DENTON — Those close games Waxahachie head coach Sandy Faussett wanted to see start going her team’s way finally started doing just that Friday at the Denton Ryan Tournament.
Waxahachie fought through a pair of private schools before beating Mesquite Horn to advance to Saturday’s semifinals.
“The kids stepped up and show maturity in handling pressure and keeping their composure,” Faussett said. “I was thrilled with how (Friday) went.”
The Lady Indians needed four games to get past Prestonwood Christian, 25-20, 20-25, 25-22, 25-23, and five games to beat Nolan Catholic, 25-12, 25-20, 17-25, 21-25, 15-11.
In their final match of the day, the Lady Indians swept Horn, 25-8, 25-17, 29-27.
The match that caught Faussett’s attention was the five-game win over Nolan.
“Coming back in Game 5 and playing as confidently as we did after losing the third and fourth game says a lot,” she said. “That’s a game that, in the past, we haven’t been aggressive, but we came out and hit the ball hard and played well.”
In the day’s first match, Rachel Hyatt and Jennifer Fiedler had 13 kills each and Katie Schlup finished with 11.
The high number of kills came just a day after four players led the way with just three kills each against Highland Park.
“We only had five bad passes against Prestonwood,” Faussett said. “Neven (Simpson), Rachel (Hyatt) and Kelly (Pennock) passed the ball very well, which allowed our sets to be better.”
Hyatt and Fiedler also scored 13 points off their serve.
Against Nolan, the Lady Indians appeared to be on their way to a sweep after taking the first two games by 13 and five points.
Things changed in the third game when the Lady Indians’ unforced errors started to mount along with Nolan finding its rhythm offensively.
“We had some hitting errors and they had a six-foot setter that was able to dump the ball over our block,” Faussett said. “Nolan really started clicking with its offense and I don’t think we passed as well in those games.
“We also started getting a little to comfortable setting outside. Once we started setting the middle again we got back on track.”
In the day’s final match, Faussett was able to dip into her bench as Reagan Smith, Jamie Bentley and Meredith Backus all played major roles in the Lady Indians’ sweep of Horn.
Smith was 7-of-9 passing on serve receives, Backus served 12 points and Bentley was, “steady and served well.”
“We were able to get everyone in and that’s great,” Faussett said. “Wen the opportunity to play people presents itself we want to do it. You never know when you are going to need them in the lineup.”
With the three wins, the Lady Indians advanced to Saturday’s semifinals where they were to play Denton Ryan at 12:30 p.m.
The other semifinal was between Frisco and Hebron, who won a 4A state championship just two years ago.
The Lady Indians travel to Wylie to play Wylie and Rowlett on Tuesday beginning at 5 p.m.