Rather than practice last Wednesday, the Mustang Broncos hit the film room for a “nice, long” study session said coach Blake Newman.
“Some things you just have to kind of see for yourself and then go to work on it,” he said.
The Broncos (8-11) took advantage of their built-in study break the very next day, cranking out a three-set win over Southmoore (6-10) while playing more up the “Bronco standard” according to Newman.
“We came out and played with a lot of energy,” he said. “The defense covered the floor a lot better. …One of the things we’ve been working on is positioning and responsibility on the floor. We highlighted those things in the film session and it’s what we’re focused on right now.”
Mustang reeled off a 25-16 win in the first set against the Sabercats and followed with a 25-22 second-set victory. The Broncos closed the match with a 25-13 win in the third.
Senior Mikayla Eagle led the attack with eight kills and just one error on 17 attempts. Junior London Cooper racked up five kills with zero errors on 18 attempts and junior Erin Mack finished with five kills on 19 attempts.
Senior Anissah Gaines led the team with 11 assists while junior Adisen Williamson finished with eight. Mack finished with a team-high 12 passes while senior Rylee Hart racked up 11.
The Broncos finished with 63 digs on the defensive end, including a team-high 18 from Eagle. Hart and Gaines each finished with 10 while sophomore Gracelyn Higgins finished with six. Senior Grace White and junior Tatum Spencer paced the team with five solo blocks apiece.
The victory marked the second in three matches for Mustang, including a win over Norman on Aug. 30 and a closely played, five-set loss to tenth-ranked Edmond Santa Fe last Tuesday.
EDMOND SANTA FE 3, MUSTANG 2
Mustang nearly scored an upset over No. 10 Edmond Santa Fe, falling 15-10 in a fifth-set tiebreaker at the Event Center.
The Broncos opened the match with a 25-18 win in the first set before falling 25-14 in the second. They grabbed the lead again with a 26-24 third set win but dropped the fourth 25-20 before the Wolves sealed their victory in the fifth.
Mack led the team offensively with 13 kills while Spencer and Cooper each finished with nine. Gaines and Williamson combined for 38 of the team’s 41 assists and Hart led the way with 28 total passes.
Hart paced the team defensively with 22 digs while Eagle finished with 13. Spencer led the team with eight solo blocks.
Following the loss to the Wolves, Newman and the Broncos have made a point to double down on consistency and continuing to improve in the second half of the season. The team has just six regular season matches remaining, including a brutal stretch this week against the No. 6 Timberwolves, No. 9 Edmond North, and No. 5 Deer Creek.
“One thing we’ve tried to get across lately is that we don’t have to make the unbelievable plays,” Newman said. “We just have to make the plays we’re capable of making and play a clean game. Eliminating silly mistakes and giving maximum effort will be huge.
“We have a stretch here against some good teams so we’re going to find out how we match up. I think we’re capable of beating them and competing with them for sure, it’s going to be about effort and heart to give us the best chance.”
Mustang’s junior varsity captured the championship in the 2022 Mustang tournament last weekend. (Photo provided)
Mustang’s freshman team captured the championship in the 2022 Mustang tournament last weekend. (Photo provided)
JV & FRESHMAN WIN MUSTANG TOURNAMENT
Mustang’s junior varsity and freshman teams each took home first place as hosts this weekend.
The Bronco JV, which hasn’t dropped a match all season, cranked out a perfect weekend while the freshman team battled back to upset the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds to capture the title.