ALEDO — The year of “firsts” will continue for the Midlothian Heritage volleyball team after they battled through a little first-set adversity to defeat their second state-ranked opponent of the postseason.

Heritage, who entered at the 8th-ranked team in the Texas Girls Coaches Association 4A poll, defeated No. 4 Graham in three sets Tuesday afternoon at Aledo High School, 26-24, 25-22, 25-12. The win was the 32nd of the season for Heritage to just three losses. Graham fell to 34-7 on the season after the 4A regional quarterfinal match.

“We met them toe to toe rather than backing down. I could have been real easy for us to get frustrated at the beginning of that first set,” said first-year Heritage head coach Timmi Blackshear. “They are a great team, very athletic and very scrappy. I’ll give it to them they are a great, great team.”

Blackshear continued, “I’m really glad the girls decided to stick with it. They just put their head down and went to work, stick with it and trust the process. I’m really, really happy with how they performed tonight coming back both times.”

Heritage will now move on to the 4A Region I Tournament, where the Jaguars will face defending state champion and top-ranked Bushland in the regional semifinals. The match is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 11 in the Coliseum on the campus of West Texas College with the first serve scheduled for 3 p.m.

If the Jaguars defeat No. 1 (40-1) Bushland, they will face the winner of No. 2 Glen Rose (the only team to defeat Heritage this season) and No. 10 Andrews in the Region I Finals on Saturday at 2 p.m.

This is the first regional tournament appearance in program history.