Volleyball overcomes struggles for five-set win

Yukon’s Haley Kusik (3) and Katelynn Biswell (14) go up for a block during Tuesday’s match with the OKC Storm Yukon defeated the Storm in five sets. Photo / Terry Groover

By TERRY GROOVER
tgroover@theyukonreview.com

The Yukon Millers’ volleyball team appeared to have given up. They were down 6-0 in the fourth set of in a 1-2 match against the OKC Storm on Tuesday.
Coach Rachel Allred called a timeout so she could talk to her players.
That’s where the turnaround began. All of the sudden, the Millers were back in the game, inching their way back one shot at a time.
Yukon eventually won the match 25-21, 18-25, 20-25, 25-23, 15-12.
“The second and third sets were examples of what we don’t want to fall into. Those bad habits of getting frustrated and falling into a slump,” Allred said.
Yukon had controlled the first set from the first serve before claiming that four-point win.
But in the second and third sets, a missed block or a shot in the net seemed to take the wind out of Yukon’s young squad.
They fell behind by seven points in the second set and then dropped another tough set in the third by five points.
During the break, Allred urged her players to not give up and to continue to fight.
Initially, it looked like they didn’t have it in them, falling behind 6-0 to start the fourth set. Then a shot that fell just behind the front line seem to give Yukon a boost.
From there, they worked their way back into the game and eventually took the lead.
An ace into the right corner sealed the fourth set for the Millers.
In the fifth game, Yukon never trailed. The win came on an ace from Addison Wimmer down the center of the court.
“I told them that the reason we have the 2s and 3s is so we can have the 4s and 5s,” Allred said. “That’s what we are going to take from tonight is that we can come back from being down and you can fix the little things. You can come out with more passion and finish strong.”
Allred said she is proud of her team.
“It’s hard to come back from being down two games,” she said.
Yukon was playing without two of its normal starters, both of whom were injured.
Bailey Theil and Rachel Kittell both missed the game.
Theil is expected back next week, but Kittell will be out for a couple of weeks with a back strain, Allred said.
“It has taken some getting used to, finding that trust that is usually with the starters, but they are adjusting well,” Allred said.
The coach said OKC Storm always provides good competition for her team and this was no exception.
“Every game, we want it to make us better for the next so we are getting better and peaking at that playoff point in October. Every game has been a learning experience,” she said.
Yukon played Piedmont on Thursday and was to be back on the court hosting Norman on Tuesday. Varsity plays at 6 p.m.

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