Mullen has come a long way in a short time in the new Season C.
The Class 4A Mustangs are off to a 3-0 start in the 5A Centennial League and have yet to drop any of their nine games in three sweeps.
However, the room for improvement for a mostly younger, inexperienced team remains real and its competition is about to get ramped up against multiple top-flight programs.
“It was good to get the win,” Mustangs head coach Jeff Oliver said after his group got past Overland 25-23, 25-21, 25-23 on Tuesday night at Hutchison Fieldhouse. “I mean, we played OK, but we just made too many mistakes. We have to make (the opposition) earn more of their points. We need to control our side and be smarter.”
The Mustangs certainly had their hands full throughout Tuesday’s match with the Trailblazers, who are on the opposite end to date with a 0-3 mark and winless in nine games, but their two previous losses were to always good Cherry Creek and Eaglecrest. Plus, they kept it close by trailing by as many as six points only twice and threatened to steal all three games with late moves.
Mullen also had issues with some errors, but rallied when it needed.
“We have a lot of new people in spots, but they’re getting into it a bit,” Oliver said.
Two are Madeline Karr, a sophomore, and Devon Moore, a freshman.
Karr, back to playing libero, where she said she’s most comfortable, knows what’s going on as “I mean, we have a lot of work to do, but it’s going very well for us.”
Moore, an outside hitter, said it’s about resiliency as “I think being able to move on from mistakes and focusing on the next point allows us to contribute to the team and earn those points.”
Said Oliver: “Devon had some good swings.”
The Mustangs also welcomed back Jessica Oates-Stamm, a senior and three-time basketball champion who rejoined the volleyball team after just one practice.
Now, Mullen will get its wish – it will be at Cherry Creek, 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, then have a unique doubleheader on Friday, at Eaglecrest, 4:15 p.m., followed by a short trip in Southeast Aurora to Cherokee Trail at 7:15.
“We’ve been waiting to play the harder teams,” Karr said.
This unusual season is about to hit its first serious portion.
“We’re working hard in practice and I think it’s paying off for us,” Moore said.