tough when you play four and five sets. They are consistent every time and that is what we are looking for. They are our team captains and our leaders and players look for them that level head and not getting down on themselves. And, Bri ended with a great kill.”
Worth led the team with 21 kills. Benge had seven kills, Wimmer had five and Middleton and Kittell four.
Benge and Middleton had 10 blocks, Wimmer added six and Scott five.
The Millerettes will host Mustang on Tuesday for senior night and closes out the regular and conference season Thursday at Deer Creek.