Lady Spartans find going tough against Midlothian
MANSFIELD — The task at hand Tuesday night for Centennial’s volleyball team was a tough one.
The fact that the Lady Spartans won a share of the District 9-5A title didn’t seem to concern Midlothian’s Lady Panthers.
The fourth-seed from District 10-5A found a way past the Lady Spartans with a 25-16, 25-9, 25-10 victory in a Class 5A Region II bi-district playoff match at Mansfield Legacy High School.
“They are a solid team and we knew we had to play our best,” Centennial coach Jessica Ransom said. “The first 10 points of the first and second sets we were neck-and-neck. We just let them go on too many runs. We just couldn’t fight back.
In the third set we couldn’t put balls away and weren’t getting touches on the block.”
Centennial (20-22) finished the season tied for the 9-5A title with Cleburne at 11-3. It was the first district title since the program started seven years ago. Ransom said that would be the focus for the off-season not the season-ending loss.
“Our focus from this season is going to be on winning the district title,” Ransom said. “That’s a positive. It’s the first time the program has done that. I told the girls that they have built a strong foundation moving forward.”
The Lady Spartans came a long way during the season considering they had to replace eight players lost to graduation. The squad had a rough go in non-district play but found its legs in district play, losing twice to Granbury and once to Burleson.
“The beginning of the season was rough but we turned it around and took district,” Ransom said. “I’m proud of them for that. Overall, it’s just a great group of girls. They are good young women that work hard and love the game.”
The match was the final one for setter Maddie Skaggs, defensive specialist Carly Worthy, outside/right side hitter Makenna Dugan, middle blocker/outside hitter Allison Nolan and outside hitter Halley Grace,
In the opening game, Midlothian (28-13) held an 8-7 lead then went on a 4-0 run behind the serving of junior outside hitter/defensive specialist Kelby Buchanan. The Lady Panthers then strung together a pair three-point scoring runs and a four-point run to take the game.
It was the same story in the second game as Centennial hung around early but couldn’t keep up with Midlothian late. The Lady Spartans trailed 9-6, then the Lady Panthers used a 16-3 run to finish the game.
In the third game, Midlothian led early 6-3 and put the match away with a 19-7 scoring run.
“Things didn’t go our way tonight, but I’m proud that we fought to the last point and that’s all I can ask of the girls,” Ransom said. “I loved their fight.”