Mustangs take district opener

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The Madisonville volleyball team split a pair of road games over the week with a loss in Navasota and a win in their first conference match against Athens.

Despite losing in four sets in Navasota, the Mustangs were extremely competitive in the opening games before they faded down the stretch. They took the first game in nail-biting fashion with a 26-24 victory, but the fortunes were reversed when they dropped the second set by the same score.

Navasota pulled away after two competitive sets and won sets three and four 25-19 and 25-10. Freshman Raegan Olivera led the way for the Mustangs with 14 assists in the game while freshman Grace Williamson logged 6 kills and 4 aces. Sophomore Khyra Cooper also tallied 6 kills to go along with 2 blocks.

“It did sting to lose this game after how we played to start,” said Madisonville head coach Raegan Shelton. “I think we’re getting a little closer to where we need to be with each passing game.”

The Mustangs came ready to play in Friday night’s district opener in Athens. After dropping the first set 25-21, Madisonville rattled off three straight wins and left victorious. The win was never really within question, either. The Mustangs won the second set 25-8 and 25-14 in each of the final two.

“Things can get pretty complicated when you get going with a lot of losses, so this was pretty big for us,” said Shelton. “A win like this can really boost your confidence and we need to stay focused on getting better moving forward.”

Junior Averie Sims recorded 7 aces in the win and junior Emilie Blakley contributed 4 of her own. Williamson logged 10 kills to go along with 8 from junior Jaycee Thomas.

“We have really improved our hitting percentages as a team,” said Shelton. “It’s important that we keep that up and limit those errors.”

The Mustangs continued district play with a matchup in Fairfield last night. They will be back at it in Mexia on Friday, where the Varsity team will start at 4:30 p.m. They will return to Madisonville n Oct. 10.

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