ARLINGTON — The Lady Indians cleared three games of Friday's two-day Arlington Invitational Tournament at AHS Colt Gymnasium, but four was the magic number.
Waxahachie High School (15-10) fell to tournament host Arlington High School 3-1 in four sets. Two hours earlier they'd won three of five sets in a rematch against South Grand Prairie High School.
"They both had great players but we passed a little bit better against Arlington. We really got into some lulls and didn't play with the same intensity level," Head Coach Sandy Faussett said about the difference in the three hours between the win and the loss. "We didn't execute on the same level as we did with South Grand Prairie. A lot of emotion, heart, and fight when into that game, but we have to be able to step off the court and step back on and be the same team."
During the first match of the day, the Lady Indians faced South Grand Prairie in a rematch of last Tuesday's showdown — a four-set loss.
She said after the match it meant a lot to beat a solid team like the Lady Warriors, especially one as the collection of athletic girls that stood across from them, peering through the net. Four sets of intensity and consistency, Faussett noted, was a key change.
Saturday morning was a return to the version of volleyball Faussett prides her teams on, with Waxahachie taking the first set 25-14, falling 25-20 in the second and taking the next two 25-12 and 25-15.
Senior setter Taylor Stoops notched 38 assists during the match. Lacy Mott lead all players with 19 kills and Macie Milholen added 15. Stoops and Essence Clerkley chipped in seven kills each and Ragan Ward earned 18 points off serve.
The win against South Grand Prairie marked the 15th of the season for Waxahachie, as well as its third consecutive. The afternoon meeting with Faussett's alma mater, Arlington High, snapped the streak.
The Lady Colts cruised to an early one-set advantage after winning the first 25-16 despite five unforced errors, five kills by Mott and one each by Clerkley, Milholen and Stoops.
Waxahachie staged a comeback in the second winning 25-22, led by five more kills from Mott, blocks by Clerkley, Stoops and senior outside hitter Ryleigh Horn. The Lady Indians didn't trail after the ninth point of the match.
In the third and fourth, however, the Lady Colts stifled multiple rallies — Waxahachie rallied from an 18-11 deficit after scoring five of the next nine points — and took third set 25-13 and the fourth 25-16.
The Lady Indians finished as the Arlington Invitational's No. 2 team. Stoops was also named an All-Tournament selection.
"I've said it before, we want to have a super strong aggressive serving game," Faussett said. "We want to be a good defensive team. It's something we tend to rely on a lot."
Waxahachie will return home to face Midway High School at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at George W. Solis Gymnasium. The Lady Panthers are 7-11 this season and have lost three of their last four matches. Two of those, contests against Canyon and Dripping Springs High Schools, were shutouts.
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.