WAXAHACHIE — The last time Lady Tigers won a set — not a match — against Waxahachie in was circa pre-2009 when they both still played at the UIL 4A level.
Since that season, the Lady Indians won 42 consecutive sets and were 14-0 against Lancaster High School.
Tuesday's 3-0 sweep at George W. Solis Gymnasium gave Waxahachie win No. 43, but Lancaster looked like a team transformed in one of the three sets.
"There's such a difference between what we saw this year versus what we saw in years past," said Sandy Faussett, Waxahachie's head volleyball coach. "Their run had as much to do with our unforced errors as it did with their kills, though. They had better passing and better ball handling tonight. It was a different team and one that's getting better and better every year."
The Lady Tigers took a 6-0 lead in the first set, using kills by sophomore middle blocker Ke'ana Davis and junior outside hitter Ayo Thomas, as well as a pair of unforced Lady Indian errors to gain an early advantage and threaten the Lady Indians near decade long streak.
Waxahachie (1-0) took a 13-12 lead in the middle of the set after senior Ryleigh Horn blocked back-to-back shots and then added a kill.
"They knew they needed to work through it and I was pleased that they came out of it and started playing they can play the way I know they can," Faussett said. "We had some uncharacteristic mistakes they knew they had to clean up and I think they showed that in the final two sets."
Horn's third point of the match, a dump (kill) by senior setter Taylor Stoop, aces by senior defensive specialist Sara Sims and kills by junior middle blocker Essence Clerkley helped the Lady Indians take the first set 25-16.
A revitalized defense combined with 21 Lady Tiger unforced errors — reminiscent of last years matches — in sets two and three and bookend kills by sophomore Lacy Mott helped Waxahachie lead runs of 6, 9, and 10 points. The Lady Indians closed the final two sets 25-10 and 25-9 respectively.
Stoops led her team with 25 assists, Mott led with 11 kills and four aces. Mott and fellow sophomore Ragan Ward had a team-leading seven digs apiece.
The victory was Faussett and the Lady Indians' third consecutive since beating Forney High School on their home court three days earlier. They will face Capri Davis and Mansfield Lake Ridge High School at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at MLRHS Gymnasium.
"This district's going to be tough across all sports," Faussett said. "Mansfield Lake Ridge [in volleyball] is no different. It's not just Capri, either. They have Madison Williams, who went to Junior Nationals this summer. We've got to focus on our defense, capitalizing on opportunities, and playing a quick offense to be successful against teams like Lake Ridge and Midlothian that are bigger than us."
Davis' 360 kills is No. 3 in the nation among UIL 6A, 5A, 4A, and 3A athletes. Waxahachie's Mott is No. 158 with 202.
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.