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Yukon volleyball faces tough challenge

Every year, Yukon’s volleyball team does the same thing. It schedules some of the toughest teams it could possibly face at the beginning and the end its season.
This year’s is no different.

Yukon libero Libbie Hughs prepares to serve the ball during Tuesday’s volleyball match with Mustang. The Millerettes lost the match in three sets. Photo / Terry Groover

After Thursday, when the Millerettes faced a double header against 5A’s No. 8 Piedmont and 6A No. 13 in a double header, Yukon is set to play Stillwater on the road and will host Edmond North, 6A’s No. 9 team to wrap up the regular season.
This comes after having met Nos. 2 and 3 earlier in the week.
The Millerettes lost to Norman North, Mustang, Piedmont and Union in the past week.
In the Piedmont match, the Millerettes lost in three sets, 25-19, 25-23, 25-17.
Against Union, the Millerettes took the Lady Trojans to four sets, winning the first 25-16, but falling 25-23, 25-22, 25-20 in the final three sets.
Against Mustang, on Tuesday, Yukon struggled, falling in straight sets to the third-ranked Lady Broncos 25-19, 25-23, 25-17.
“We played better in the second and third sets,” said coach Rachel Allred.
The coach pointed out that Yukon got off to a slow start in the first set, falling behind by as many as seven points, its rally came up short.
“The first one set the tone where we finally felt like we were clicking and getting things going, and that helped us in the second. It took us too long to get started,” she said.
Yukon led for a good part of the second and third sets before Mustang came from behind.
In the third set, Yukon was up 12-7 at one point.
But Mustang rallied to tie the game. Once they took the lead, the Lady Broncos never looked back.
Yukon was only able to score five more points.
Allred said she was disappointed in the results, but not in her team’s efforts.
“I thought we served really well; I thought our serve-receive was really good. … But the block wasn’t there,” she said.
That was an area Allred said the team would continue to work on as it enters the final week of the regular season.
“Going into these last toughest games, we’re facing the toughest hitters. Going into the playoffs, we’ve got to have that block perfected,” Allred said. “We all know we’ve got to work on it, they all see we’ve got to work on it.”
Allred said her team is striving to improve, and it shows.
“The desire to keep it off our side of the court is there, it’s just got to be fined-tuned to be smart with it and finish on the long rallies,” Allred said.
The Millerettes were coming off a tough three-set loss to Norman North, which was ranked No. 2, when the two teams played. The score was 16-25, 13-25, 12-25.
Meanwhile, Allred said the school district is still unsure if the team will travel to Stillwater for Tuesday’s match because it won’t impact rankings and there are concerns about COVID contact.
Regional seedings are expected to be released on Wednesday.

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