Lady Mustangs take two straight

Posted 10/13/20

The Madisonville volleyball team improved to 4-2 in district play with back-to-back victories in straight sets over Connally on the road Oct. 6 and Mexia at MHS Friday. The Lady Mustangs entered Tuesday’s matchup in La Vega in third place in the district behind China Spring and Robinson.

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Lady Mustangs take two straight

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The Madisonville volleyball team improved to 4-2 in district play with back-to-back victories in straight sets over Connally on the road Oct. 6 and Mexia at MHS Friday. The Lady Mustangs entered Tuesday’s matchup in La Vega in third place in the district behind China Spring and Robinson.

Friday’s victory over Mexia marked the beginning of the district’s second round of play and the second time the Lady Mustangs defeated the Black Cats this season. Madisonville took the victory in straight sets Friday by scores of 25-15, 25-21 and 25-16.

“We went to five games against (Mexia) in the first round, so I was a little concerned about that,” said head coach Kristen Hooten. “It was also our first game without (Sidnie Smith), which I thought might have had something to do with it.”

Smith has since returned to the starting lineup and Madisonville showed a much stronger surge the second time around against Mexia.

“We focused all week on our hitting and offense, since that is what we had been struggling with,” said Hooten. “We hadn't been moving the ball around the different hitters very much, and I felt that Friday we really got back to doing that, which made us successful. Our passing was really on point, which definitely helps with our offense because our setters can put the ball where it needs to go.”

Grace Williamson recorded 18 kills in Madisonville’s win over Mexia Friday while Kourtney Fleck added eight. Fleck also hit four aces from the service line in the win. Raegan Olvera logged 21 assists and seven digs while Sidnie Smith and Williamson tallied 18 and 12 digs, respectively.

“We were successful, we did a lot of great things,” said Hooten. “Our unforced errors were really down, which had also been a problem. All around, leaving the game, we left with a lot of confidence. Winning it in three was important because we did take them to five last time, we wanted to come out and make a statement. It’ll be a tough week ahead, so we needed to have a good game Friday to prepare for that.”

Tuesday’s game in LaVega was also a rematch of a contest that took the Lady Mustangs five games to settle.

“We didn't have a great game against (LaVega) the first time,” said Hooten prior to their second matchup. “We struggled, it was also a game without (Smith), so we were playing a few people in different spots, but I don’t think we played one of our better games. If we can come out and play how we played (Friday against Mexia), I think we will be in good shape.”

Madisonville will then host Robinson at MHS Friday in a rematch of their Sept. 29 loss in straight sets, one of their two losses in district play. The Rockets defeated the Lady Mustangs by scores of 25-18, 25-20 and 25-16.

“We really didn't play well against (Robinson),” said Hooten. “We just never really got in a groove in that game. Offensively, we were really struggling and just couldn't get it together. They are a lot taller than us and we always struggle with that, but I just don’t think we ever came together as a team in that game. I think we will be better prepared for them (Friday).”

Robinson entered play Tuesday with a 5-1 district mark, their lone loss coming to undefeated China Spring.

“Seeing (LaVega and Robinson) once already is going to help,” said Hooten on the week’s matchups. “You watch people on film but don’t really ever get a good feel unless you play them or see them in person. We will definitely be more prepared on what we need to work on in order to be able to shut them down in areas they are strong in.”

The Lady Mustangs concluded the first round of district play Oct. 6 with a road victory over Connally in straight sets. The lopsided matchup included scores of 25-4, 25-16 and 25-9 in favor of Madisonville. Connally entered play Tuesday winless in district play.

“I thought we played our game to our level and did some good things there,” said Hooten on the matchup at Connally.

Grace Williamson led the Lady Mustangs with 13 kills in the win, but the team also saw four kills apiece from Haley Fleck and Grayson Bennett as well as three apiece from Briana Johnson and Riley Pittcock. Kourtney Fleck and Smith added five and four aces from the service line, respectively.

Olvera added 14 assists in the win and was a perfect 20-for-20 in serves.

After their matchup with Robinson, the Lady Mustangs will conclude district against top-ranked China Spring (Oct. 20) and last-place Connally (Oct. 23).

They entered play Tuesday in third place behind China Spring and Robinson and ahead of LaVega, Mexia and Connally.

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