by Angie Daly
West Grand parent
After a much-needed Spring Break, the Lady Mustangs faced some tough competition to end the week. With just one full-team practice on Thursday night, the Lady Mustangs faced off against the 5th ranked Meeker Cowboys. This matchup came with a great deal of excitement for the Mustangs, but you could tell from the beginning the Mustangs came out looking pretty rusty. There weren’t really a lot of highlights from the first two sets with the Mustangs falling 11-25 and 13-25. Several unforced errors cost the Mustangs dearly. Late during the second set, Alex Schake finally got a block on the Cowboy’s number 13 Luce, and it gave the Mustangs some momentum going into the third set. The Lady Mustangs kept the third match close but were just overpowered by the Cowboys and lost the third set 21-25.
There was no rest for the weary as the Lady Mustangs boarded the bus headed to Paonia on Saturday morning at 7:45. This was an intense match right from the beginning, and the Paonia Eagles came out firing. The score was tight the entire way, and the crowd was entertained by some great rallies throughout. But serving and hitting errors hurt the Mustangs as they lost the first set 22-25. The second set found the Mustangs behind early, struggling to get a solid first pass and any hits at the net. They found themselves struggling to keep pace with the Eagles, but after this rough start, the Mustangs pulled close at the end. They just couldn’t overcome the steep hill they had to climb and lost 22-25 for the second straight set. The Lady Mustangs came out firing on all cylinders during the third set. Their serving was solid, their passing had greatly improved, and they were playing strong at the net. This combination got the Mustangs out to an early lead, and though Paonia fought back, the Mustangs held them off with a 25-23 win. The fourth set had the Mustangs jump out to an early lead again with some solid play at the net by Schake, Nelson, Lechman, and Probst and some great serving by Daly and Miller. The Mustangs managed to hold off another late set run by the Eagles to win the set 25-22. This momentum carried into the fifth set, and it seemed to the Mustang faithful that we were going to walk away with a win after an early lead by the Mustangs, but the Lady Mustangs fell apart at a critical point in the match. Again, unforced errors from our servers and poor defense, watching balls drop between girls, plagued us during this set. This team never gave up though and hung in there until the end, losing a tough set 12-15.
This is a young group of ladies, and while they will have some growing pains now, their hard work and commitment to the game will pay off in the end.
by Angie Daly