By BOB CRAMER
Mustang High volleyball coach Steve Hajek says his team has a short-term memory. The Lady Broncos don’t obsess over losses, which is a good thing, he explained.
Mustang didn’t remain preoccupied with a disappointing setback last week to No. 1-ranked Edmond North.
Instead, the No. 6 Lady Broncos defended their home floor Saturday in the Mustang Tournament, dispatching five opponents with the loss of only a single game at the Mustang High School Event Center.
The Lady Broncos (21-4 overall) set, blocked and spiked their way past No. 12-ranked Sand Springs 25-14, 25-15, 25-20 in the early-evening championship.
“We stood pretty solid those last three games,” Hajek said. “I’m very satisfied with the way we played. That’s one of our better matches start to finish.”
Initially, that might not have appeared evident in the second game with a close score. A third straight Lady Bronco server unproductively sent the volleyball into the net, and Hajek barked his disapproval from the sideline.
“We had more missed serves than I like,” Hajek said.
“We definitely adjusted through the game and were able to fix our mistakes,” said libero Maddy Hajek, the team’s senior leader and coach’s daughter.
Mustang outscored Sand Springs 12-4 the rest of the way to win 25-15 and take command of the match with Maddy Hajek and junior hitter Ruby Kelley playing key roles.
Both were named to the all-tournament team.
“When they want to play, they can play,” Mustang’s coach smiled, noting his team responded.
“They are very solid all the way round. They’re very well coached and it’s hard to find anyone to pick on,” said Sand Springs coach Derek Jackson, whose team fell to 16-10 overall. “They run a pretty upbeat system. Their sets are quicker. That makes it hard on our blockers.”
Maddy Hajek and sophomore setter Casady McKinney helped set up Kelley and the team’s other big hitters — senior Sage McCaskill and juniors Annabeth Fehrle and Madyln Booth — with excellent ball placement.
“They all hit well in the tournament,” coach Hajek said.
Important minutes also were provided by sophomore hitter Aven Korstjens.
It was the Lady Broncos’ third straight title in the now annual eight-team tournament.
“There’s a lot of motivation and pressure for us to do well in this tournament,” Maddy Hajek said.
Said Kelley, “We’ve worked so hard to get to where we are. We can go very far (in the postseason). We just need to work on the little things.”
Mustang began the tourney at 8 a.m. by beating Sand Springs 25-14, 23-25, 15-11. The second game was the only one they lost all day.
The Lady Broncos then posted successive wins over Enid 25-16, 25-7; No. 16 Choctaw 25-16, 25-17, and Oklahoma Christian School 25-20, 25-15 before the championship match.
On Sept. 19, the Lady Broncos lost at No. 1-ranked Edmond North 11-25, 27-25, 17-25, 23-25.
“The biggest thing I took from it was (Edmond North) came out and totally dominated us. Last year, I don’t know if we could’ve recovered from that,” coach Hajek said of his squad’s growth. “But this team just put it behind them. Short term memory is really good with this team.”
Volleyball extends winning streak to 6
By BOB CRAMER
Mustang High’s volleyball squad takes much pride in defending its home floor. It has lost just one match there this season.
Tuesday night, the Lady Broncos won a tight first game, then cruised in beating No. 10-ranked Stillwater 25-23, 25-15, 25-17 at the Mustang High School Event Center.
Mustang, which rose to No. 5 in this week’s state coaches’ rankings, triumphed in its sixth straight home-court match and is 8-1 there.
The Lady Broncos improved their overall record to 22-4, 8-2 in COAC play.
Mustang returns to action at 6 p.m. Thursday when it hosts No. 4-ranked Norman North (19-7).