HEWITT — Sandy Faussett wanted her team to be tested early on this season which is precisely why she scheduled two of the top seven teams in the state for the first week of the season.
The first of those games was Monday’s season opener against No. 4 Midway, who eliminated the Lady Indians from last year’s playoffs.
Despite playing the Lady Panthers tough, Waxahachie dropped the match in four games, 25-23, 25-23, 28-30, 25-14.
“We played good, but not nearly as strong as we could have,” Faussett said. “We’re learning a new system and made some mental mistakes you expect early in the season, but we still played close so I’m pretty pleased.”
After Midway took Game 1, the Lady Indians appeared to rebound and take control halfway through the second game with a 16-11 lead.
The Lady Panthers, however, reeled off nine straight points to take the lead 20-16. Waxahachie managed to tie the game at 23-23, but a missed serve gave Midway a one-point advantage and eventually a 25-23 win.
“We were very much in the mix in Game 1,” Faussett said. “In the second game we missed three game-point serves.
“When its 23-23 you have to be aggressive. You can’t wait for a team like Midway to make a mistake.”
Waxahachie earned the win in Game 3, before falling in Game 4, 25-14.
Faussett’s plan of putting her team up against top-level competition identified a few areas in which the Lady Indians need improvement.
“They’re a hard-hitting team and we struggled blocking them,” she said. “Sometimes we celebrated a little too early before the ball would be down and I know we can pass better than we did. We just made some early-season mistakes, but that was a huge test right out of the gate.”
Waxahachie went outside to tally most of its kills with Katie Schlup (14) and Jennifer Fiedler (11) combining for 25 kills.
Sophomore Caitie Campbell got her first action in the middle, allowing Schlup to move back outside, where she played as a sophomore.
“I think (Schlup) is going to be much stronger hitting from outside,” Faussett said. “We only set the middle 10 times in four games so we’ve got to establish that better, but I know part of that was due to our passing.”
The game was the first of several this week as the Lady Indians only day off is Wednesday. The Lady Indians return to the court at 6 p.m. tonight at DeSoto. Immediately following that game they will play Irving MacArthur.