MIDLOTHIAN — Neither the Lady Panthers or Indians found separation in the first four sets of their District 10-5A volleyball match Tuesday evening.
After winning the first set 25-23, then dropping the next two games 22-25 and 23-25, (20-11, 3-1) Midlothian found momentum late in the fourth set and carried it into the fifth.
The Lady Panthers, behind another strong match from Sydney Little and Kelly Buchanan, defeated the neighboring-rival Lady Indians in five sets inside the Midlothian High School gymnasium, 25-23, 22-25, 23-25, 25-22, 15-8. Waxahachie is now 19-12 on the season and 2-2 in District 10-5A.
“I preach to my kids about never backing down, never quitting. It would have been easy when it was 19-11 and we could have backed down. I took that timeout and something just clicked for them. They turned it around and they fought," said Midlothian head volleyball coach Teresa Dunn. "It could have been a Waxahachie win in four but this team I have, I’m very fortunate they never say die.”
Dunn said her team used the district opening five-set loss at home against Red Oak as motivation during their huddle just before the fifth set. The Lady Hawks won that final set 15-8.
“We had some flashbacks," Dunn agreed. "In the huddle, I told them I hope you are having like terrible nightmares about playing Red Oak here two weeks ago. In set five, they got a big jump on us, and before we looked up, it was nine to one. I told them you have to remember that feeling. You have to jump on them early and they did.”
Both Little and Buchanan recorded double-doubles for the Lady Panthers in the victory. Little posted 21 kills and 24 digs to go along with a pair of blocks and assists, while Buchanan recorded 14 kills, 21 digs, one block and one assist.
Kamryn Owen continued her torrid assist pace, adding 46 to up her season-assist total to 792. She also chipped in five digs, a game-high five aces, two kills and a block.
Destiny Leatherwood and Aubrey Walton played well in the back row, accounting for 11 and seven digs, respectively. Samantha Rodgers added eight kills and five blocks, while Aliyah Muhammad notched three kills, one block, and one dig.
Midlothian now sits tied with (24-8, 3-1) Mansfield Lake Ridge in the No. 2 spot in District 10-5A behind (26-3, 4-0) Red Oak. The Lady Panthers will turn their sights on (14-17, 2-2) Mansfield Legacy on Friday with a chance to build a little separation in the district standings. First serve is scheduled for 5: 30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 22 at Mansfield Legacy High School.
“Tonight’s win gives us some momentum, but we are going to face a Mansfield Legacy team that is really good," Dunn added. "I know one of their key players is out but they have been rallying around her. Also, their coach has been out on maternity leave, so they have been rallying around her also. It’s going to be a good match.”