By Travis M. Smith | KBEC Sports
The Waxahachie Lady Indians continued their stellar play ahead of a tough district schedule with a three-set sweep of Lewisville on Friday.
After two surprisingly close sets, the Lady Indians easily put away the visiting Lady Farmers in set three at Mike Turner Gymnasium for the non-district win, 25-19, 25-21, 25-15.
Waxahachie head volleyball coach Sandy Faussett-Stoops made it clear that coaching staff was pleased with the victory and the Lady Indians 24-10 start to the season, but did note that Friday’s execution left more to be desired.
“It’s been a lot of volleyball,” said Faussett-Stoops of the Lady Indians first month-plus of action. “I have been extremely pleased with our team and, in fact, tonight was probably the most disappointing game of the season so far and that is just because we didn’t play with the same intensity and enthusiasm that we have been showing.
“I didn’t see the same fight, the same heart or the same determination. We kind of just got it done but not done in the way that we need to get it done. But overall, we have been very pleased with their effort and execution this season.”
A Lacy Mott kill from the back row started a mini 3-0 run for the Lady Indians early in set one and put the Tribe up 7-4.
Though contested a bit, that same three-point advantage held as the Lady Indians jumped ahead 13-0 on a kill by Kate Morgan.
A few serves later, Madi Babers recorded back-to-back kills to put Waxahachie up five, 19-14, and force a Lewisville timeout.
Mott promptly followed the break in the action with her fifth kill of the set. She eventually added her sixth kill of the set to finish off the opener for the Lady Indians, 25-19.
It quickly became clear in the second set that Faussett-Stoops wanted each of the 12 Lady Indians in uniform to see significant game action.
The lineup shakeups didn’t affect the team on the court — whoever the six were on any given point — as the Lady Indians built a 15-12 lead.
The lead grew to five points, 18-13, when 13 fired home a kill for Waxahachie from the right side.
Lewisville did not go away without a fight in the second set, however, as the Lady Farmers battled back to within one, 20-19.
Waxahachie then finished the set on a 5-2 run for the 25-21 win. Emma Smithey recorded the set-winner with a kill from the left side.
The momentum gathered at the end of the second set carried into the third for the Lady Indians, who quickly built a four-point advantage that carried into a 15-11 lead.
An ace by senior setter Ragan Ward and kill by Mott then had the Tribe up six, 17-11, and forced a Lewisville timeout. The break in the action did not slow the Lady Indians, who rolled to a 25-15 victory in the third set to complete the sweep.
“You could see that we didn’t take the floor like we needed to tonight,” the head coach said following the game. “I’ll hand it to Lewisville — they came and fought and they are scrappy. But we are stronger than that.”
BY THE NUMBERS
Mott finished with a team-best 16 kills, while Smithey and Babers each had six and Morgan added five kills and a team-high four aces. Smithey also recorded a team-high three blocks for the Lady Indians.
Ward led the Lady Indians with 33 assists and added 11 digs.
Baylee Whitehead led the Lady Indians in the dig department with 18, while Avery Long had 15, Morgan finished with 14 and Mott had 12.
The (24-10) Lady Indians return to action Tuesday in their final non-district match of the season. Waxahachie will travel to Corsicana for a 6 p.m. first serve.
The team will then make the trip to South Grand Prairie Friday evening to kick off the District 7-6A schedule with a 6 p.m. first serve. The Lady Indians won the 7-6A title in 2018 — their first season in Class 6A — with an undefeated 14-0 record.
This season, however, will be a much tougher test for the Lady Indians, as Mansfield Lake Ridge is the early favorite to win the district title with Waxahachie and Mansfield High close behind.
Faussett-Stoops noted she hopes to see the team’s four seniors — Ward, Whitehead, Mott and Babers — continue to lead the group on and off of the court and toward an 18th consecutive playoff appearance.
“They need to continue to lead the team and stay calm and confident so that when we are struggling, we can work through it in a calm manner,” Faussett-Stoops said. “That is what their job is, is to stay calm and confident and keep everyone’s focus where it needs to be.”
THROUGH THE LENS
All photos by Travis M. Smith & Ashley Ford/KBEC Sports
Travis M. Smith, @Travis5mith