The Millsap Lady Bulldogs got off to a hot start in 2019, routing the Mineral Wells Lady Rams, 3-0, on the road Tuesday afternoon in the former’s first regular season game of the year.

Millsap Head Volleyball Coach Courtney Hammett said it was great to see her team come together for a solid season-opening win, adding that the Lady Bulldogs’ older players displayed great leadership on the court.

“It feels amazing,” Hammett said.

“The girls were pretty confident about the game, but I could tell some of the newer girls were a little nervous. But the older girls took the reins and took the younger girls under their wing and pretty much told them, ‘Hey, you’re on this team for a reason. So just try hard and don’t worry about anything else.’ And that’s what they did. 

“So seeing all of them mesh together in the first game was amazing.” 

The two teams came out evenly matched, with Mineral Wells and Millsap tying the first set up at five early.

From there, the Lady Bulldogs slowly began to pull away, 10-9, before scoring five straight for a 15-9 advantage.

Millsap outscored Mineral Wells, 10-5 in the first set’s final minutes for a 25-14 win.

The maroon and white’s momentum carried over into the second set, with the Lady Bulldogs taking a 5-1 lead.

Mineral Wells appeared to settle in at that point, closely trailing its opponent by only one or two points (10-9 Millsap and 15-13 Millsap) for much of the set.

Once again though, the Lady Bulldogs did well closing the door on any potential comeback bid by the Lady Rams with a 25-17 set win.

Tuesday’s third and final set proved the outlier, with Mineral Wells jumping out to a 5-2 lead.

The Lady Rams’ late surge did not last however, as the Lady Bulldogs recovered, taking a 10-8 lead before sealing the match win with a 25-17 victory in set three.

Hammett said she took away several positives from Tuesday’s match, number one being the Lady Bulldogs’ energy.

“One thing we did well was definitely [the] energy we had,” Hammett said.

“Even after an error, the girls did a really good job of keeping the energy up, which in the past we’ve struggled with a lot. And we’re a very mental team, so when our energy is up, our performance is up.”

While the match also highlighted some areas for improvement, Millsap’s head volleyball coach stressed that her players did well executing what they have worked on in practice.

“One of the things we need to work on is our timing,” Hammett said.

“We have a new setter. That and serving errors, that’s been our weakest spot. 

“But, they did what I asked them to do. I was really proud of them.” 

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