Tuesday had trap game written all over it.
The Lady Indians have been sweeping their way through district, but hit their first rough patch last week leading up to one of their biggest non-playoff matches in 20 years.
Players are getting sick and hurt and the team had to call up a JV player to start her first ever game.
But none of that mattered to Waxahachie Tuesday in Lancaster as the Lady Indians played what might have been their best match of the season in a 25-6, 25-10, 25-7 sweep of the Lady Tigers.
“Overall, I couldn’t be more pleased with tonight,” Lady Indian head coach Sandy Faussett said. “I was making subs and we didn’t miss a beat with anybody out there. You can see the team chemistry.”
Despite having all the ingredients Julia Child would need to make a trap game, Faussett had no doubt that her team would get the job done.
“I’m really comfortable with this team. They’ve proven to me over and over again that they aren’t going to take their opponents lightly. They’re going to bring their best game,” Faussett said. “There have been only a couple times this season that I’ve been disappointed with how we’ve taken the floor. Other than that that have exhibited a calm confidence, which I like. And that gives me no reason to think they aren’t going to get it done.”
The players felt the same way the coach did. They knew they could get the job done.
“We came out and played our game calm and collected,” senior Lacie Tucker said. “Our defense passed the ball well and our setters set awesome tonight.”
In game one, Lancaster only recorded two kills, the other four points came from missed serves, the only recurring problem for this team.
“We are ball handling well and not making unforced errors,” Faussett said. “That’s what made me so happy with the performance tonight. Just the way we played.”
The serving game has been the only real issue the Lady Indians (29-3, 7-0 in 15-4A) have had over the last two weeks, but after game one Tuesday, the errors were out of their system.
“In the third game I think we only missed one,” Faussett said. “That’s forgivable. I just tell them to not miss their first ones. The more they roll off the less it becomes a factor.”
The service game was definitely a non-factor for sophomore Shelbie Tucker, who had four aces and served 10 straight times on two separate occasions Tuesday.
“She played so well. That’s the first time I’ve seen her come onto the court and run the offense with confidence,” Faussett said of Tucker. “We thought she was going to challenge for position and she played really well tonight.”
The news is worse for Shelbie’s sister, Lacie Tucker. Lacie will be out at least two weeks with the back injury that kept her off the court all last week.
So to try and fill the senior’s shoes, Faussett promoted Shelby Walton from the junior varsity squad.
And if Walton plays the rest of the season like she did Tuesday, this team shouldn’t have any concerns with her.
“We saw that in practice yesterday and thought she wasn’t going to miss a beat,” Faussett said. “With Lacie going to be out for a while we moved Shelby up and the team adjusted to her. Credit to her with the team having that much confidence in her on her first time stepping on the court.”
Walton was perfect on her passing by going 4-4. She got a little bit of rookie hazing at the very beginning of the match when the rest of the starters held hands and raised them as high as they could, but Walton stands several inches shorter than the rest of the starters do so her raised hands were left hanging.
The thing that Faussett was most impressed by with her team Tuesday was how balanced it was offensively.
Six different players had at least four kills. Senior Kate Praslicka and junior Kristen Foster were the team’s co-leaders with seven kills.
Foster also had five digs and was 4-4 passing.
Senior Ashlyn Risk led the team with eight digs and was 8-10 passing.
Vincent led the team with three blocks to go with her five kills.
“We wanted to come out today and execute well,” Faussett said. “We’ve been working on our plays, spreading our offense, we did that pretty well tonight.”
The team will take the court again Friday for one of the biggest regular season games for the team in the past two decades against Red Oak.
The Lady Hawks haven’t lost a district match since 1990. They will put that streak on the line Friday at 5:30 p.m. in Waxahachie.