CHESTERTON | The Munster Mustangs are ranked Times No. 1 for all the right reasons, according to Chesterton volleyball coach T.R. Harlan.
“They are every bit as good as any team I’ve seen up here in a long time,” Harlan said Monday night after his Trojans suffered a three-set, nonconference sweep at the hands of the Mustangs. “There’s nothing fake about their record or their ranking. They are every bit as good as everyone said they were.”
Munster (19-1) played one of its best sets of the season to open the match, outpacing Chesterton 25-8, with second and third set scores of 25-21, 25-21.
“I thought that first game, they overwhelmed us with how fast they play,” Harlan said. “I thought we did a much better job the last two games of matching their intensity.”
The Trojans (9-6) trailed early in the second set, but Chesterton’s Jessica Urycki served five straight points give her team a 7-6 lead. The scoring was back-and-forth for most of the rest of the set. Chesterton led by two points as late as 16-14 and the score was tied at 19-19 but the Mustangs went on a 6-2 run to close it out.
In the third set, Ashley Hecimovich staked the Trojans to a 3-0 lead early, but a long serving run by Munster’s Morgan Switalla put the Mustangs ahead 6-3 and Shannon Farrell served Munster to an 11-5 lead. The Trojans fought to get back into the set, tying the score as late as 17-17 and scoring twice with Munster at match point, but the Mustangs held on and scored the match-winner on a floater that found its way into no-man’s land.
“We’ve been working on getting these girls faster and faster each year,” Munster coach Tracy Summers said. “The senior setter (Switalla) and the senior middle (Elizabeth Kloos) have been playing together for years and have been starting varsity since they were sophomores, so it’s easier to get that faster connection going and a faster offense. There’s so much still that we need to work on. Right now, I think there are still some holes in our game that we have to pick up.”
As for Chesterton, Harlan hopes the Trojans can walk away from the loss as a teaching experience.
“We’re in a week where we play Munster, Lake Central and Valpo, so hopefully this will help us be more prepared for tomorrow night,” Harlan said. “Hopefully, we’ll get more used to the speed and how you have to play to against the elite teams and maybe by the end of the year we’ll be at that level.”