Every volleyball season, Waxahachie versus Red Oak is a must-watch match.
The teams always play twice in district, but even when they do happen to match up in preseason tournament play, the emotion is still as strong.
The two teams each won their first three matches of the Denton Ryan Kickoff Classic last week and met in the semifinals of the first tournament of the season for both squads.
“It always means a lot playing them. We’re obviously trying to win every match,” Waxahachie coach Sandy Faussett said. “We didn’t hold anything back. We still have to play them twice and they are going to see all of our plays at some point on tape before we play again.”
The Lady Indians definitely didn’t hold anything back as they swept Red Oak 25-19, 27-25, 25-16.
Following that win, Waxahachie waited to face McKinney for the second time in the first week of the season. McKinney handed the Lady Indians a five-set loss Tuesday night, but Waxahachie was missing a pair of starters in Mary Kate Clark and Sorrel Barnes.
Unfortunately, once again the Lady Indians didn’t get to play the whole match at 100 percent. During the match’s second set, senior outside hitter Courtney Miller felt some discomfort in her knee and left the court to visit with trainers. She returned, briefly, during the third set, before deciding not to risk any further damage.
The rest of her teammates seemed to rally around Miller’s injury during the second set as the Lady Indians 9-1 run sparked by Sorrel Barnes and Lauren Atkins to lead the Lady Indians to the set win 25-15.
But with Miller out the rest of the match, the Lady Indians didn’t quite have the firepower to beat McKinney as they lost 25-16, 15-25, 25-22, 25-12.
“We’re hoping for the best with her injury, but I’m hoping that the run in the second set after she left can show everyone that we can still be successful,” Faussett said. “Sorrel has the kind of ability we want to see on the front row and can be a key part of trying to fill in for Courtney.”
Miller met with doctors on Monday and will have surgery later this week. Without any setbacks during rehab, she could return in about a month. District play begins Sept. 13 with a home match versus Red Oak.
Before her injury, Miller was dominating versus Red Oak during the semifinal match. She finished the sweep with 31 kills, three shy of the school record for kills in a match. She had four in the first seven points as Waxahachie jumped out to a 6-1 lead in game one. Red Oak closed the gap to 8-6, but then Atkins stepped up to help lead a 8-1 run that put the set out of reach.
In game two, Waxahachie led 17-11 and looked like it was going to coast to the win, but Red Oak rallied and actually took a 24-23 lead thanks to some great defense, but a great defensive play by Clark with a diving dig set the stage for Miller to put the set away.
Game three started off tight as Waxahachie led 10-9, but a 9-2 stretch helped put the match away. Summer Stevens checked into the match at the end and got three of the final four kills for Waxahachie.
The Lady Indians (5-2) will visit Mesquite Poteet (0-2) at 5 p.m. Tuesday.