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The Melrose-Mindoro volleyball team may have lost to Cochrane-Fountain City last week, but the Lady Mustangs made some nice plays, head coach Jamie Koss said.

“The girls played well. We just need to keep the momentum and capitalize on the opponent’s mistakes,” Koss said. “C-FC is always a tough conference team.

“The girls had some really nice plays and digs.”

Mel-Min lost in three sets to the Pirates, falling by a 25-3 margin in the first set. The team fared better in the second and third sets but came up short by scores of 25-15 and 25-10.

Koss said the Dairyland Conference match against C-FC Sept. 10 was the first time the entire varsity squad played together this season.

The contest helped the Lady Mustangs identify some areas they need to improve on, including defense and ball movement.

“We need to work on our defensive movement and keep that going,” Koss said. “We are still working on connecting our setters and hitters to get that ball to where it needs to be to be put down on the court.”

Mel-Min was led by Abby Aasen, who had four kills. Trissa Patterson, Megan Murray and Miranda Jones each added two.

“Overall I’m pleased with how the girls played and every day we keep improving,” Koss said.

C-FC was led by Breah Drazkowski, who had 11 kills. Nicole Hunger and Chelsea Clark each had 10, and Abbey Killian led the team in aces with 27.

The Lady Mustangs also hosted the Dairyland Conference Invitational Saturday, where Eau Claire Immanuel took the championship and Gilmanton was second.

Mel-Min, who took sixth overall on the day, opened up pool play by splitting sets with Eleva-Strum, losing the first 25-18 and winning the second 25-21.

The Lady Mustangs then faced Alma, where they also split their sets. Alma won the first 25-19 and Mel-Min got a 26-24 win in the second.

In the championship round, the Lady Mustangs fell to Whitehall 25-12, 25-18 and also lost to Blair-Taylor 25-20, 27-25.

Aasen was one of 14 players named to the event’s all-tournament team.

“The girls played well together and pulled out some important wins,” Koss said. “We are catching our groove and figuring out how to play with each other.

“They are continuing to improve each day that we play — practicing hard and putting it together on the court is showing.”

Overall stats weren’t available, but Koss also noted Mel-Min is playing more aggressively and momentum is building, she said.

“The girls are continuing to learn from their mistakes and capitalize on our opponents’ mistakes,” Koss said. “We need to keep that momentum and intensity on our side of the court, and they proved that we can do that.”

Lincoln also had two players named to the invite’s all-tournament team in Bailey Larson and Rachel Roever.

The Lady Hornets lost both of their sets to Immanuel in pool play (25-13, 25-8). They went on to split with Independence (16-25, 25-21) and lose both sets to Alma (25-20, 25-21) in the championship round.

Mel-Min was scheduled to  host Eleva-Strum Tuesday. Lincoln was slated to travel to Alma Tuesday.

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