HARROD – Allen East got its Northwest Conference season off to a solid start after the Mustangs downed Delphos Jefferson in straight sets 25-19, 25-18 and 25-18 Thursday.
With the win, the Mustangs go 1-0 in conference action and 5-3 overall. Delphos Jefferson falls to 1-1 in the NWC and 4-5 on the season.
With excellent setting from sophomore Hannah Williams, the Mustang hitters delivered kill after kill to produce a consistent offensive approach with a team that boast a number of solid hitters.
Allen East senior Kristen Whitley led with the 13 kills on the night. Freshman Soraya Jackson and sophomore Kenzie Koontz were part of the Mustang attack with six kills each and senior Alivia Craig added five kills.
Mustang head coach Laura Basham said this was a good way to start play in the conference.
“The big thing we try to do is mix it up as much as we can with our hitters,” Basham said. “We have a lot of good hitters and as much as can we like to mix it up.”
Basham added that she liked the way the team has been coming together.
“This year we are just so solid working together and relying on each other and they don’t get down on mistakes,” Basham said.
A prime example of that came in the second set when the Mustangs fell behind 14-10. Despite being behind Allen East remained composed and then came back to knot the score at 14-14 and then outscored Jefferson 11-4 to snare the important second game.
The second game was showed Jefferson’s inconsistencies that was experienced throughout the contest.
“We are doing some good things on the court we just have to be more consistent,” Jefferson head coach Kristi Hageman said. “We are playing a little flat right now but we will get after it again and be more consistent.”
Hageman added that the team, who are coming off a NWC loss to Bluffton Monday, has lost a little of its enthusiasm that they displayed at the beginning of the season.
Since opening the season 4-0, Jefferson has dropped its last five.
Hageman said the Wildcats are hitting the ball better and made some big digs against the tough Mustang hitters.
Defensively, the Mustangs withstood the Jefferson duo of Delaney Deuel and Brooke Brinkman. Deuel finished the night with six kills. The tall Wildcat was also a force at the net defensively but could not stop all the Mustang spikes.
Mustang freshman Savana Brooks recorded eight digs.
“We definitely need to work on our blocking but the defense in the back held their own the whole time,” Basham said.
Hageman said the team is heading in the right direction but needs to stay focused.
“We are more worried about the end result and not playing point by point and looking too far ahead,” Hageman said. “We just slow down a little bit and have a little bit more confidence and have a little more enthusiasm
Reach Jose Nogueras at 567-242-0468.