HS VOLLEYBALL: MHS survives in five sets against Odessa High


MRT | 10/5/2022


The Midland High volleyball team had to feel fortunate to come away from its home court with a win against Odessa High on Tuesday night.

The Lady Bronchos put the Lady Bulldogs on their heels immediately with a strong start and they forced MHS to have to dig deep and battle in a decisive fifth set during the District 2-6A match played at the MHS gym.

Sophomore right side hitter Ava Wilson had a team-high 16 kills to propel the Lady Bulldogs to a 20-25, 25-19, 25-18, 27-29, 15-11 victory over OHS.

With MHS clinging to a 9-7 lead in the fifth set, Wilson tallied four of Midland High’s final six points via the kill.

The Lady Bulldogs (13-18, 2-2) survived after failing to close out the Lady Bronchos (15-11, 0-4) with two match points in the fourth set.

“I feel like honestly that it really helps motivate us to come back and fight for that fifth set no matter what,” Wilson said. “Sure, it’s hard to lose the match point. Even though we had two (match points) and we didn’t pull out the set, that’s OK. We still came back in the fifth and made up for it.”

Added MHS head coach Bethany Johnstone: “I’m happy that they were able enough to get it done in the little moments. But we’ve talked about it before, no team in the district is easy. Odessa High is always hungry. They have tons of talent, so we can’t let our guard down. And it goes back to the mentality thing. Our girls have so much talent but it’s just getting them to trust in their talent is a big one.”

OHS clearly outplayed MHS in the first set, as the Lady Bronchos put together consistent attacks behind their group of hitters that included Clarissa Rodriguez, Paige Byford and Aubrey Villa. At times, the Lady Bronchos would baffle the MHS defense by pinpointing their attacks to open spaces with softer shots.

The Lady Bulldogs bounced back in the second set by finishing strong with four straight points to end it.

The Lady Bronchos appeared to be gaining momentum in the third set when they notched eight straight points to take a 10-2 lead.

However, MHS responded with an 11-1 run to tie it on a kill from Wilson that just landed inside the back line.

The Lady Bulldogs completed the remarkable comeback to take the third set at 25-18 when Hannah Gideon dove for a dig, which was passed to Susana Salcedo, who set it to Grace Ware for the kill.

MHS looked like it might cruise to a four-set win, as it climbed to an 11-6 advantage in the fourth. But the Lady Bronchos kept fighting and they survived two match points as they were down 25-24 and 27-26.

The second time the Lady Bulldogs had a hitting error to tie it at 27.

Rodriguez and Ginnette Quinonez followed with kills for OHS to send it to a fifth set.

“I’ve been stressing that in practice, make them earn every point,” OHS head coach Cody Dominguez said. “Taking back those set points every single time just shows their heart was in the game.”

The Lady Bronchos appeared poise to make another comeback in the fifth as they overcame a 6-2 deficit to tie it at 6-all.

Liliana Garza extended MHS’ lead to 9-7 with a kill before Wilson took over with her late heroics.

“We’re telling each other that we need to find the momentum that we had in the game,” Wilson said. “We need to bring it back and that we can do it. We can always do it. We can always win. We can beat any team any given day. We just have to confidence in ourselves.”

Samantha Bustos led MHS with 24 digs and Mikayla Deller had a team-high 27 assists.

Rodriguez led OHS with 14 kills and 17 digs, while Zoelley Herrera posted 18 assists.

The Lady Bulldogs host San Angelo Central at 5 p.m. Friday.

Follow Christopher on Twitter: @chris_MRTsports

MIDLAND HIGH DEF. ODESSA HIGH 20-25, 25-19, 25-18, 27-29, 15-11

Midland High statistics

Kills – Ava Wilson 16, Grace Ware 12, Brooke Boehler 10, Emily Moon 7, Liliana Garza 5, Abby Mueller 4, Samantha Bustos 2, Susana Salcedo 1

Digs – Bustos 24, Hannah Gideon 13, Salcedo 12, Makenah Dutchover 11, Mikayla Deller 5, Boehler 2, Ware 2, Garza 2, Wilson 2, Mueller 2, Serena Leascher 1

Assists – Deller 27, Salcedo 23, Bustos 1, Gideon 1, Boehler 1, Dutchover 1, Garza 1

Blocks – Boehler 2.0, Ware 1.0, Wilson 0.5

Aces – Gideon 2, Bustos 1, Dutchover 1

Odessa High statistics

Kills – Clarissa Rodriguez 14, Paige Byford 8, Aubrey Villa 6, Marissa Rodriguez 5, Julia Jalomos 3, Clarissa Deleon 1
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