Sometimes you have to leave the court to play better on it.
Following a rough first frame against Mansfield Legacy, Waxahachie coach Sandy Faussett took her team off the court for about a minute as they went into the hallway near the locker room.
“We just needed to have a little talk,” Faussett said. “I’m glad we’re able to recover and turn into a different team because if we didn’t do that tonight, we would have been beaten.”
Whatever the coach said to the girls worked as they rebounded to knock off the Lady Broncos in a very tight match 16-25, 26-24, 26-24, 25-14.
“That was a tough match. They are a great program and have always been a great program,” Faussett said. “They have only been in our district so (our players) aren’t familiar with the tradition of Legacy volleyball. It’s not like a Red Oak match where they are going to get fired up because of their history, but I bet they come out more prepared to play them next time.”
Legacy gave the Lady Indians fits with its strong defensive play and Waxahachie didn’t do itself any favors as it made mistake after mistake in the first set and the beginning of the second set.
“That’s one of the best defensive teams we’ve gone against and we weren’t as strong defensively,” Faussett said. “We also had an issue with communication, which is funny because I had been really pleased with that the last two weeks and it wasn’t there tonight.”
After Legacy rolled to an easy set one win, it started out strong in set two and took a 13-9 lead. Waxahachie kept rallying and got to within one at 17-16, but the Lady Broncos retaliated and got five straight points to go up 22-17 and force Faussett to take another time out.
Waxahachie players have said all year long that they play better with their backs against the wall and that happened again Tuesday. Following the time out, Waxahachie recovered to pull within two at 23-21. Then the Lady Indians’ scrappy play took over. Celi Bruce and Mary Kate Clark were all over the court trying to keep points alive before their teammates started getting shots to fall. Ellen Platt turned her game on and delivered the biggest blow with the winning point to complete the comeback in the second set.
“I felt like I was hitting on an open net. They were giving me plenty of room to make the kind of shots that I want to make,” Platt said. “And the more shots I landed, the more confident I felt.”
Platt may have noticed that difference start in the second game thanks to an adjustment that Faussett made. In the win against Red Oak, Waxahachie ran the bulk of its offense through the middle of the court. The Lady Indians tried to do that again Tuesday, but Legacy’s athletic blocks were rejecting several shots.
“We fed the middle too much tonight. They blocked it well and just because it’s there, that doesn’t mean we have to go for it,” Faussett said. “But after a while, we stopped setting the middle and started going outside when they were preparing for the middle.”
That’s when Platt started to play her best match of the year and she had a season-high and team-high 13 kills om the match.
“Ellen played really well and it seems to be different people on different nights with this team,” Faussett said. “It’s not always going to be the same person with this team.”
Lyndsey Griffith added 10 kills, but nobody else on the team had more than five as the offense really spread itself out.
Waxahachie jumped out to a four-point lead in set three, but Legacy did a great job of getting back into the match and pulled to within two at 22-20. The Lady Broncos tied it up, but Lisa Trevino buried a shot to make it 24-22. Two more mental mistakes by Waxahachie allowed the match to be tied again at 24.
Then finally the Lady Broncos made a mistake to make it 25-24 and Audrey Willett got an ace to end the back-and-forth set.
The fourth set was all Waxahachie as it dominated the frame thanks to great plays by Clark and Platt.
Celi Bruce had 17 serve receives and had 39 digs.
Waxahachie (24-5, 2-0 in 15-4A) tries to continue its undefeated district season in Ennis at 5:30 p.m. Friday.