By ANTHONY MELLENDORF
For The Mustang News
The Mustang Lady Broncos cruised through the Class 6A Regional Tournament Tuesday capturing victories over the Westmoore Lady Jaguars and the Moore Lady Lions.
In the early match, Mustang steamrolled Westmoore in straight sets, 25-14, 25-17, 25-22 to advance to the championship match.
The Lady Broncos got off to a rocky start in the championship match down 6 to 0.
Most coaches would have called a timeout in that situation, but when asked why no timeout was called, Mustang coach Steve Hajek laughed and said he has been doing that all year.
“We just needed to settle down and let the girls find themselves. We’ve come back from greater deficits than that.”
Mustang rallied in set one but ended up losing 25-22 behind 14 unforced errors.
That was the only set they dropped all day.
In second set, the Bronco netters bounced back behind stellar play from their senior hitters, AB Fehrie, Maddy Booth and Ruby Kelley, who combined for eight kills and two aces.
Mustang won 25-17.
Hajek said his team hit the ball well all day and found ways to control the net, which was the reason they were able to bounce back after dropping the first set.
Mustang took control of the match in set three, starting with a 4-0 run to lead 6-1 before Moore coach Rachel Travis had seen enough and called a timeout.
That didn’t slow the Lady Broncos, who won the set 25-18.
The beginning of set four was much more competitive. Both teams went back and forth until Mustang went on a small run and led 13-7.
Mustang then scored six out of the next eight points to lead 19-9, which prompted another Moore timeout.
Mustang won the set 25-15 to capture the regional title and secure their spot in the Class 6A State Tournament next week.
Hajek tipped his cap to Moore, saying that they gave his team a little more than they wanted but said hitting and, most importantly, defense is what stood out in the match.
Mustang improves to 30-6 on the season and advances to the state tournament for the second year in a row.
Last year, Mustang lost in the first round to Edmond Sante Fe.
Hajek said his team was under a lot of pressure last year, but this year he is going to make a few changes in his preparation.
“Last year was the first time we had been there in a very long time, and we had a lot of pressure, so this year we are just going to go and have fun.”
The Class 6A State Tournament bracket will be released later this week.
The tournament will begin Monday at Choctaw High School.