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The Melrose-Mindoro volleyball team started out the day slow at the Adams-Friendship Invite, but the Lady Mustangs put together a good match at the end to take their first win in tourney action this season.

Mel-Min lost its first three matches but went on to capture a win over Rio and take seventh of eight teams at the invite, which was played during intense heat Saturday.

“I am very happy with the way we pulled together and won the fourth match for the day,” said Lady Mustang head coach Jamie Koss. “We were ready to pull out the first win in tournament play on the season.

“The girls came ready and played with determination and dug deep.”

Mel-Min took a loss to Markesan in its first match of the day, where the Lady Mustangs fell 25-14, 25-16. The team went on to lose to North Crawford 25-15, 25-15 and then fell 25-11, 25-19 to Princeton Green Lake in the third match.

However, it was against Rio that the Mel-Min squad found its groove, topping the Vikings 25-16, 25-23.

“They played with intensity, and I could tell they wanted it,” Koss said.

The Lady Mustangs also were faced with the absence of several players from its normal lineup, including Megan Murray, Trissa Patterson, Jordan Paisley, TerriAnn Leuthe, Megan Ramsey and Devon Lockington — all of whom either had other commitments or remain injured.

Mel-Min tried several lineups during Saturday’s invite, including alternating between having one and two setters on the court, and players stepped up into roles as necessary, Koss said.

“Where I needed people to step up for the day, they did and when I needed them to bring fire and energy on the court, they did,” she said.

“I expect our injured players to return soon.”

Abby Aasen led Mel-Min at the tournament with 15 kills. Kory Anderson was the team’s top server, going 24-for-27 at the service line and recording six aces. Miranda Jones was the assists leader with 25.

Koss said the team still is working to mesh as a unit, given recent absences and injuries, but she was looking forward to the team’s Tuesday match, where Mel-Min was scheduled to host Cochrane-Fountain City.

“We are still focusing on the mental aspect of the game and keeping our chins up and attitudes up when we make mistakes. We have yet to mesh as a team with all our varsity players,” Koss said. “I’m excited to see what we can bring on Tuesday (Sept. 10) as a full varsity.

“I’m expecting the girls to come out strong with a lot of energy and intensity.”

Mel-Min also is scheduled to host a tournament Saturday. Start time is 9 a.m.

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