MIDLOTHIAN — With the help of 15 third-set errors by Lancaster, the No. 3 rated Jaguars swept the Lady Tigers and won their fifth match at Midlothian Heritage High School Gymnasium.
Midlothian Heritage, which is state ranked by the Texas Girls Coaches Association behind Bushland and Glen Rose High Schools, won their match against UIL 5A Lancaster High School 25-11, 25-14, 25-6.
"We talked a lot about how our winning streak and the success we found this weekend and how they should motivate us to just come in every day wanting to work that much harder and to get to where we eventually want to be," Jaguar Head Coach Timmi Blackshear said. "We faced a team in Lancaster that's extremely athletic. Not taking anything away from them at all, I hope we're not satisfied with our performance. We missed a lot of opportunities to score and earn points. Instead, we waited for them to make the error."
She added she and her team need to work on fine-tuning their offense to run more efficiently, noting it will prepare them for the Argyle's and Glen Rose's later in the season.
Fifteen of the 25 points scored in the final set was a result of Lady Tiger unforced hitting errors — including six of the first seven Midlothian Heritage points. The Jaguars scored their third point after Lancaster was penalized for being out of rotation and a block by junior middle blocker Karena Tipton pushed her team's advantage to 8-1.
Kills by seniors Katie Greer and Julia Valdez and sophomore Hanna Larson, as well as an ace by junior setter Rachel Richie, gave Midlothian Heritage a 21-4 lead. Larson's stuff block added another.
Lancaster ended the match after back-to-back-to-back unforced hitting errors.
"This isn't the time where we need to allow points on unforced errors," Blackshear said. "In a match against Glen Rose or in a district championship or hopefully in a state championship in November, we're not going to have the wiggle room or the point spread unforced errors provide."
It was the (5-0) Jaguars' fifth win against a team in a higher classification this season after claiming victories against Brewer, Frisco, Frisco Centennial, Frisco Wakeland and Lancaster High Schools. They also unofficially defeated District 9-5A Cleburne and District 11-6A North Mesquite High Schools and lost to The Colony and Wakeland High Schools during Duncanville Tournament of Champions' pool play.
As stated in a UIL Volleyball Manual published Aug. 1 in the section covering regular season volleyball regulations, pool play utilizing a "mini games" format — which does not figure into a team's overall season win-loss record — will count the entire pool as one match for the three allowed matches per day.
Pool play that utilizes regulation and modified regulation 2-out-of-3 match formats will count the three matches allowed per day and four matches per tournament.
The Jaguars will compete in Pool C of Thursday's 20-team Brewer Lady Bear Classic Varsity Tournament with Brock, Bryson and Trimble Technical High Schools.
Blackshear, currently at career win No. 98, is two away from the 100-victory century mark.
Marcus S. Marion is the sports editor of the Waxahachie Daily Light and Midlothian Mirror. He can be reached by phone at (469) 517-1456 or across social media platforms @MarcusSMarion.