MIDLOTHIAN -- There are always nerves when you start something for the first time.
That had to have been the case Monday night when the Lady Indians dropped game one of their first volleyball match of the season at Midlothian.
But after those nerves went away, the team flourished and won the next three games to take the match (18-25, 25-20, 25-22, 25-16).
"We came out a little flat and I don't know if it was nerves or what, but I guess it could have been in the very first game of the season," Waxahachie coach Sandy Faussett said. "But we changed the defense up, which is specifically where I thought we struggled."
The defense she went to was the 5-1. That moves a setter to the front row, with an outside hitter in the back row.
"I think that really helped us free up our outside hitter, then the execution really improved from game one all the way to game four," Faussett said. "I'm pleased that we stayed in the game early and then kept getting a little bit better each game to get the win."
The outside hitter that seemed to benefit the most from the strategy was junior Courtney Miller.
"She did a great job in the backfield passing the ball and that's an area that we know opponents are going to key in on," Faussett said. "Teams know that if there is a hitter in the backcourt, as talented Courtney, receiving a serve then it's common for coaches to just go at her and see if by making her play defense, they can shake her offensive game."
That didn't happen at all Monday as Miller finished with 11 kills and two blocks. She also served up four aces.
Miller admitted that the team may have overlooked Midlothian a little bit in the early part of the game because the Lady Panthers graduated 10 players last year.
"We kind of thought it was going to be a cakewalk since they lost so many good players," Miller said. "But they came out ready to play and we didn't at first then we finally started playing well."
Miller was slow to get going like the rest of her team, but was pivotal in game two to start the comeback. With the score tied at 13, Miller got back-to-back kills to make it 15-13. Those two points, started a run of six straight points. During that run, Miller set up a key shot to Sorrell Barnes from the backfield and then ended the run with a spike down the line.
"I saw the lines were open a lot, so I tried to hit it there a lot," Miller said. "I knew coming in where some of their weaker passers were so I was trying to go there as often as I could."
Miller wasn't the only hitter that appeared to do her homework as Hess had 10 kills, four aces and two blocks. All while not committing an error.
Junior setter Shelbie Tucker racked up 15 assists, most of which came thanks to Miller's powerful right arm.
Lisa Trevino added seven kills while Mary Kate Clark had five.
The defensive responsibilities were pretty well spread out as Celi Bruce, Emma Hinds and Cristian Armstrong each had six digs. Armstrong also had four assists. Shelby Walton also had five digs.
Walton and Hinds split time at the libero position and she intends to keep letting them share the position for the foreseeable future.
"They are both great defenders and are great at making each other better," Faussett said. "They both have white jerseys and I told them both to bring them to every game because I'm going to keep using them both."
Waxahachie (1-0) will try to remain undefeated when it heads to Wylie to take on both Wylie and McKinney Tuesday afternoon. Midlothian (0-1) doesn't have much time off either as it will head to Frisco Centennial for a game at 7 p.m. Tuesday.