WACO — It’s been six years since the Lady Knights had seen the bright lights of the postseason.
Well, they’ll have to wait another year to see it again after an under-.500 Midlothian team rallied from a Game 1 loss Tuesday to roll past No. 24 Harker Heights 15-25, 25-22, 25-16, 25-19 and into the area round of the Class 5A volleyball playoffs .
“I saw a team that was in the playoffs for the first time, a program that had only been there one time other than this and a bunch of girls that were experiencing something they’d never experienced before,” Heights coach Chris Wiley said.
Leading much of the first game, the Lady Knights (35-7) rolled off 10 of the final 13 points, starting with a pair of aces from senior Anjane Janda (12 kills, 4 aces) for the easy 25-15 opening victory.
But nerves appeared to get the best of them as mistakes started to pile up for Heights, including 12 in Game 2 as Midlothian rallied to score seven of the final nine points.
“After that, they got the momentum and kept a hold of it and we could never do what we did well all season long,” Wiley said.
Game 3 was a point-for-point affair until the Lady Panthers scored nine of 12 to stretch an 8-7 advantage to 17-10 for a deficit Heights couldn’t recover from, especially not behind 15 unforced errors.
The Lady Knights pulled ahead 6-5 in Game 4 after back-to-back aces from Janda and a kill from Deysia Burden (8 kills, 7 blocks), but Midlothian stretched it back to 13-9 following back-to-back unforced errors.
Heights got as close as 19-18, but a kill from Mollie McBride started a run of five of six points, capped by devastating kills from Tarin Mergener to end it.