Schneider scored two of Tahlequah’s last five points with kills.
Murdaugh led McAlester’s offense with five kills. Her best sequence came at the start of the third set, when she won two one-on-one jousts at the net with Tahlequah’s middle before finally knocking one to the court to tie the game 1-1.
“She was getting a lot of touches on the ball, and that’s what she’s up there for,” Burns said of Murdaugh.
“She was getting high, getting touches on the ball, slowing it down, doing her job.”
But while Murdaugh had some success, McAlester’s offense couldn’t serve-receive consistently enough to ever really get into an offensive rhythm. The Lady Buffs have now gone their last three Regionals without winning a set, and Burns said her team must improve its conditioning to have a better showing in future postseasons.
“We have got to get quicker to the ball,” Burns said. “We have to get quicker to our defense and transitioning back-and-forth, moving across the net, getting up. Those kinds of things, you can’t do well without conditioning.”
With the season-ending loss, McAlester finished 5-18. Tahlequah beat Coweta in the regional championship, 3-2, to advance to the 5A state tournament on Oct. 18.
Contact Matt Goisman at email@example.com.