JUSTIN — The dream season for Midlothian Heritage tennis continues after a come-from-behind win Tuesday in the regional quarterfinals against Wichita Falls-Hirschi.
The Jaguar tennis team fell into an early hole, down 3-4 after the doubles rounds, which is something they have not experienced in "quite a while," said Heritage head tennis coach Lexi Webster.
"This was an uncomfortable position for us," she said via email following the 12-7 Region I Quarterfinal win. "Regardless, the kids were determined to get out there and continue to show grit."
With the singles matches underway, Rylie Helm won from the No. 2 position to even the match count at four, but Josh Windham dropped his match to put Hirschi back in front. The Jaguars then got back-to-back wins from Katey Halcomb and Haylie Hunger to take the last lead they would need.
But it wasn't easy.
Ben Helm was then defeated 6-love in his first set, which moved Hirschi one-set win away from tieing the overall score near the midway point of the match.
"When I asked Ben about his match, I asked him what he said to himself after losing the first set. He replied, 'Let's go to work.' I just love that," Webster recalled.
Helm did just that, too. The senior won a nailbiter in the second set and then the third-set tiebreaker to put Heritage in front 7-5.
Chelsea Wilson promptly won her No. 1 singles match to keep the momentum rolling. Senior Dustin Heitman then followed the same gameplan laid out by Helm to take his match after dropping the first set.
"Dustin lost his first set 1-6. Most players would count themselves out after losing a set like that. Not Dustin. Not Ben. Not our Jaguars," Webster said. "Dustin ended up winning the second set in a tiebreaker, then moving on to win his match in a third set tiebreaker."
The win by Heitman moved Heritage one point from reaching the 10 points needed to clinch the regional victory and move two matches from the 4A state tournament.
Sami Joudeh delivered the 10th win soon after. Macy Bell and Katie DeSelle then followed with a pair of comfortable victories to put the Jaguars up 12-5. Carter Lucas and Carson Lansdowne dropped both of the final two matches in three-set fashion, but the win was well in hand by that point, 12-7.
"Overall, the team rose to the occasion and continued to impress me with their willingness to work for a comeback and battle through a close match," Webster added.
Heritage, who entered the match as the No. 7 4A team in the state and fourth in the region as ranked by the Texas Tennis Coaches Association, will face Andrews in the Region I Semifinals on Thursday, Oct. 26 at Rose Park Tennis Center in Abilene.
Andrews defeated San Elizario, 10-3, in the Region I Quarterfinals on Oct. 24 at Fort Stockton High School. The Mustangs, of Lubbock, enter the match as the No. 6 team in the TTCA 4A state poll and third in the region. The winner will face either Pampa or Vernon/Wylie on Friday, Oct. 27 at the Rose Park Tennis Center.