The Mustang Broncos were ready to seize an early-season opportunity on Tuesday night.
The 2022 state semifinalist Norman North Timberwolves would be the team’s toughest test so far this season, yet London Cooper and her teammates weren’t phased.
“We were hungry to beat them,” the senior hitter said. “And we didn’t want to lose that winning streak.”
The Broncos cashed in on their chance, knocking off the Timberwolves in four sets for their eighth straight win and second straight at the Event Center. It was also their third victory against a returning state tournament qualifier (5A Piedmont, Broken Arrow, Norman North).
“We found this energy that kind of came out of nowhere and it helped us tremendously to turn things around in the second set,” said Cooper, who finished with a team-high 18 service points as well as nine kills and 24 digs.
“I think we were a little nervous to start, but we were able to get over that and pull it out.”
After dropping the first set 25-23, the Broncos stormed back with an 11-point win in the second and a nine-point win in the third. North tried to rally in the fourth, but Mustang (8-0) escaped with a two-point win to close the match.
Cooper, who also paced the team with seven aces, said the team’s service game not only played a major factor in the win, but it has also been an asset all season.
“I think we only missed 10 serves the entire match,” she said. “That’s pretty good but could still be better. That has probably been our biggest strength this year. Our service game has outweighed every other team’s.”
Emrie Brown (Jr.) helped scored 10 points with her serve, including two aces. Adisen Williamson (Sr.) also produced 10 points while Raegan Bullard (Sr.) turned out nine.
The Broncos were also strong with the spike.
Erin Mack (Sr.), coming off a tournament MVP run at Sand Springs last weekend, racked up a team-high 15 kills. Brown added eight while Hadley Hunter (Jr.) finished with six. Tatum Spencer (Sr.) and Williamson each tallied three.
Williamson and Bullard did a fine job in the set-up role, combining for 44 assists. Williamson led the way with 25 while Bullard tacked on 19.
Defensively, five players recorded double-digit digs. Gracelyn Higgins (Jr.) paced the team with 29, followed by Cooper’s 24. Raegan Glenn (So.) finished with 14, Williamson with 13, and Bullard with 12.
Cooper said she knew the team’s chemistry would be just fine during offseason workouts and a strong bond with teammates, communication, and accountability has helped the team grow.
She also mentioned it’s no surprise to her the Broncos are making noise.
“We’re definitely more on the radar,” she said. “We really want to make it to state, and I think we’re fully capable of doing so if we stay focused. We can’t let any team pass us up and we have to stay ready every game and then you never know what can happen.”
Mustang’s schedule doesn’t get any lighter as the team’s next match features the returning state champion Edmond Memorial Bulldogs. The two teams square off at the Event Center on Tuesday at 6 p.m.