Senior nights in high school athletics are meant to be a celebration of student-athletes who have dedicated four years to a program. Consequently, they also mark the end of careers for some and a life chapter for all.

Which also means moms, and sometimes even dads and coaches, cry. A lot.

On Tuesday at Mike Turner Gymnasium, the Waxahachie Lady Indians volleyball program honored seniors Fayth Hunt, Essence Clerkley, Courtney Crownover, Macie Milholen, Anna Rodgers, Becca Pulfer, Alli Wells and Audrey Nalls.

The eight seniors comprise one of the most talked about, followed and successful Lady Indian volleyball teams in head coach Sandy Faussett's 18 years in the green in white.

This year alone they've already cracked the top-15 nationally, top-10 in their new home in Class 6A, clinched a 17th-consecutive playoff berth for the program and first in 6A, ran off 13 consecutive sweeps, and have earned at least a share of the District 7-6A title.

Oh, they also went a perfect 9-0 on their new home court.

But even outside of the over 600 Nalls kills, 70-plus blocks by Clerkley or over 400 Wells digs, this group of Lady Indians has made volleyball fun to watch for the past two seasons.

They play with a drive and focus that only comes through extreme preparation, yet the love for each other and the game always finds a way to surface — especially after one of those Clerkley blocks or Nalls terminations.

And make no mistake about it, the season is far from over. There could certainly be a case made that there has yet to be a Lady Indian team more capable of a run at the Curtis Culwell Center and a state title, even with the jump in classification.

So on behalf of every Waxahachie volleyball supporter, thank you, Lady Indian seniors, for every ace, kill, dig, win and celebration that has further enhanced the Waxahachie volleyball brand.

Now, go turn the doubters into believers.

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*All photos by Fred Phipps/Daily Light