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MHS claims 14-5A volleyball crown

No. 4 Lady Panthers’ 15-match streak snapped, but not before title-clinching win

Mirror report

 The Class 5A No. 4-ranked Midlothian High School volleyball team hit a speed bump in non-district play on Saturday, but still has the District 14-5A title solidly in hand.

Hours after celebrating a district championship, the Lady Panthers traveled to Argyle to face private-school powerhouse Liberty Christian and went toe-to-toe with the Lady Warriors before falling in three sets, 25-22, 25-17, 25-23 for only their second loss of the season.

Killian Armstrong finished with eight kills and four blocks, followed by Kennedy King and Payton Rink with seven kills each. Rink also had four blocks in the match. Jenna McMichael finished with 19 digs, Aryn Walton had 27 assists and 11 digs; and Kenna Buchanan finished with 14 digs.

The loss snapped a 15-match winning streak dating back to an emotional five-set home loss to Waxahachie on Sept. 22.

Saturday’s match might have caught the team on somewhat of a letdown, after MHS swept Cleburne, 25-12, 25-8, 25-23, to clinch the 14-5A crown on Friday night in the team’s regular-season home finale. Buchanan led the way with 10 kills and 14 digs, while Rink had eight kills, Walton had 27 assists and Karsyn Curry added 18 digs.

Friday was the final home match for seniors Walton, Curry, Peyton Rigsby, Juliana LaRose and Marli Kemp.

Earlier in the week, the Lady Panthers stepped up in weight class for last Tuesday’s non-district match against Class 6A Rockwall-Heath, but came away with a gritty five-set victory, 13-25, 27-25, 26-24, 25-13, 15-10.

Buchanan had 15 kills and 16 digs to pace MHS, while Walton finished with 10 kills, 49 assists, 24 digs and four blocks and Armstrong had 10 kills. McMichael added a team-high 26 digs and Curry had 10 digs for the Lady Panthers.

MHS (19-2, 11-0), which had an open date on Tuesday, will travel to second-place Joshua on Friday to wrap up the regular season aiming to run the district table. That match should be a worthy tune-up for the Class 5A Region II playoffs, which begin next Thursday, Nov. 19 with bi-district matches.