Lady Mustangs open regular season

Posted 8/18/20

The Madisonville Lady Mustangs volleyball team began their new-look regular season slate with a pair of home victories over Snook and Centerville at MHS last week and losses to Iola and Caldwell during a dual matchup Saturday in Caldwell.

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Lady Mustangs open regular season

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The Madisonville Lady Mustangs volleyball team began their new-look regular season slate with a pair of home victories over Snook and Centerville at MHS last week and losses to Iola and Caldwell during a dual matchup Saturday in Caldwell.

The team opened the pre-district season with a win over Snook at MHS Aug. 11 in four games by scores of 26-24, 25-21, 20-25 and 25-23. The Lady Mustangs took advantage of four straight unanswered points at the conclusion of the first match to steal the two-point victory.

“I thought we came out a little bit flat (against Snook),” said head coach Kristen Hooten. “I wasn't really expecting that, being that is was the first game of the season. I thought we would be a little more excited and fired up.”

Madisonville was able to come away with another win over Snook in the second match despite missing four serves in the early portion of the contest. The tide turned when Grace Williamson secured possession by landing a floater. She then rattled off five straight points from the service line to give the Lady Mustangs the lead for the remainder of the match.

“(Snook) was a very scrappy team and hustled a lot,” said Hooten. “It was not our best game, but we did win the match, so I was happy that we started the season with a win. I feel like that is very important to do for your confidence.”

The Lady Mustangs built a commanding lead early in the third game with the help of five straight points from the service line courtesy of Kourtney Fleck and appeared to be on their way to a sweep to open the season. Despite a pair of Williamson kills down the stretch, Snook scratched and clawed their way back for a five-point victory to force game four.

The Lady Mustangs held on during a back-and-forth game four to secure the opening day victory.

The team returned to the court at MHS Friday to host Centerville. Despite another slow start, the Lady Mustangs rebounded from a loss to open the night to win in four games once again. The scores of the games were 23-25, 25-15, 25-14 and 25-18.

“We started out a little slow again, but we really came together and had a lot more fire (in the next three games),” said Hooten. “I thought we looked a lot better.”

Tournaments will no longer be a part of the pre-district slate because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but teams are permitted to participate in Saturday dual matches. The Lady Mustangs traveled to Caldwell Saturday for their first dual slate against top programs Caldwell and Iola.

“We played two really tough teams,” said Hooten. “(Iola) is just fundamentally solid and they have some big girls who can really hit. (Caldwell) also had a few girls over six-foot, and we are not very tall at all, so we struggled a bit with their height as well as blocking. We have really been focusing on (blocking) this year. I thought it was better Saturday than it has been, but it is hard when you are playing teams that much bigger than you.”

The Lady Mustangs lost to both Iola and Caldwell in three games. The scores in the loss to Iola were 14-25, 18-25 and 18-25 while they fell to Caldwell 22-25, 14-25 and 13-25. Hooten was pleased to see her players get reps against top competition, especially without the luxury of tournaments.

“Losing tournaments is so huge because you get so many games in a two or three day period, you just get so many more reps,” said Hooten. “Losing that hurts, but adding the dual matchups help. Those were good, solid matchups for us. When we get into district we are going to play solid competition and people that are bigger than us.”

The Lady Mustangs hosted North Zulch at MHS Tuesday and will travel to Franklin for a 6 p.m. matchup Friday. They are scheduled to face Somerville and Cameron-Yoe at MHS Saturday.

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