By Daneta Turnbull
The Mustang Volleyball team hosted their last triangular of the regular season on Tuesday, October 23. Mitchell and Bridgeport made the trip to Gordon to compete in the triangular.
The Western Trails Conference crowns two Champions each season, a Tournament Champion and a Season Champion. Conference competition was pretty tight this year. There was not one truly dominant team in the conference. Kimball had beat Mitchell, Mitchell had beat Kimball, Bayard had beat Mitchell, Gordon-Rushville had beat Bayard, and so on and so forth! The tournament title had been set the previous weekend with Mitchell beating Kimball in the Championship game. The Mustangs took third at the tournament defeating Bridgeport.
The Season Championship could in part come down to this triangular. Kimball had one conference loss. Mitchell had one conference loss. Going into the triangular Gordon-Rushville had one conference loss. Bridgeport also had two losses in conference play going into the triangular, so all three teams knew what was on the line.
Action began at 4:00 with the hometown Lady Mustangs taking on Mitchell. The gals from G-R came out of the locker room fired up and ready to go. The moms from G-R added some motivation and excitement as they dressed up like pink cowgirls and road out into the gym on their stick horses!
In game one the Mustangs soon found themselves down by seven points after the first full rotation. The Mustangs went through the first rotation without scoring a point off of their serve. All 6 of their points were side-out points. Not a great stat according to Coach Campbell. “We have talked a lot this season about unforced errors and having to cut down on those. We need to work at getting the other team out of system and making them make the errors. We spent a lot of time out of system in this match.”
Mitchell went on to win game one 17-25. Game two saw much of the same type of difficulties for the Mustangs. The Mustangs lost game two 10-25.
“This was disappointing because these girls are better than this and for the seniors these two games are the last two volleyball games they will play on their home floor. We tried every approach to snap them out of it; have fun and relax, the what is going on approach, and then the enough is enough approach! Again, we just shot our own foot with the errors we were making.”
Stats vs. Mitchell:
Kills: Morgan Sones 1, Brittany Hoagland 2, Sara Marlatt 2. Assists: Morgan Sones 2, Denie Jacobson 3. Digs: Morgan Sones 1, Brandi Roth 1, Denie Jacbson 1, Cirsten Hinn 2, Sara Marlatt 2. Blocks: Dani Campbell 2.
Game two of the evening faced off the Mitchell Tigers and the Bridgeport Bulldogs. If Mitchell could win this game, they would get a share in the Conference Season Title with Kimball.
Bridgeport came out hot and defeated Mitchell 25-19 in set one. Mitchell wasn’t done. They fought back in set two and won 25-18. In the third and deciding set it was a see-saw battle back and forth, but Mitchell pulled away at the end to take the set and game 25-21.
The third game featured the Mustangs and the gals from Bridgeport. This was a better match for the Mustangs, but Bridgeport came out on top winning straight sets 25-18, 25-19.
“This game was better. We are still giving the other team too many free points off unforced errors. As I have said before, one minute our passing was on and then our setting would be off or our hitters would sail the ball out of bounds. One minute our passing would be off, but our setters would be stepping up or our hitters would be getting hits off of out of system sets. Things just never seemed to be on at the same time! We would start to get the momentum and then we would miss a serve. It’s frustrating as a coach to watch because these are good kids. Good hard working kids that want so badly to be successful and they try hard. We just keep reminding them of the skill sets needed, the importance of movement (which we have been drilling every day in practice) and to not get frustrated and put so much pressure on themselves. They really are just a great group of kids that are fun to work with win or lose,” commented Campbell.
On a side-note, the evening of the triangular was dubbed, “Diggin for a Cure Night” by the Volleyball Team. Fans from all three communities were asked to show up at the games in pink. The fans, as always, supported the event and came decked out in pink. The girls also held a bake sale and free will donation to be given to Kyla Vincent. Good Job Mustang players and coaches!!
The Mustangs only have post-season play left now. Their sub-district tournament is played in Alliance this year, starting last night. The Mustangs were seeded against the top seeded Chadron Cardinals. Results of how the Mustangs fared will come out in next weeks paper and can be found on the Journal’s website and Facebook page! Go Mustangs!!
Stats vs. Bridgeport:
Kills: Sones 4, Campbell 1, Roth 3, Hoagland 2, Marlatt 9. Assists: Sones 7, Jacobson 9, Marlatt 1, Hinn 1. Ace Serves: Roth 2, Jacobson 2. Digs: Mulcahy 2, Sones 5, Roth 5, Hoagland 3, Jacobson 4, Sahr 2, Marlatt 7, Hinn 4. Blocks: Roth 1, Marlatt 2, Campbell 1.