Lady Mustangs stay hot in district

Posted 10/22/19

The Madisonville volleyball team remained hot with a pair of victories over Mexia and Palestine to begin the second round of district play before Tuesday’s critical rematch against the Fairfield Eagles.

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Lady Mustangs stay hot in district

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The Madisonville volleyball team remained hot with a pair of victories over Mexia and Palestine to begin the second round of district play before Tuesday’s critical rematch against the Fairfield Eagles.

Fairfield, the only district opponent to defeat the Lady Mustangs, dropped their first contest to Rusk on Friday in five matches. Madisonville and Fairfield both entered Tuesday’s game with records of 5-1. The Eagles defeated the Lady Mustangs in three straight matches on Oct. 4 at MHS. Tuesday’s rematch took place in Fairfield.

“We are in a really good place right now,” said head coach Kristen Hooten on Monday. “You always worry about losing some intensity as the season winds down, but we are more excited than ever. Rusk upsetting Fairfield has opened the door for us to win a District Championship, which has been the goal all season.”

Madisonville managed no more than 16 points in any of the three matches against the Eagles in the home loss earlier this month. Since that meeting, they have only lost one match in all three of their district victories combined.

“A win against Fairfield would definitely give us extra confidence going into the postseason,” said Hooten. “We came out very flat against them in the first round and had a lot of unforced errors. I really feel that the girls are fired up and ready to play this time around. We have really been focusing on blocking, which hurt us against them.”

The Lady Mustangs are undefeated since that loss, which included a pair of victories over Mexia on Oct. 15 at MHS (25-23, 25-21, 20-25, 25-16) and at Palestine (25-19, 25-18, 25-17) on Friday.

“I think passing has been really consistent and that has allowed our offense to be more successful,” said Hooten. “Overall, winning has raised our confidence as well as our play.”

Madisonville got off to a hot start in both of the first two games against Mexia and were able to hold off late runs by the Black Cats. They took care of Mexia easily in the fourth match to pick up a victory in front of the home crowd on Little Diggers night.

“The crowd makes such a big difference in our play and momentum,” said Hooten. “When they are really excited and loud, it really does help us play at a higher level. I think we have definitely played better at home than in the beginning of the season.”

On Friday, Grace Williamson and Khyra Cooper led the Lady Mustangs in kills en route to a sweep over Palestine on the road. Williams was first with 13 and also led Madisonville in digs with 15. Cooper recorded 12 kills while Sidnie Smith had 13 digs. Reagan Olvera led the team in assists with 12.

After the rematch in Fairfield, the Lady Mustangs will return home for their final matchup of the season and Senior Night on Friday against Rusk. Cooper will be honored along with Monique Berry for their final home game at MHS.

“Senior night is always a tough and emotional night for the team,” said Hooten. “(Cooper) has been big for us on the offensive end and her athleticism will definitely be missed. I have seen her grow and mature a lot as a player in the past two years. (Berry) brings a lot of energy during the game that the team feeds off of. She has come so far since last year in all aspects of the game. They will both be missed.”

The Senior Night matchup against Rusk will take place on Friday at 4:30 p.m. at MHS. The Lady Mustangs will compete in a playoff warmup match at the conclusion of the regular season on either Oct. 31 or Nov. 1.

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