ARLINGTON — Waxahachie High School rebounded from Tuesday's home opening loss against South Grand Prairie with back-to-back victories in the Arlington Invitational on Thursday at Arlington High School Gymnasium.
Waxahachie (14-9) finished day one of the two-day volleyball showcase undefeated, winning five of the eight sets played. Each match was scheduled for five.
The Lady Indians found wins against former Midlothian High School Head Coach Prentice Lewis and the TAPPS 2A Grace Preparatory Academy Lady Lions, as well as Crowley High School's Lady Eagles.
Grace Prep (4-9) entered the match after falling to All Saints and Plano Christian Academies and was without 6-foot-1 freshman setter Courtney Crayton and 5-foot-10 sophomore middle blocker Ashley Ealy, who suffered season-ending injuries during the offseason.
Waxahachie was without injured junior outside hitter Audrey Nalls.
Head Coach Sandy Faussett and her team defeated Grace Prep in five sets. After winning the first set 25-19, they fell in 26-24 extra-points second.
The Lady Indians and Lady Lions split the next two 25-22 and 27-25, respectively.
With help from senior setter Taylor Stoops' 28-assist, 10-kill, and 10-dig triple-double, sophomore outside hitter Lacy Mott's season-high 22 kills and Alli Wells' 27 digs and 23-for-27 passing, the Lady Indians rallied and notched its 13th win of the season.
They took the match after a 15-6 finish in the fifth set.
Ragan Ward (9 pts, 17 dig, 7 assist) fell shy of the team's second triple-double of the match and Baylee Whitehead added 11 digs.
Against Crowley (8-11), owners of District 9-5A space, Waxahachie was powered by more than 18 aces in three sets — six each by Mott, Stoops, and Whitehead. The trio also helped the team hold the Lady Eagles to 13 or fewer points during the match.
The Lady Indians took the first set 25-13 and the second 25-7.
During the third, they sprinted to an early 9-3 lead after aces by Stoops and Whitehead, kills by junior middle blocker Essence Clerkley and junior outside hitters Courtney Crownover and Macie Milholen, as well as two unforced errors by Crowley.
Senior Ryleigh Horn added consecutive points via a stuff block and a kill to push Waxahachie's advantage to 17-7 in the middle of the set. Aces from Mott accounted for three of the Lady Indians final six points in the third set.
Waxahachie closed the match on a 7-2 run, taking the final set 25-10, and moved their season wins mark to 14 games.
Clerkley led the team with seven kills while Milholen, Mott, and junior Anna Rodgers added five each. Stoops added 14 total points and 14 assists and Whitehead chipped in 12 points.
Horn finished with four kills.
The Lady Indians are scheduled to play a rematch against South Grand Prairie's UIL 6A Lady Warriors at 11 a.m. at AHS Gymnasium.
They lost 3-1 on Tuesday at George W. Solis Gymnasium.
Marcus S. Marion is the sports editor of the Waxahachie Daily Light and Midlothian Mirror. He can be reached by phone at (469) 517-1456 or across social media platforms @MarcusSMarion.