Mustang volleyball team off to hot start
First-year head coach Caitlyn Bernhardt couldn’t have asked for a better start to her coaching career than the one she got last weekend at the Bishop McGuinness tournament.
The Lady Broncos volleyball team played five matches in the two-day event, winning four out of the five and making it to the tournament championship game, where they would eventually fall to host team Bishop McGuinness.
“I’m honestly kind of shocked with how well we played,” Bernhardt said. “I knew we had the ability and the talent to play well, but we lost a lot of players from last year’s group, so I didn’t expect these young girls to come in and play the way they played in their first varsity experience. It was really great to see.”
Mustang opened up the tournament against Putnam City North. MHS made quick and easy work of the Lady Panthers with a three games to none sweep to open their regular season.
In their second contest of the event, the Bronco girls took on Choctaw, a team that has given them fits over the past several years. Mustang won a thrilling match against the Yellowjackets, three games to two.
MHS took the first two games of the match, but Choctaw responded by taking the next two games, forcing a fifth and deciding game. The Lady Broncos were able to hold off the Yellowjackets and get their second win of the season.
The Broncos then took on Putnam City and handled the Lady Pirates with relative ease, winning that match three games to one.
In the semifinal match-up, Mustang took on Midwest City. MHS would prevail in the contest, but they would need another five games to do it. Unlike the Choctaw match, the Lady Broncos and Lady Bombers traded games with Mustang winning games one, three and five, while MWC won games two and four.
In the championship match, the Bronco girls took on the host of the tournament, Bishop McGuinness, one of the top volleyball programs in all of Class 5A.
The Fighting Irish took care of business against Mustang, ending the winning streak and handing the Lady Broncos their first loss of the 2014 season.
“I was really impressed with our offense,” Bernhardt said. “I thought we moved the ball around really well and our play around the net was really good. We lost a lot of height from last year’s group, so for our younger girls around the net to play the way they did was a great sign for the future.”
The Lady Broncos opened dual play this week as they played host to Putnam City North on Tuesday evening. MHS hosts defending Class 6A state champion Edmond Santa Fe at 6 p.m. tonight at the Wellness Center at Mustang High School.
The Broncos travel to Westmoore Friday and Saturday for a two-day tournament this weekend.
“Even though we played well and got off to a good start, we still have a lot of room to improve,” Bernhardt said. “Obviously, it was a great way to start for us, but it’s a long season. We have to keep working hard and getting better.”
Kyle Salomon is the sports editor at the Mustang News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.