By Daneta Turnbull
The Gordon-Rushville Lady Mustangs have had a busy week. Thursday night had the Mustangs playing on their home court in a triangular with Alliance and Valentine. This is the first year for this triangular and spectators saw some heavy hitting, and fast action. All three games were won in 2 sets. The first game of the evening pitted the Valentine Badgers against the hometown Lady Mustangs. Set 1 went back and forth with several lead changes. Neither team ever really took control and ran. The Mustangs missed a couple of good opportunities to get the upper hand in this set and ended up coming up short by losing set 1, 22-25.
Set 2 was not one of the Mustangs better showings of the year. The Badgers took control of this set from the first serve and never looked back. The Mustangs just couldn’t get things going. Timing in all aspects of the game was off and the girls just couldn’t get things turned around. Mustangs lose set 2, 13-25.
In the last game of the evening the ladies met up with the Alliance Bulldogs. Alliance has some good hitters and they were on fire all evening. This game again found the Mustangs having a hard time getting on track. In both sets the Bulldogs took control and never let Gordon-Rushville get in any kind of rhythm. The Lady Mustangs lost both sets to a strong Alliance team by the scores of 14-25 and 16-25.
Alliance also defeated the Valentine Badgers in straight sets with scores of 25-18 and 25-22.
Coach Campbell commented on the evening, “We were just out of sync. Its kind of been our story this season, we are either in sync and working together and competing well or we are all out of sync and defeat ourselves. This is a great group of kids. They are staying positive and having fun so we will just keep working. Hopefully we can string a batch of games together here at the end of the season where we cut down our unforced errors and give ourselves a chance!”
On Friday the Mustangs traveled to the eastern part of the state to participate in a tournament at Utica on Saturday. This tournament features 8 teams that the Mustangs don’t see throughout the year and it is always some tough competition which is good for the ladies as they enter into the last two weeks of regular season, which includes the Western Trails Conference tournament.
Centennial’s Old School gym became a home away from home as the Mustangs had a good following from this end of the state as well as a good following from fans from the eastern part of the state that take the opportunity to catch the Mustangs in action! Its always fun to see everyone and this year was no different as many family members came out to support the girls as well as past Mustang players: Celsey Hinn, Dani (Hoagland) Thies, and current Husker player Alicia Ostrander.
In their first match on Saturday the ladies met up with Lincoln Lutheran, a team that is strong year in and year out. The ladies from Lincoln beat the Mustangs in two with scores of 25-23, 25-18. The next game featured the Mustangs against the hometown Centennial Broncos team. The first set saw the Mustangs having a hard time getting on track and missing opportunities to catch up and take control. They lost set 1 25-15.
The second set against Centennial was a great set. The Mustangs game began to click and they put up a great fight. As game score of 25 approached it was a neck and neck battle, but the Lady Mustangs came up on a heartbreaking short end of the stick as they lost that set 28-30.
In the Mustangs final game of the tournament they took the court against Tri-County. Set one was controlled by Tri-County but the Mustangs were not to be beaten in this game. In set 2 the Mustangs showed what they are made of and their never die attitude. Set 2 belonged to the Lady Mustangs and they then carried that momentum into set 3. In set 3 the Mustangs were firing on all cylinders, and never looked back. The Mustangs defeated Tri-County in 3 sets with scores of 20-25, 25-21, 25-15.
Coach Campbell was pleased with the play of her Mustang team, “We competed very well, minus one set against Centennial. The girls cut down on unforced errors, worked together, and stepped up their game to a faster tempo. Cirsten Hinn had a stand out day defensively. She was picking up balls left and right to give our offense a chance. Denie is a young setter and she made some big steps this weekend. Brittany Hoagland had a great day hitting. One of the girls went down in our second game against Tri-County and the other girls stepped it up and wanted to play hard for her and did so. We even had a freshman, Mariah Linders, step in without much notice and step up her game to carry her load in the varsity match! Everyone got in on the action and ended the day on a positive note! This was a great tournament for us. Hopefully we will take this level of play to finish out our next two weeks in Western Trails Conference Action.”
Tuesday night (last night) had the Mustangs at home in C, JV and Varsity action. That write up will appear in next week’s paper. Saturday will find the Mustangs in Hemingford competing in the Western Trails Conference Tournament. Tuesday, October 23, will be “Dig Deep For the Cure” night in support of those fighting cancer, having fought cancer or in memory of someone who fought the disease, as the Mustangs host Conference competition with Mitchell and Bridgeport. Please show your support by wearing pink to the games that night! Good Luck Lady Mustangs.