YHS spikers upend No. 13 Choctaw

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Taya McReynolds drives a kill past the defense of Choctaw’s Jayla Flint (11) and Tyra Macy in the Millerettes five set win over the Lady ‘Jackets Thursday night. (Photo by Chuck Reherman)

By Chuck Reherman
Sports Editor
Yukon has pulled off some big wins this season on the volleyball court.
The Millerettes did it again on Thursday night.
Yukon avenged an earlier loss to Choctaw with a 3-1 win over the Lady Yellowjackets in a Central Oklahoma Athletic Conference match on the Millerettes’ home court.
Yukon had lost to Choctaw in three sets earlier in the season at the Sand Springs Tournament and stunned the Lady ‘Jackets by winning the third and fourth sets after a 1-1 tie.
YHS had opened with a 25-16 win in the first set. After seeing Choctaw win the second 25-18, the Millerettes came back to win the third 29-27 and won the fourth 25-23 despite service errors in the final half of the set.

Elena Devarenne (11) and Kiley Baker leap to block the shot of Choctaw’s Maddy Gomez. (Photo by Chuck Reherman)

“We knew Choctaw would fix some things after the first set and they did, so it was good that we were able to step up our game with them and in the big picture we did,” Millerette head coach Rachel Hilton said. “We missed lots of key serves tonight. In the first set out serving was amazing, Jasmime (Liongco) had like seven aces. Their serve receive was off, but once it got on we felt the pressure and our serving suffered.
“But, we are working on that focus working on that line, settling down, not letting the pressure get to us in the certain line,” she said. “We didn’t come into this one down after losing to Moore on Tuesday, we came ready to play and were focused.”
Leading 2-1 and going into the fourth set, the Millerettes wanted to finish the match in four and not let Choctaw have a chance to play a fifth set. And, that it was the Millerettes did, although they did make it hard on themselves.
The Millerettes trailed early in the set, but a kill from Taya McReynolds tied the set 9-9. Yukon opened a 13-11 lead and two more kills from McReynolds opened a 17-13 lead.
Yukon had chances to put the match away, but had six serves into the net or out of bounds that let Choctaw stay close.
Two more kills from McReynolds opened a 23-21 lead and she gave the Millerettes the win with her 29th kill of the night.

Jasmine Liongco sets the ball against Choctaw. (Photo by Chuck Reherman)

The Millerettes came out fast and won the first set 25-16, but mistakes and unforced errors helped Choctaw take the second 25-18.
The third set saw both teams have a chance. The Millerettes trailed 23-21, but came back to tie 23-23. After serving into the net gave CHS the lead, McReynolds came up with a kill to make it 24-24.
A little controversy with Millerettes leading 26-25 led to a replay and Choctaw won the point to tie 26-26. McReynolds had a kill for a 28-27 lead and Choctaw hit the ball into the net to give the Millerettes the win.
“We knew we didn’t want it to go five sets,” Hilton said. “We knew once we were hitting like we knew we could, they couldn’t handle our hitting. In the loss set, we struggled on cover. They started blocking and we were placing our hits less smart and not being as strategic with our offense.
“When we were running our offense, we couldn’t be stopped,” she said. “We had lots of good hustle plays, but finishing on those hustle plays. We would have some long rallies, then make a silly mistake and lose the point. But, when we finished, we won those points.”

Libbie Hughs holds a ball that she recorded her 1,000 dig of her career recently. (Photo provided)

Carson Koudele had seven kills and Liongco had 10 aces. Payton Molhoan and Kiley Baker had four blocks.
On Tuesday night, the Millerettes lost to No. 11 Moore in four sets, 3-1. Yukon, after losing the first set 26-24, came back to win the second 25-21. Moore won the third 25-16, but the Millerettes had a chance to force a fifth set only to see the Lady Lions score two straight with the score tied 25-25 and take the match 27-25.
“It was a great match and it was a loss that was hard to be mad at because we did a lot of great things,” Hilton said. “We hung with them really well and Moore is a talented team.”
McReynolds led in kills with 15 and Elena Devarenne had eight. Gigi Devarenne had four aces.