Lady Mustangs split district pair

Posted 10/8/19

The Madisonville Lady Mustangs volleyball team split a pair of home district contests with a thrilling victory over Palestine on Oct. 1 (23-25, 25-20, 25-21, 24-26 and 15-9) and a loss to Fairfield on Friday (16-25, 15-25 and 14-25).

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Lady Mustangs split district pair

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The Madisonville Lady Mustangs volleyball team split a pair of home district contests with a thrilling victory over Palestine on Oct. 1 (23-25, 25-20, 25-21, 24-26 and 15-9) and a loss to Fairfield on Friday (16-25, 15-25 and 14-25).

The split put their district record at 2-1 heading into Tuesday’s matchup at Rusk to finalize the first stint of league play. The win over Palestine already ensured that the Lady Mustangs would finish with more wins in district play than they did in 2018.

“We talked a lot about finishing last in district last year and how our goal was to turn that around and compete for the district title,” said head coach Kristen Hooten. “(The district opener against Mexia) was a huge win for us because they were the reigning district champions. I felt that win was a huge boost in our confidence and set us on the right track for district.”

The Mexia win set the stage for their league opener at MHS against Palestine. Madisonville did not disappoint the home crowd.

Grace Williamson led the charge for the Lady Mustangs with 29 kills while Khyra Cooper followed with 10. Sidnie Smith recorded 22 digs while Grayson Bennett added 15 and Williamson and Reagan Olvera trailed with 14 apiece. Olvera also added 22 assists, good for first on the team ahead of Bennett with 14.

The Lady Mustangs were able to set themselves apart from the Wildcats in the decisive game with a 6-0 start courtesy of Kia Moffett from the service line.

“(Palestine) was a huge win as well,” said Hooten. “I do not feel like we played our best game, but I was proud of the girls for fighting until the very end. The atmosphere was intense, energetic and definitely that of a playoff game. Winning big games in that kind of atmosphere will help us prepare for the playoffs.”

Madisonville dropped their first district contest on Saturday in a tough outing against Fairfield, who started district play with a 3-0 record. Williamson led the team in kills with 10 kills while Smith added 16 digs. Olvera’s 18 assists led the team again and was followed by Bennett’s 10.

“We just never got in a rhythm against Fairfield,” said Hooten. “We definitely did not play our game. They are a talented team, but I do not feel like we showed them what we are capable of. The positive thing is that we will have another opportunity to do that.”

Madisonville had a chance to end the first half of district play with just one loss when they battled Rusk on Tuesday. They will see all four of their opponents again to conclude the regular season following a scheduled bye on Friday.

“The second round will be intense because everyone is fighting for a spot and a championship,” said Hooten. “But to have some wins under our belt will definitely give us some confidence.”

After the bye, the Lady Mustangs will resume their district schedule with a home matchup against Mexia on Tuesday.

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