WAXAHACHIE — Eight Taylor Stoops aces helped propel the Lady Indians to their second-consecutive win in District 10-5A.
But defeating Mansfield Legacy in three-sets (25-11, 25-12, 25-17) to move into a tie with Midlothian for the third place in the district standings is not all that was accomplished Tuesday in George W. Solis Gymnasium. Stoops set — or reset, rather — her second school record in the span of a week.
The eight service aces broke the school record (92) Stoops set last season, as she now sits at 99 for the year. One week prior, the senior broke a record she tied last year for assists in a single match.
Waxahachie head volleyball coach Sandy Faussett said Stoops struggled at times last season with remaining confident and aggressive with her serves. She added Stoops has taken a step forward this season, though, and it has been "exciting" to watch at times.
"It is a serve I have always believed in and maybe more so than she did at times, but she has come out as a senior and been even more aggressive with it. It is a serve that if you were not going to be aggressive with it, then you shouldn't be serving it," Faussett said. "There is only one way to hit it, and you just have to go for it. I have been impressed with her ability to do that this year."
During the straight-set win Tuesday, Lacy Mott led the Lady Indians with 12 kills, while Essence Clerkley added five, Macie Milholen had six and Stoops finished with three. Waxahachie (21-12, 4-2 in District 10-5A) also had just seven hitting errors on the evening.
For Faussett, though, the six kills from Courtney Crownover jumped out the most.
"I thought Courtney played a really strong match tonight and I think she is connecting well," she explained. "I think her kills were more like statement kills where she was putting it down and it's not a miss hit. A lot like Essence on Friday."
Stoops provided 33 assists to Lady Indian hitters and Ragan Ward added four to go with her three digs and two aces.
Sara Sims (3), Baylee Whitehead (2), Alli Wells (1) and Milholen (1) combined with Stoops (8) and Ward (2) for the 17 Lady Indian aces.
One area Waxahachie continues to focus on is its passes on target. Faussett thought Wells excelled in that area Friday, though it won't always show up on the stat sheet.
"Ali looked really good tonight and I thought she passed really well. Her technique was great," Faussett said. "Something that doesn't show up in stats is our DS's ability to pass a free ball or down ball and she really did a great job of that tonight."
Wells and Sims finished the match with five digs, while Mott led the team with 16 and Ward added three.
The first district Battle of 77 is set for Friday in Red Oak.
"It is a big one," said Faussett of the first district meeting between the two teams in 2017. The Lady Hawks defeated Faussett and company in tournament play earlier this season.
She also explained, though Red Oak plays a very similar style of game, the senior-laden Lady Hawks bring plenty of experience and confidence to the court — both of which will require the Lady Indians to be on top of their game Friday.
"I feel very confident in our ability right now. Probably the best thing we have going for us as we head into the match is that we have battled and played hard, even in those close matches or when we have fallen short," Faussett said. "I have been really pleased with our aggressiveness and our competitiveness, and that is what it is going to take. We know that they have a lot of talent, but we are just going to go try and do what it is that we do well. We are going to play great defense, play aggressive and limit our ball handling mistakes."