By BOB CRAMER
The past week has kept getting better for Mustang High volleyball coach Steve Hayek.
Hayek’s never-say-die Lady Broncos started slowly Tuesday against Edmond Memorial at the Mustang High School Event Center but finished with a flourish in a 23-25, 17-25, 25-20, 25-17, 15-8 victory that lasted about three hours.
“This has been the greatest week of my coaching career at Mustang,” a hoarse, emotional Hayek said. “We knock off Deer Creek and now Edmond Memorial. I’m so proud of these girls. They don’t know the word quit or can’t.”
Mustang, now 5-2 overall and 2-0 in COAC, defeated Deer Creek last weekend during a second-place finish in the Norman Tournament.
Hayek’s teams had never beaten Deer Creek or Edmond Memorial in his four years at Mustang.
The Lady Broncos made it harder on themselves than need be against Memorial (2-1 in conference). Mustang trailed most of the way in the first game before nabbing a 23-22 lead. However, Edmond scored the last three points to win.
“The first game, we just couldn’t finish it,” Hajek said. The narrow loss seemed to sap his team’s energy in the second game.
“I told our players going into the third game we were playing like zombies,” he said. “That it was do or die time.”
Energized by junior hitters Maddy Booth and Ruby Kelley and senior libero Maddy Hayek, Mustang took command early in the third game, and the Broncos never trailed. A Booth kill sealed the deal.
Booth’s serving, Hayek’s setting and Kelley’s hitting and blocks helped Mustang gain the momentum for good in the fourth game. The Lady Broncos dominated the final game.
“We went through three, four rotations before we found the right combination” of players, coach Hayek said. “By the fifth game, we were at full steam.”
Coach Hayek said his team is getting better in clutch situations.
“One of our big problems is we’re not used to playing on the tight points,” coach Hajek said, “but we’re starting to adjust well to the high-pressure games.
“The girls played well. The Maddys (Booth and Hayek) and Ruby (Kelley) stepped up.”
Coach Hajek was pleased with the Lady Broncos’ play over the weekend in the Norman Tournament.
Mustang finished second In pool play Friday by winning two of three matches. The Lady Broncos fell to Broken Arrow 23-25, 13-25 but defeated Moore 25-20, 25-22 and Norman 25-14, 25-18.
Mustang advanced to gold bracket play Saturday, rallying for a 26-28, 25-16, 15-25, 25-21, 15-11 victory over Deer Creek.
“We were ecstatic about what we accomplished last weekend,” coach Hajek said.
Mustang ran afoul of Broken Arrow again, losing 16-25, 21-25, 19-25 to place second in the meet.
“No matter the situation, the girls fought all weekend,” coach Hajek said. “No matter the score, they never have up.”
Hajek said he was pleased with the leadership and versatility the Lady Broncos displayed.
“A couple of the players stepped up and fulfilled leadership roles,” coach Hajek said of hitter Booth and libero Hajek, his daughter, who was named to the all-tournament team.