By BRAD KEITH
STEPHENVILLE (September 19, 2017) — Back and forth they waged, every point a battle, some last ing almost a minute with the ball being kept off the court by mere inches – or less- by diving, rolling and reaching defensive specialists and liberos then slammed the opposite direction by the big hitters up front.
For one set, at least, the competition in Gandy Gym Tuesday night was fire.
But during the remaining sets, its was all Midlothian Heritage.
Ranked No. 3 in just its fourth year of athletic competition – only its second to be in a district and playoff eligible – Heritage showed Stephenville why in 25-10, 36-34, 25-10 win.
The tough week isn’t over yet for the Honeybees, who turn around and visit No. 1 Glen Rose at 4:30 p.m. Friday.
The second set was already good after ties at 12, 16, 20, 22 and 24. But even then, knowing there would be atleast 50 points needed to win the set, nobody could have foreseen an extra 20.
A nifty redirect and a well-placed tip showed the headiness of Jayci Morton as she relied on game IQ and finesse instead of her usual heavy hitting to tie it up at 25 and again at 26.
It looked as if Stephenville got away with a lift that was instead ruled a kill by Salette Rios that kept it going at 27-27, then Chloe Goodwin killed one through the middle to give Stephenville the advantage and set point, only to see Heritage survive being down on the next three, including a sloppy patch of back-to-back service errors that made it 30-30.
The next six points went back and forth one way thnen the other, and it was 33-33 before Heritage finally scored three of four to win 36-34 and assert themselves with a 2-0 lead in the match.
It was clear the winner of the marathon would have had the advantage, even under dog Stephenville perhaps, playing at home, and being more than formidable itself.
But Heritage had the confidence ,the mojo and finally, the second set win needed en route to a quick finishing of Stephenville by mowing through the third set as easily as the Lady Jaguars did the first.
Morton had seven kills and Rios six, but the rest of the Bees added only 11, eight of those – four each – coming from Goodman and Ashton Garner. They had 24 kills and the team hitting percentage was .002. Stephenville did not serve an ace against the strong defense of Heritage. The Bees did manage seven total blocks.
Hailey Martin dug out 13 balls, Gabie Lucero eight and Hannah Huckabee seven. Lucero and Huckabee each made seven assists. Morton, Goodman and freshman Jaydi Morton each had two blocks.