After trailing by eight points midway through the third set, it looked like the Yukon Millerettes’ volleyball team might have to play a fourth set Thursday.
Down 17-9, coach Rachel Allred called a timeout and told her team they needed to be more aggressive.
And aggressive they became.
Slowly, but surely, the Millerettes (4-7) dug themselves out of the hole and tied the game at 18, and then took the lead 19-18.
From there, they didn’t look back, going on to win the set 25-22 on Senior Night for nine student-athletes.
“Amazing comeback. I am so proud. So good for a Senior Night,” Allred said.
Yukon had already toppled the Choctaw Yellowjackets in the first two sets, 25-22, 25-16, before the third set comeback.
It is the second consecutive at-home win for the Millerettes this week.
They were scheduled to travel to Norman on Friday in a makeup match that was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic after one of Allred’s players was exposed to the virus.
Thursday, they showed no sign of rust, easily handling Choctaw in the first two sets.
They never trailed until the third set, when Choctaw came out and controlled early movement of the ball.
Yukon fell behind by as many as eight points but often was down by four or five points, before starting the rally.
“I know this senior group, and they really, really wanted it,” the coach said.
She was playing a different lineup than normal, allowing all of her seniors to be on the court.
“I had a different lineup out there with our seniors all playing tonight, and that sometimes can shake their confidence. It’s not the way the usual things are out there, but this senior group is on fire and they want to win,” she said.
After falling behind, Allred called a timeout and encouraged her players to challenge themselves.
“Our biggest struggle has been when we lose energy and get into those little slumps. The mindset has been that we have to get the energy up so we can play better. I think they are understanding that you have to play better and that gets the energy up,” Allred said.
She said that means fixing the little mistakes and operating on Yukon’s offensive scheme instead of reacting to the opponent.
“That’s what brings the joy and the hype back up, you can’t just hype it up. One comes before the other,” she said.
“We started playing better and we got the energy back.”
That energy helped with making sure the ball got to the right person at the right time and getting good blocks.
The coach said one concern was letting a set get away from them, thinking there was another opportunity.
That was not the case Thursday.
“You never know when things are going to get cut short,” Allred said. “We can’t always think we’ll get it next time, we’ll get it next point, we’ll get it next set.”
Allred said the team played as she expected them to.
“These seniors know how blessed they are to have a season. This is a phenomenal group of nine girls,” she said.
The Millerettes were led by Addison Wimmer, who finished with four aces and 13 kills.
Rachel Kittell also finished with 11 kills.
Katie Clark, Katelyn Biswell, Wimmer, Anna Pogue and Kittell also had good night with blocks, while Brooklyn Bennett led the way with 13 digs.
Yukon will be busy over the next week.
They were to play Norman on Friday, then face Edmond Santa Fe on Monday, Putnam City on Tuesday and Norman North on Thursday. Each of those games is at home.