By Chuck Reherman
EDMOND – A tough way to end the season.
Yukon just two weeks after sweeping Mustang, saw their season come to an end at the hands of their rivals to the south.
The Lady Broncos took a 2-1 set lead, then held on to beat the Millerettes in five sets in the Region III volleyball tournament at Edmond Memorial.
Mustang’s season came to an end a match later after Memorial swept the Lady Broncos in three sets.
The Millerettes played from behind in nearly every match and needed comebacks in the first and fourth sets to earn the wins. YHS had a chance to win the third set, but gave up a kill and a block.
Yukon won the first set 25-21, lost the second 25-20, the third 26-24, then came back to win the fourth 25-22 before falling 15-13 in the fifth set.
YHS finished the season with a 15-17 overall record.
“It wasn’t the way we wanted it to go,” Millerette head coach Rachel Hilton said. “I don’t think we ever got into our system and that is expected with the pressure of a single elimination tournament. We knew they would be a little different with their other setter back.
“I think in the first set we saw our best blocking-wise, serve receive and putting pressure on the ball,” she said. “From then on a little more in the fourth set we saw some more, but we really struggled in the second and third sets.
“It was a game of unforced errors for us. Our errors came from trying to put pressure on the ball. They weren’t easy mistakes, but they were still not executed the way we wanted it to. We had serve mistakes at key times that kept us from keeping rallies going.”
With the match tied at 2-2 and going into a fifth and deciding set, the Millerettes had errors that led the Mustang opening a 9-4 lead. A Taya McReynolds kill and a hit into the net cut the lead to 9-6 and kills from Vanessa Stanley and Kiley Baker brought the Millerettes with two, 12-10.
Down 14-10, the Millerettes tried to rally and cut the lead to 14-13 on a kill by Baker, a double hit and a block out of bounds. But, the Millerettes on the next serve, hit a tying kill shot out of bounds to give MHS the win.
“We had too many mistakes at key times that kept momentum from being on our side,” Hilton said. “The pressure is hard to overcome mentally and it is hard not to come in a little more comfortable because you beat them before. I think we had that going against us.
“We tried to prepare for that, but we seemed way more laid back going into the second set than we should have been and I think that caught up with us,” she said. “The girls fought and it is one of those emotional matches. We had some long rallies and long five sets and it just get to you with the pressure and the nerves. I’m still proud of them. I know we are the better team, I know we could have had it, and I hate it for the seniors because we wanted to give them that. But, it is also some things to work on moving forward.
“The underclassmen got a taste of what’s possible. It was so many of them’s first time of being in that position, only four of them have in a regional situation before, we he had 11 girls that have never been in those shoes before. It is a whole different kind of mentality.”
The Millerettes had rallied to win the first set 25-21. The team trailed through most of the set, rallied to tie 18-18 and took a lead at 19-18. A McReynolds kill gave YHS a 25-21 win.
Mustang took the second set, jumping out to a 14-5 lead. Yukon kept rallying back, tying the set 19-19. But a serve into the net gave Mustang a 20-19 lead and two more YHS mistakes led to a 25-20 MHS win.
Down two sets to one, the Millerettes rallied to take a 25-22 win. The set went back and forth until two kills from McReynolds and one from Elena Devarenne opened a 22-20 lead. An MHS mis-hit gave YHS a 25-22 win.
McReynolds led the team with 24 kills and Baker added 12.