Miller netters are gaining valuable game experience

The Yukon Millers volleyball team took one of the top teams in the state to brink last week, and then went 2-3 in a weekend tournament in Norman.
The Millers (2-5) lost to Edmond Memorial (6-1) 1-3, but took the premier team to four sets.
Yukon won the first set 25-22, but lost the next three sets 22-25, 15-25, 15-25.
Despite the loss, coach Rachel Allred said she saw plenty to be pleased with from her squad.
“In our first two sets, we showed our true potential,” said Allred.
The third and fourth sets saw issues with hitting and blocking that the team wasn’t able to overcome.
“The girls all see how good we can be, and how well we compete. That was needed encouragement,” she said.
Allred pointed to several players who had good games.
“Libbie Hughs did well as libero, Taya McReynolds stepped up and played a big role on the right side, and Katie Clark, Katelyn Biswell, Addison Wimmer, Kaylee Coleman and Rachel Kittell all had great kills and blocks in those beginning sets,” the coach said.
Communication is an area that still needs work, Allred said.
“We have the trust and confidence needed to put serious pressure on the ball. Pressure that most teams will be hard-pressed to handle. We just have to work on finishing, never relaxing or getting complacent once up, and keeping steady, continuous communication,” Allred said.
Despite the loss, she said the varsity squad had a good match.
“It gave us some confidence and allowed to see what we were capable of,” Allred said.
Meanwhile, the Millers played in a tournament at Norman on Friday and Saturday.
Allred called it a tough tournament with some of the top volleyball teams in the state involved.
“The tournament was a great challenge for us, tough competition and long days. We tried several new rotation and options,” she said.
The Millers also were missing a starting right-side hitter, which allowed Allred to move Reynolds and Avery Dean into the role.
She said both players stepped up their game, as did Rachel Kittell, who moved over to help on that side of the court.
The Millers got wins against Norman and Ponca City, but fell to Broken Arrow, Mustang and Deer Creek.
Against Broken Arrow, Yukon fell 1-3 (12-25, 25-27, 20-25, 20-25)
“We knew Broken Arrow, in our final game, had a strong outside hitter, which they really rely on, and Taya and Rachel were able to assist our middles on really keeping her under control and helped our defense control her,” Allred said.
However, the team needs to continue working on consistency and eliminating mistakes.
“Overall, (it) was an opportunity once again to see early in the season how good we can be and how well we can compete,” she said.
Yukon opened the tournament against Norman with a 2-1 win (20-25, 25-23, 25-17).
They lost to Mustang 0-2 (22-25, 17-25).
Against Deer Creek, the squad also fell 0-2 (15-25, 22-23).
The Millers got back in the win column against Ponca City, winning 3-0 (25-16, 25-16, 25-18).
Addison Wimmer, who finished the tournament with 40 kills and was among the team leaders in aces, was named to the all-tournament team.
Also leading the team in aces was Katelyn Biswell.
Brooklyn Bennet led the team in serve receive ratings, while Wimmer had 40 kills, followed by Clark with 27, Kittell with 14 and McReynolds had 11 kills.
Clark also led the way with 15 blocks.
Kashlie Vo and Jenna Kenley led in assists, while Libbie Hughs had the most digs.
Yukon also played Deer Creek (6-1) Tuesday in a conference match, falling 2-3 (17-25, 25-15, 22-25, 25-20, 15-8).
Yukon was scheduled to play Norman on Thursday. Results of the match were not available at presstime.

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