The Midlothian varsity volleyball team opened up district play at the defending 7-5A champion Cedar Hill Lady Longhorns.
It took extra points in the fifth set, but the Lady Panthers’ knocked off the defending champs 25-17, 15-25, 21-25, 25-23, 19-17.
The Panthers came out strong and took care of business with a strong win in set one with a score of 25-17.
In set two, the Panthers struggled offensively and lost 15-25.
The Panthers got their rhythm down and battled the Longhorns the entire third set, but fell short with a score of 21-25.
Then the momentum built and determination and a fierce focus caused the Lady Panthers to win set four 25-23.
In the fifth and decisive set, both offenses battled back and forth while both defenses covered the court keeping the entire arena on their feet.
The game was tied 13-13 as both the Panthers and the Longhorns fought hard to pull ahead. They battled point after point and tied the match 17-17.
Then Madison Savage stepped to the line to serve. Savage’s first power jump serve was an ace. There was an ear-piercing roar that rattled the rafters as Savage stepped up to the line to try to get the winning point.
Savage jump served another ace straight to a hole in the defense and left no chance for it to even be touched. The Panther bench cleared with an unbelievable victorious pile of celebration on the Longhorn’s home court.
Savage finished with six aces on the night.
Ashton Rawlings had 24 assists. Mollie McBride led the team with 11 kills and had three blocks.
Tarin Mergener led the team with 24 digs and had 31 serve receives.
The Lady Panthers also beat the Crowley Lady Eagles last week 25-16, 25-20, 25-17.
Savage led the team with 10 kills. Keaton Shirk had 17 assists, two aces and eight digs.
Mergener had 15 serve receives and Rawlings had 13 assists.
Earlier in the season, the Lady Panthers took on the No. 2 4A team in the state, Highland Park.
The Lady Panthers were battling back and forth in game one and lost 20-25.
In game two, Midlothian came out on fire with determination and generated some great offense. That drive helped the Lady Panthers win the set 25-21. Midlothian struggled in the beginning of sets three and four and lost the two sets despite their efforts at coming back.Highland Park took set three 25-8 and set four 25-14 to seal the victory.
Mergener had 17 digs to lead the team.
Highland Park is the second team in the 4A top for that the Lady Panthers lost to, the other is Waxahachie.