First place in District 8-4A volleyball is on the line when undefeated Class 4A No. 1-ranked Glen Rose hosts third-ranked Midlothian Heritage Friday at 4:30 p.m. at Tiger Arena.
Dating back to last season, the Lady Tigers (35-0, 5-0) have won 56 of their last 57 matches, while the Lady Jaguars (26-3, 5-0) are riding a 12-game winning streak since losing to Glen Rose 3-1 in the championship match of the Argyle tournament Aug. 24.
The Lady Tigers enter the match after beating Class 2 No. 2 Crawford 25-20, 25-12, 25-18 in a non-district road match Tuesday night.
Logan Smith led the Lady Tigers in that match with seven kills, while Libby Hinton and Bryanna Lytle added six each and Ally Andress chipped in with five in the win over the Lady Pirates. Hinton added a team-high five blocks and Mallory Rogers tallied 14 assists.
Meanwhile, Heritage dispatched Alvarado 25-7, 25-12, 25-4 Tuesday night to remain unbeaten in district play.
“It’s just another game, and we need to play our best in it,” Glen Rose volleyball coach Sandy Langford said of the meeting with Heritage. “With homecoming this week, the girls have a lot going on. We have to stay focused and play like we know we can play.”
The match will not only be for first-place bragging rights at the midway point of the district schedule, but it could have huge implications in the Class 4A playoffs. Depending on how things shake out, the Lady Tigers and Lady Jaguars could meet three more times before all is said and done.
“Both us and Heritage will be fighting very hard for the first-place seed,” Langford said. “I would rather take care of business Friday and the next go around (Oct. 24 at Heritage) so we don’t have to possibly play five times this year.”
With 18 kills from Smith and nine more from Andress, the Lady Tigers beat Heritage 25-22, 25-23, 22-25, 25-23 in the title match in Argyle in late August.
“I don’t think our girls are overconfident,” said Langford, who is 3-0 all-time against Heritage. “They know they are a good team, and they are the best team we will play up to this point.”
Last Friday, the Lady Tigers played the second of a tough three-game stretch in district play and beat rival Stephenville 25-15, 25-20, 26-24 while sporting new white uniforms.
Hinton led the Lady Tigers with 13 kills, while Andress added eight, Smith finished with seven and Bryanna Lytle added six. The Lady Tigers committed 27 hitting errors and hit just .088 for the match.
“We can beat mediocre teams with all of the unforced errors, but we cannot have those against a top-ranked team,” Langford said.
In the first set against the Honeybees, the Lady Tigers were never threatened after jumping out to an early 4-1 lead and won the set 25-15, thanks in part to six kills by Hinton, four by Smith and three by Andress.
The Lady Tigers took advantage of 14 Stephenville errors in the second set to win 25-20. At one point Glen Rose led by as many as nine points at 14-5 after a kill by Lytle.
The Honeybees whittled the deficit to 20-18 before the Lady Tigers scored five of the next seven points on four Stephenville errors and a kill by Taylor Fellers.
In the final set, the Lady Tigers led 10-5 early in the set, but the Honeybees tied the score at 11 and again at 12 before taking a 20-15 lead on two service aces and four Glen Rose errors.
Trailing 24-20, the Lady Tigers, however, eventually tied the match at 24 on two kills by Lytle and two kills by Hinton. They finally won it 26-24 after a Stephenville error and a kill by Hinton.
The Lady Tigers tallied seven service aces in the match with two each from Rogers, Smith and Madi Mooney. Emma Bozarth recorded a team-high 13 assists, while Rogers had 11 and Fellers posted five.